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Address the planning and policy challenges facing communities across the globe.

Urban Affairs and Planning Urban Affairs and Planning

Imagine and create sustainable communities on an international scale.

Face the critical challenges to city life, like transportation, infrastructure, education, sanitation, and public health, in developed and developing countries around the world.

Areas of Focus

  • City and regional planning
  • Community and economic development
  • Diversity and equality
  • Governance and political institutions
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Poverty and urban resilience

Internship Experiences

Take the tools you’ve learned and apply them to real-world administration and development issues. Prior to graduation, you’ll also complete a 300-hour internship at an approved site.

Previous Internship Sites

  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
  • Beijing Enterprises Water Group Limited
  • Oakland Planning and Development Corporation
  • China National Health Development Research Center
View internship information

Career Paths

Use your budgeting, planning, and sustainable development skills to make a life-changing impact in local, regional, and international communities. 

Potential Workplaces

  • Local, regional, and federal governments, including departments like the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Pennsylvania. Department of Transportation
  • Nonprofits and educational centers that focus on issues like poverty, public health, and community development 
  • Private-sector entities like consulting firms and land development corporations
See alumni careers

Major Courses and Plans of Study

As an urban affairs and planning major, you’ll gain the technical and problem-solving skills to face the challenges of urban development. To understand the different requirements for the MPA and MID degrees with this major, compare their plans of study.

View MPA plan of study View MID plan of study

Featured Courses

  • Become familiar with a powerful tool for the public sector that’s used in a variety of disciplines. This course gives you a solid foundation of the principles and applications of GIS, offers an introduction to the desktop software ArcGIS, and demonstrates its uses in the public sectors. 

  • Gain insight into the foundations and perspectives of sustainable development, including human relationships with the environment, economic models of sustainability, and equity and participation in sustainability issues. You’ll understand planning and analysis for sustainability within a regional context, to include governance, planning, and assessment frameworks. Finally, you’ll put sustainability into practice, considering regional approaches to sustainable energy and transportation, food and water systems, green infrastructure, and innovation.

  • The majority of the world's citizens live in cities, and therefore one cannot talk about human progress without thinking about progress in cities. In this course, you’ll learn about the current challenges facing cities and regions—nearby and around the world—and how those challenges might be met.

View all Fall 2019 courses

Association Memberships 

GSPIA is an institutional member of the Urban Affairs Association and an affiliate member school of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.

Centers, Institutes, and Initiatives

Gain experience in research, teaching, and public service in urban affairs and planning.

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