Planetizen: ASU's Planning program is in top rank

In a report released this month, ASU’s Master of Urban and Environmental Planning program (MUEP) ranked in the top 25 graduate planning programs in the country for 2014.

ASU's planning program, offered through the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, placed 25th out of 97 U.S. graduate programs considered for ranking in theGuide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs released byPlanetizen, a leading online network for urban planning news, commentary and resources.

The ranking takes into account 29 indicators that encompass program characteristics, such as course offerings, financial aid and student retention, as well as faculty achievement and diversity. Student characteristics, such as academic records of incoming students, acceptance rate and student employment rates after graduation, also contribute to a school’s ranking.

In compiling the rankings, Planetizen gathered data from the planning programs, and it collected surveys from over 1,800 practitioners, educators and current and recent graduate students. The opinion surveys aimed to ensure that a school's reputation in the field and the industry factored into its ranking.

Elizabeth Wentz, director of ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, said the ranking awarded to the master’s program in urban and environmental planning reflected the program's strength and its expanding recognition in the field.

"ASU's place in the list shows that industry practitioners and academics view the program as one of the best in the country," said Wentz. "It's an exciting development for our school to be recognized alongside high-caliber programs such as those at MIT, UC Berkeley and UCLA," Wentz added.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) took the No. 1 ranking for graduate urban planning programs. Among other programs in the top 10 were those at the University of California Berkeley, the University of California Los Angeles, Harvard University, Rutgers University and the University of Illinois (Urbana- Champaign).

ASU's ranking this year marked the planning program's entry into the top 25 programs for the first time.

ASU's graduate planning program is situated in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, and it lies in close proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border and to numerous Native American reservation communities.

Students can pursue specializations in community development, economic development, environment/ sustainability planning, housing, land use/physical planning, international development, transportation planning and urban design. There are opportunities for study abroad in Canada, Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programsis an independent ranking. The guide aims to serve as a tool for students to evaluate graduate options in the field and as a resource for those interested in urban planning education.

This story, authored by Wynne Mancini(link sends e-mail), first appeared inASU News on October 28, 2014.