About

Do you want to pursue a career through which you can impact your community and the world? Would you like to embark on challenges and a wide range of career opportunities?

The bachelor of science degree in urban and regional planning curriculum is 48 hours, including core courses, an area of emphasis (community planning or coastal planning), and electives. In consultation with your advisor, you will also choose either a minor or two concentration areas (24 hours). You will be encouraged to become active in the Student Planners' Action Network (SPAN). An internship, typically during the summer following your junior year, is recommended but not required; completing an internship increases your prospects for employment at graduation. During senior studio and practicum courses you will receive feedback from practicing professional planners in addition to program faculty, thus strengthening your skills and job marketability.

The planning profession gives you one of the best opportunities to be personally rewarded by making a difference in your community and the world. Planners work at every scale: internationally, nationally, at the multi-state level, state level, and for multi-county regions and localities (counties, cities, and special districts). Planners also work at the scales of neighborhood and individual development sites. As a planner, you will have a wide range of potential opportunities to influence community well-being and advance the goals of society. The subject matters of planning are broad: environment, transportation, community facilities, land use, housing and community development, social and economic development, and others. Professional planners can make big differences at almost any scale and in a wide variety of settings, working for governments, non-profit groups, and/or private firms.

Urban and regional planning is an occupation that is projected by the US Bureau of Labor statistics to continue increasing in future years. According to a 2012 survey of planners by the American Planning Association (APA), 71 percent of planners work in public agencies and 22 percent in private consulting firms. The typical full-time planner reported a 2012 annual salary of $71,000 according to APA (2012). Your most likely initial employer will be a city or county government, and typical starting salaries for entry-level planner positions in local government are in the low $30,000s (higher in the private sector). You may also elect to continue your education with graduate study in planning or a related field, to increase your knowledge and improve your competitiveness for employment positions.

ECU Advantage

ECU's planning program has a long history with strong alumni support. Alumni are working throughout the eastern NC region as well as other parts of the state and nation. The program has maintained accreditation by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) since 2003. ECU's undergraduate planning program is one of only 15 such accredited programs nationally. The curriculum provides a strong practice orientation that will prepare you for a successful career as a professional planner.

What You Will Study

Program Director: Misun Hur (212-A Brewster Building; 252-328-1270)

Students entering the planning program are encouraged to declare their major as soon as possible in accordance with university requirements.

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements including the one listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • COMM 2410 - Public Speaking
2. Core - 33 s.h.
  • GEOG 2400 - Spatial Data Analysis or
  • MATH 2228 - Elementary Statistical Methods I or
  • MATH 2283 - Statistics for Business

  • PLAN 2410 - Fundamentals of GIS
  • PLAN 3020 - Environmental Planning
  • PLAN 3021 - Introduction to Planning Techniques
  • PLAN 3022 - History and Theory of Planning
  • PLAN 3030 - Urban and Regional Planning
  • PLAN 3031 - Quantitative Analysis in Planning
  • PLAN 3032 - Planning Legislation and Administration
  • PLAN 4003 - Urban Form and Design
  • PLAN 4096 - Planning Studio
  • PLAN 4099 - Practicum in Planning
3. Areas of emphases - 9 s.h.

(In consultation with the planning advisor, choose one area of emphasis from the following.)

    a. Coastal planning and development:
    • PLAN 4015 - Emergency Management Planning

    • PLAN 4045 - Environmental Resources Planning and Management or
    • PLAN 4065 - Land Use Planning

    • PLAN 4055 - Coastal Area Planning and Management
    b. Community planning and development:
    • PLAN 4025 - Housing and Neighborhood Planning

    • PLAN 4040 - Community Facilities Planning or
    • PLAN 4065 - Land Use Planning

    • PLAN 4075 - Transportation Planning or
    • PLAN 5985 - Historic Preservation Planning
4. Electives - 6 s.h.

(Choose any additional 6 s.h. from the following.)

  • PLAN 1900 - Sustainable Cities
  • PLAN 2030 - Global Cities
  • PLAN 3018 - Planning Internship *
  • PLAN 3028 - Planning Internship *
  • PLAN 3038 - Planning Internship *
  • PLAN 3041 - Computer Applications in Planning
  • PLAN 3430 - Geographic Information Systems I
  • PLAN 4015 - Emergency Management Planning
  • PLAN 4025 - Housing and Neighborhood Planning
  • PLAN 4040 - Community Facilities Planning
  • PLAN 4045 - Environmental Resources Planning and Management
  • PLAN 4046 - Planning and Design Studio
  • PLAN 4050 - World Architecture and Urbanism
  • PLAN 4055 - Coastal Area Planning and Management
  • PLAN 4065 - Land Use Planning
  • PLAN 4075 - Transportation Planning
  • PLAN 4121 - Problems in Planning
  • PLAN 4131 - Problems in Planning
  • PLAN 4250 - Environmental Impact Analysis
  • PLAN 4270 - Water Resources Management and Planning
  • PLAN 4305 - Ecological Landscape Planning
  • PLAN 4430 - Geographic Information Systems II
  • PLAN 5985 - Historic Preservation Planning
  • Note:

    *May count a maximum of 3 s.h. from PLAN 3018, PLAN 3028, PLAN 3038 toward the degree.

