CTP Curriculum

The Graduate Certificate in Transportation Planning (CTP) is a 15-credit hour program that can typically be completed concurrent with a student’s primary graduate degree. While individual course schedules may vary given a student’s particular degree requirements, the course sequence is typically comprised of a 3-credit hour foundational course, 9 credit hours in a specific interdisciplinary focus area, and a 3-credit hour, interdisciplinary capstone course, which provides an interdisciplinary synthesis of the overall program in an applied, professional context.

Course Number(s) Credit Hours
Foundation Course PLAN 612: Transportation in City Planning 3
Focus Area (See Below) Varies by Focus Area 9
Capstone Course PLAN 678: Applied Transportation Studio 3
Total 15
  • For model degree plans, click here

Focus Areas for the Graduate Certificate in Transportation Planning

In addition to the required foundation and capstone course, the Certificate Program in Transportation Planning requires students to complete nine (9) credit hours in a specific interdisciplinary focus area tailored to meeting specific professional needs. At present, three focus areas are available: Multimodal Systems Planning, Transportation and Urban Design, and Transportation and Public Policy. A fourth focus area in Transit Management is pending approval.  Course options for each are detailed below.

a. Multimodal Systems Planning

The focus area in Multimodal Systems Planning is intended for students seeking to address regional-level transportation issues. This focus area builds upon the foundational curriculum by providing an in-depth examination of multimodal solutions for addressing regional mobility, as well as providing students with instruction on the tools and methods used for designing and aligning regional-level transportation system investments. Students focusing on Multimodal Systems Planning will have the educational background needed for successful employment in metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), Regional Councils of Governments (COGs), as well as the diverse array of private consulting firms who provide support for the activities of these agencies. Courses for students focusing on Multimodal Systems Planning are:

 

Required: Focused Foundation in Multimodal Systems Planning (3 Credits)

  • PLAN 670: Urban Public Transportation Planning*
  • PLAN 673: Design for Sustainable Transportation

 Electives: Multimodal Systems Planning (6 Credits)

  • CVEN 618: Traffic Engineering: Operations
  • CVEN 672: Engineering and Planning Urban Transportation Systems
  • PLAN 626: Advanced GIS in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning**
  • PLAN 650: Disaster Response Planning
  • PLAN 673: Design for Sustainable Transportation
  • PLAN 674: Transportation Systems Analysis
  • PLAN 676: Transportation Investment Decisions

* Students are advised to take PLAN 670 if available, but PLAN 673 will also satisfy this requirement.

** Prerequisite: PLAN 625: Geographic Information Systems in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, or an approved substitute.

 

b. Transportation and Urban Design

The focus area in Transportation and Urban Design seeks to address the growing demand for transportation professionals who can balance conventional mobility concerns with the needs of the built and natural environments. Despite the call from industry leaders such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) for a more “context-sensitive” approach to transportation planning and design, few, if any, University programs provide specific instruction in this area. The focus area inTransportation and Urban Design seeks to build upon TAMU’s reputation as a leader in transportation education by providing specialized instruction aimed at addressing this critical professional need. Students focusing in Transportation and Urban Design will typically find employment in the growing number of private firms providing specialized transportation design services to both local governments and state departments of transportation (DOTs), as well in staff positions in public-sector agencies. Courses for students focusing in Transportation and Urban Designare:

 

Required: Focused Foundation in Transportation and Urban Design (3 Credits)

  • PLAN 673:  Design for Sustainable Transportation

Electives: Transportation and Urban Design (6 Credits):

  • CVEN 617: Traffic Engineering – Characteristics
  • CVEN 618: Traffic Engineering: Operations
  • CVEN 635: Street and Highway Design
  • CVEN 672: Engineering and Urban Transportation Systems
  • LAND 661: Visual Quality for Design and Planning
  • PLAN 670: Urban Public Transportation Planning
  • PLAN 672: Transportation and the Environment
  • PLAN 674: Transportation Systems Analysis
  • PLAN 676: Transportation Investment Decisions

 

c. Transportation and Public Policy

Total public expenditures in transportation infrastructure total more than $170 billion per year,[1] with many public funding programs tied to specific program grants that direct how transportation system investments are made. TheTransportation and Public Policy focus area is intended to develop policy innovators who are able to tailor public policy and finance to address emerging transportation needs. Students focusing in this area will have the educational background needed to assume policy and managerial positions in public-sector entities responsible for transportation planning and investments, such as state and local departments of transportation (DOTs), as well as in the Federal agencies tasked with oversight over the nation’s transportation system, such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), among others. Proposed courses for this focus area include:

Required: Focused Foundation in Transportation and Public Policy (3 Credits)

  • PLAN 676: Transportation Investment Decisions

Electives: Transportation and Public Policy (6 Credits)

  • PSAA 611: Public Policy Formation
  • PSAA 616: Public Organization in a Pluralistic Society
  • PSAA 617: State and Local Government Policy
  • PSAA 622: Public Finance
  • PSAA 634: Public Management
  • PLAN 650: Disaster Response Planning


[1] Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics (2005). Transportation Statistics Annual Report. Washington DC: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, November. 

 

d. Transit Management

The focus area in Transit Management seeks to address the growing demand for highly qualified and well-trained professionals in the public transit industry.  In the state of Texas alone, there are over 70 urban and rural transit systems, in addition to more than 135 operators providing transit services to the elderly and individuals with disabilities.  According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), more than half of the transit workforce will retire by 2020, highlighting the need to train the next generation of public transit professionals.  While the need for new professionals in the public transit industry is great, very few university programs offer specific instruction in transit management and operations.  The focus area in Transit Management seeks to address this gap by providing students with skills and knowledge in transit operations, management techniques, and critical analysis aimed at addressing this important professional need. Students focusing in Transit Management will have the necessary skills to pursue careers in the public transit industry, and will typically find employment with federal agencies such as the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), regional and metropolitan transit agencies such as Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Houston METRO, small town and rural transit agencies, and specialized transit agencies providing demand response and paratransit services.  

Students choosing the Transit Management focus area are strongly encouraged to pursue an internship involving work in transit management and planning.  Efforts will be made to provide resources and information about internship opportunities and to help place students in transit management internships. 

 

Required: Focused Foundation in Transit Management (3 Credits)

  • PLAN 670: Urban Public Transportation Planning*
  • PLAN 673: Design for Sustainable Transportation

Electives: Transit Management (9 Credits)**

Planning and Civil Engineering

  • CVEN 618: Traffic Engineering: Operations
  • CVEN 632: Engineering Economics
  • CVEN 672: Engineering and Planning Urban Transportation Systems
  • PLAN 674: Transportation Systems Analysis

Management, Policy and Finance  

  • MGMT 630: Behavior and Organizations
  • MGMT 639: Negotiations in Competitive Environments
  • MGMT 655: Survey of Management
  • MGMT 658: Managing Projects
  • MGMT 675: Leadership in Organizations
  • PLAN 676: Transportation Investment Decisions
  • PSAA 611: Public Policy Formation
  • PSAA 622: Public Finance
  • PSAA 634: Public Management
  • PSAA 636: Grant and Contract Management
  • PSAA 648: Performance Management in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors

* Students are advised to take PLAN 670 if available, but PLAN 673 will also satisfy this requirement.

** Students will be required to take one course under Planning and Civil Engineeringand one course under Management, Policy and Finance