Cornell University

City and Regional Planning


410 Thurston Ave

Ithaca, NY 14850

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Ph.D., M.R.P.

Format: Campus

Program Description:

CornellÆs approach to city, regional, and international planning closely combines theory and practice, emphasizing social, political, and economic issues that influence the built environment. The Department of City and Regional Planning offers degree programs in urban, rural, regional, and international planning and historic preservation. A professional masterÆs degree prepares graduates for work in one of several branches of planning, the Ph.D. for a career in teaching, research, or policy making.

The curriculum retains its traditional strength in social theory and makes extensive use of geographic information theories (GIS). Though the faculty consciously balances technical and analytical skills, there is an unabashed bias toward the generalistÆs approach. In the classroom or computer lab, while writing a thesis or participating in a community project, students are encouraged to challenge the obvious and delve deeply into the issues that make planning a complex and challenging profession. Thus, most graduates have a sense of the ôbig picture,ö yet are well versed in the latest planning technology tools.

The program has created a learning environment that includes a variety of experiences, some of them concerning schoolwork. Outside practitioners, theorists, and activists appear on a weekly basis to participate in seminars.

The faculty strongly recommends that Master of Regional Planning students concentrate in one of three areas of planning: Land Use and Environmental Planning; Economic Development Planning; or International Studies in Planning. This approach gives students a substantial base of knowledge, prepares students for professional work, and makes students especially attractive to prospective employers. Beyond the course work, concentrations offer opportunities to participate in practical, client-based workshops, or special projects. Students may design an individual concentration in consultation with a faculty advisor.


Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Facts & Figures

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Small City

Size & Settings: 20,000-39,999

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