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2020 Best Colleges for Urban & Regional Planning

Approximately 2,685 urban and regional planning degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a daunting task finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for Urban & Regional Planning ranking analyzed 22 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in urban and regional planning. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 3 colleges for Urban & Regional Planning students.

Choosing a Great Urban & Regional Planning School

Best Colleges for Urban & Regional Planning The urban planning program you select can have a big impact on your future. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 6%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 128 to 41 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

A urban and regional planning degree from colleges on this list typically results in higher than average earnings following graduation. Recent urban and regional planning graduates from U.S. schools with a bachelors degree earned an average of $35,025 in 2017-2018.

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Urban & Regional Planning students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other urban and regional planning students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized urban and regional planning related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Urban & Regional Planning students.

Best Schools to Study Urban & Regional Planning in United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study urban and regional planning.

Top 10 Best Urban Planning Colleges

#1

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In NY
14.3% Growth in Graduates

Cornell University is among your top options if you're planning on studying urban and regional planning. Cornell is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Ithaca. A Best Colleges rank of 12 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Cornell also offers 2 different higher degree levels in urban and regional planning, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Urban & Regional Planning majors from Cornell University receive an earnings boost of approximately $4,310 over the typical earnings of urban and regional planning graduates.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In IL

Any student pursuing a degree in urban and regional planning has to take a look at University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign. UIUC is a very large public school located in the small city of Champaign. This college ranks 85th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign is a fairly popular school to study urban planning in United States with over 49 graduations last year.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In TX
$38,400 Median Starting Salary

Any student who is interested in urban and regional planning has to check out Texas A&M University - College Station. Texas A&M is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of College Station. This college ranks 89th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

For those interested in something more advanced, Texas A&M also offers 3 different higher degree levels in urban and regional planning, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Texas A&M University - College Station urban and regional planning majors make $4,210 more than the typical urban planning student.

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Master Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In CA

University of California - Davis is a good decision for students interested in a Urban & Regional Planning degree. UC Davis is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Davis. A Best Colleges rank of 74 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means UC Davis is a great school overall.

University of California - Davis is a fairly popular college to study urban planning in United States with more than 70 graduates last year.

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Master Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In VA
29.1% Growth in Graduates

Located in the suburb Charlottesville, University of Virginia is a public school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 33 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means University of Virginia is a great school overall.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, University of Virginia offers a Master's Degree in urban and regional planning.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In OH
10.8% Growth in Graduates

Located in the large city Columbus, Ohio State is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 206th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

For those interested in something more advanced, Ohio State also offers 2 different higher degree levels in urban and regional planning, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from the urban planning program earn an average of $33,300 in the first couple years of their career.

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Master Highest Degree Type
6th Most Popular In CA
29.3% Growth in Graduates

Located in the small suburb San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 152nd out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo is a fairly popular college to study urban planning in United States with more than 41 graduations last year.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In AZ
11.9% Growth in Graduates

ASU - Tempe is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Tempe. This college ranks 312th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Arizona.

There are approximately 101 urban and regional planning undergraduates studying this degree at ASU - Tempe. Students who graduate from the urban planning program make around $33,200 in the first couple years of their career.

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#9

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ
Master Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In AZ
3.5% Growth in Graduates

Arizona is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Tucson. This college ranks 325th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Arizona.

With 86 undergrads, University of Arizona is one of most popular colleges to study urban planning in United States. Students who graduate from the urban planning program earn around $30,200 for their early career.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WA
$29,700 Median Starting Salary

UW Seattle is a very large public school located in the city of Seattle. A Best Colleges rank of 84 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means UW Seattle is a great college overall.

There are roughly 71 urban and regional planning undergrads studying this degree at UW Seattle. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, urban planning students typically make an average of $29,700 at the beginning of their careers.

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Urban & Regional Planning by Region

View the Best Colleges for Urban & Regional Planning for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 8 majors within the Architecture & Related Services area of study, Urban & Regional Planning has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
General Architecture 7,514
Architectural Sciences & Technology 3,804
Landscape Architecture 1,288
Environmental Design 702
Interior Architecture 574

View All Urban Planning Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Arcaddmarketing.

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