For some years, urban planning education has felt a tension between an approach that aims to train good generalists, with knowledge and skills geared to adaptability and life-long learning, and an approach that attempts to focus, particularize, and deepen knowledge with training in job-specific skills. Because this debate has no simple conclusion, the faculty has opted to give students choice in selecting which form of education and professional training most suits them.
Our students must select either one of our specializations or our advanced graduate certificate. The former leads to a certificate granted upon graduation. The latter has special SUNY recognition and also appears on the diploma plus university transcript. Specializations each consist of an introductory course, advanced course, and specialized practicum (6) credits, adding up to 12 credits. For requirements for the advanced certificate, see below. Through our MUP specializations, students examine sustainable development, environmental policies, ecology, environmental design, economics, natural resources, sociology, and anthropology. This approach fosters an interdisciplinary approach to planning for sustainability, preparing students to tackle our most pressing challenges with sensitivity toward the world’s increasingly sensitive ecologies.
Please note that each specialization (and the advanced graduate certificate) requires a specialized practicum. Under some circumstances, if an appropriate 6-credit specialized practicum is not available during a reasonable period of the student’s curriculum, students may (upon approval of the specialization director and department chair) take two three-credit courses in lieu of the 6-credit practicum.