Urban planners plan the development of spaces and places, considering current and projected needs for infrastructure, zoning and development. They create a vision for the future of a district or region which is both geographically sound and socially inclusive. They must be knowledgeable in other fields such as economics, law, sociology and behavioural sciences. Few fields are as diverse as urban planning! From designing green spaces to improving public transportation systems to managing disaster relief efforts – the breadth of this profession is unparalleled.
Students who want to earn an online master’s in urban planning can choose between several advanced degree options. MS programs are available for professionals with bachelor’s degrees; there are also two- and three-year online masters in urban planning programs explicitly designed for students who hold advanced degrees in other disciplines. Many programs offer hybrid formats, meaning students will have some selling course and campus-based requirements.
Urban planning is not about applying for a job but rather about using 3-D software to visualize and optimize the development of space and place. Urban planners are dedicated to solving problems on a case-by-case basis, whether that means evaluating the impact of a proposed project on pedestrian traffic or analyzing an action plan for flooding in the area. The Federal Highway Administration says that the educational preparation required for an urban planner depends mainly on the speciality of interest. Master’s degrees or doctorates in a related discipline are usually preferred, but bachelor’s degrees in engineering or economics also have value.
An online master’s in urban planning is ideal for those who want to pursue a degree that leads to a rewarding career and wants the flexibility of working on their schedule. Those who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field may wish to explore career paths such as business management, marketing and communications, and fields that focus on health and wellness. They also can pursue a graduate certificate or diploma if they do not want to continue studying. Online master’s in urban planning programs offer numerous benefits, including:
Online master’s in urban planning programs allow you to explore your potential as a planner while working full-time. You can assimilate coursework and complete assignments on your schedule. This added flexibility is ideal for a family or financial commitments that may not fit into the traditional classroom environment.
Students interested in a deeper level of education will want to explore master’s programs that offer a thesis.
Choosing an online master’s in urban planning involves much more than finding a program that sounds appealing. It would help if you considered whether the program you have chosen is accredited and will allow you to work on your schedule. Also, there are many other factors to consider, such as financial aid and career options. You will also want to know how the degree will benefit your future career.
There are minimum requirements for admission into an online masters in urban planning. You must be a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Students who hold a master’s degree in another field and want to pursue advanced studies in urban planning must have at least three years of professional working experience. To demonstrate competency with the application of maps, GIS and geographic information systems (GIS), you may be required to take graduate placement examinations.
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