The urban and regional planning graduate program (MURP) in the College of Environmental Design secured top national rankings in the latest edition of “Planetizen Guide to Urban Planning Programs.” The Department of Urban & Regional Planning has the distinction of being the only university in Southern California with undergraduate and graduate programs accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.
Planetizen, a national organization for planners and related industries, produces the annual guide for planning students searching for high-quality programs. The guide’s ranking system is based on a combination of statistical data of the programs and opinion data from planning educators.
Areas in which the MURP program excelled are:
- Top 10 Largest Percentage of Minority Representation: #4
- Top 10 Suburban Programs: #9
- Top 10 Programs without Ph.D.: #9
- Top 15 Small Programs: #14
The guide also featured an interview with department lecturer Elizabeth Gallardo, a practicing planner in the City of Los Angeles. Gallardo works on Community Planning Implementation and Coordination in the Department of City Planning.
Planetizen surveyed 97 schools that have master’s programs and opinion data from the entire population of planning faculty. In all, 80 programs and 1,160 faculty responded to the survey, whose feedback were considered for the 29 indicators across the four main areas: educator opinions (30 percent); program characteristics (30 percent) such as median course enrollment, merit- and need-based financial aid, student-faculty ratio and number of graduates from the last 10 years; faculty characteristics (20 percent), which included indicators such as the number of faculty, faculty publications, percentage of AICP/FAICP certification, and gender/ethnic diversity; and student characteristics (20 percent), capturing data on student numbers, GPA and GRE scores of incoming students, acceptance rate, gender/ethnic diversity, and post-graduation employment.