    5. Minor or concentration area - 18 s.h.

    (In consultation with the planning advisor, choose a minor from another discipline or two concentration areas from below, with a minimum of 9 s.h. chosen from each of the two areas.)

      a. Coastal resources concentration:
      • COAS 2025 - Survey of Coastal and Marine Resources
      • COAS 4025 - Society and the Sea Seminar
      • GEOG 4220 - Coastal Geography
      • GEOG 4440 - Coastal Applications of GIS
      • GEOG 4540 - Coastal Storms
      • GEOL 1550 - Oceanography
      • GEOL 3700 - Advanced Oceanography
      • HIST 5520 - Maritime History of the Western World Since 1815
      • SOCI 3410 - Introduction to Maritime Sociology
      b. Community health concentration:
      • ANTH 3027 - Human Health and Disease Ecology
      • EHST 2110 - Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences
      • EHST 3600 - Air Pollution
      • EHST 5800 - Solid and Hazardous Waste Management and Laboratory
      • EHST 5801 - Solid and Hazardous Waste Management and Laboratory
      • GEOG 4340 - Introduction to Medical Geography
      • HLTH 2000 - Principles of Public Health
      • HLTH 3050 - Public Health Systems and Policy
      • SOCI 3327 - Introductory Medical Sociology
      c. Environmental resources concentration:
      • ANTH 2005 - Environmental Anthropology
      • ECON 3855 - Environmental Economics
      • GEOG 2350 - Climate Change: Science and Society
      • GEOG 3220 - Soil Properties, Surveys, and Applications
      • GEOG 3250 - Environmental Hazards
      • GEOG 3420 - Remote Sensing of the Environment I
      • GEOL 3500 - Hydrogeology and the Environment
      • POLS 3256 - Environmental Politics
      d. Geographic information science:
      • GEOG 3420 - Remote Sensing of the Environment I
      • GEOG 3430 - Geographic Information Systems I
      • GEOG 3450 - Introduction to the Global Positioning System
      • GEOG 3460 - GIS Applications Programming
      • GEOG 4410 - Advanced Cartographic Design and Production
      • GEOG 4420 - Remote Sensing II
      • GEOG 4430 - Geographic Information Systems II
      • GEOG 4440 - Coastal Applications of GIS
      • GEOG 4450 - GIScience, Society and Technology
      • GEOG 4460 - Digital Terrain Analysis
      e. International development concentration:
      • ECON 3353 - Development Economics
      • ECON 3750 - Economics of Poverty and Discrimination
      • GEOG 2003 - Geography of the Global Economy
      • GEOG 2110 - World Geography: Less Developed Regions
      • GEOG 4325 - Resources, Population, and Development
      • POLS 3140 - Politics of Globalization
      • POLS 3257 - International Environmental Policy
      • POLS 3297 - International Political Economy
      • POLS 4360 - Politics of Developing Areas
      f. Recreation concentration:
      • GEOG 2019 - Geography of Recreation
      • GEOG 4335 - Geography of Tourism
      • RCLS 2000 - Foundations of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Studies
      • RCLS 2601 - Leisure in Society
      • RCLS 3104 - Public and Non-Profit Recreation
      • RCLS 3120 - Commercial Recreation and Tourism
      • RCLS 3300 - Outdoor Recreation Programming
      • RCLS 4111 - Recreation and Park Planning
      g. Rural development concentration:
      • ANTH 4260 - Cultural Ecology
      • ECON 3750 - Economics of Poverty and Discrimination
      • GEOG 3055 - North Carolina
      • GEOG 4325 - Resources, Population, and Development
      • GEOG 4335 - Geography of Tourism
      • HIST 3100 - North Carolina History
      • SOCI 3222 - Rural Sociology
      h. Public administration concentration:
      • ECON 4214 - Public Finance
      • MGMT 3202 - Fundamentals of Management
      • POLS 3240 - State and Local Government
      • POLS 3241 - Urban Political Systems
      • POLS 3242 - Municipal Policy and Administration
      • POLS 3252 - Public Administration
      • POLS 3253 - Government Fiscal Administration
      i. Urban studies concentration:
      • EHST 3600 - Air Pollution
      • GEOG 3004 - Urban Geography
      • GEOG 4560 - Urban Climatology
      • HIST 3205 - History of American Urban Life
      • POLS 3241 - Urban Political Systems
      • POLS 3242 - Municipal Policy and Administration
      • SOCI 3225 - Urban Sociology
      • SOCI 3289 - Community Organization
    6. Electives to complete degree requirements for graduation.
      Note:

      Excluding general education requirements, no one course may be used to fulfill two or more degree requirements.

        For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

        Careers With This Degree

        Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

        • City/Urban, Community & Regional Planning
        • Environmental Assessment
        • Urban and Regional Planners
        • Public Policy Analysis
        • Public Administration
        • Land Development and Real Estate
        • City/Urban, Community & Regional Planning
        • Urban and Regional Planners

        Career Opportunities

        ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

        NC Tower

        This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

        • Self-employed;
        • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
        • Work outside of North Carolina.

        US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

        This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

        Degree-specific internships

        For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.

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