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City and Regional Planning

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

School: Architecture

City and regional planners are out-of-the-box thinkers who love cities, towns and regions. They are sustainable systems designers and tomorrow’s innovators who care about the quality of life for everyone. They are interested in developing economies at all scales, providing affordable housing, promoting green energy, preserving threatened land, building great public transit and developing sustainable cities and regions.

Great planning helps create communities that offer better choices for where and how people live. Planning helps communities envision their future and find the right balance of new development, essential services, environmental protection and innovative change. 

Students should apply directly to the university with an intended major in city and regional planning. 

Freshmen begin as pre-majors and apply to the major after achieving a minimum 2.75 GPA. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. The program admits up to 50 students annually.

Freshmen admitted to Ohio State with Honors or Scholars standing are offered direct admission to the city and regional planning major.

Transfer into the program is possible. Students interested in transferring should consult with an academic advisor.

The goal of the city and regional planning curriculum is to help students develop professional competency in the art and science of planning, design, plan implementation, communication, history/theory and professional practice. Graduates of the program are able to creatively combine planning principles, social and environmental consciousness, and communication to address people’s relationship to their community. The program emphasizes practical application of both traditional and evolving knowledge and skills as the foundation for professional competence and individualized enrichment. Students are required to complete a professional portfolio as part of their graduation requirements.

Required courses include the following:

  • Creating Innovative Cities and Regions
  • Designing Communication  
  • Planning Resilient Environments 
  • Elementary Statistics
  • Reading the City through History and Law
  • Outlines of the Built Environment
  • Analyzing the City
  • Place Making  
  • Plan Making Studio
  • Planning for and with People 
  • Realizing the Plan Studio
  • Professional Planning Skills
  • City and regional planning electives

City and regional planning students recently participated in study abroad programs to Ghana, Belize, China, Taiwan and Europe.

The Honors Program in the Knowlton School offers a more rigorous curriculum and gives students the opportunity to participate in Honors seminars and significant research within the discipline. Small classes and greater access to faculty provide Honors students with a stimulating scholarly community.

The Architecture, Landscape and City Scholars Program is a community of talented students who participate in programs and activities designed to offer insight into architecture, landscape architecture, and city and regional planning. Architecture, Landscape and City Scholars focuses on growing students’ understanding of the historical, cultural and social significance of the built and natural environments through site visits, workshops, seminars and travel opportunities. Scholars students live together in a north campus residence hall that provides a supportive and collegial environment.

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The City and Regional Planning Student Association provides social and professional development opportunities for students.

The Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning is a professional degree. Graduates are eligible to sit for certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners after four years of professional work experience. Graduates are also well prepared to pursue a master’s degree in city and regional planning or a related discipline and are competitive for admission to national and international graduate programs.

Ohio State graduates of the city and regional planning program have been extremely successful in finding positions throughout Ohio and across the country, including Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Orlando, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and international cities and regions such as Moscow, Russia and New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Professional planners help create a broad vision for the community. They also research, design and develop programs; lead public processes; effect social change; perform technical analyses; manage; and educate. Some planners focus on just some of these roles, such as transportation planning, but most will work at many kinds of planning throughout their careers. 

A plan can take a variety of forms, including policy recommendations, community action plans, comprehensive plans, neighborhood plans, regulatory and incentive strategies, or historic preservation plans. Other examples of plans include redevelopment plans, smart growth strategies, economic development strategic plans, site plans, urban design plans and disaster preparedness plans.

Planners work in every state and around the world. They work in rural areas, suburban areas and large cities. They work in the public sector within federal, state and local governments. They also work in non-profits and within the private sector in real estate development, planning firms, landscape architecture and architecture firms.

Planners in academic practice teach and conduct research in the professional programs offered by colleges and universities across the country, and they may work professionally in university campus planning offices.

The American Planning Association (APA) reports an average starting salary of $39,000 for new professionals with undergraduate degrees in planning. The national average salary for all planners is $71,000. Partners in firms and planning directors may earn considerably more, often exceeding $100,000.