Five required core courses covering theoretical foundations and professional skills.
Foundations of Public Policy and Planning — A conceptual and critical overview of public policy and planning theory, process, and practice. Provides an introduction to basic elements of public policy formation and application involving a range of environmental, social policy, and planning issues. This includes methods for analyzing policy and planning decisions, strategies for developing alternatives, examination of the role of values and empirical knowledge in setting policy agendas, and implementation.
Cities in Space, Place and Time — Introduces students to the history and theory of cities and metropolitan regions focusing specifically on the actions of planners and policy-makers and how these actions shape our communities, neighborhoods, cities, regions, and world. The focus will be on the US, but the course will include comparisons to other systems (e.g., UK, Western Europe, Latin America, and China). The course will examine the urban and metropolitan fabric through the lens of work, family, transport and communications, energy, environmental conditions, physical structure, economics and trade. Race, class, gender, immigration, and culture change will serve as cross-cutting themes throughout the readings, lectures, and discussions. Particular attention will be paid to institutional actors and their responses — governments, business leaders, and community leaders.
Quantitative Reasoning — This course presents basic concepts of statistical analysis and research, and develops related skills that are indispensable to agency directors, policymakers, and advocates alike. Students learn to select among available data sources, measures and indicators, and statistical techniques in order to best answer questions of interest.
Field Projects: Planning and Practice — Practical planning and research experience in a community or governmental setting. Students are exposed to the realities of urban and environmental planning practice by working in teams for actual clients. Focuses on the interplay of expertise, social and political values, and professional relationships.
Economics for Policy and Planning Analysis — This course introduces economic concepts and tools of analysis relevant to public policy and planning. Microeconomic and macroeconomic approaches to understanding economic behavior and to generating solutions to economic problems are explored. Applications include policies related to the environment, housing, individual and family income, and community development.