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URSC Curriculum

Curriculum Requirements

The URSC requires a minimum of 64 credit hours, including 32 credits of core curriculum, and 32 or more credits of electives and research credits. All credit hours beyond 99 are charged out-of-state rates. The minimum duration is about 3.5 years, but students are told to expect the program to take four years. Students are required to have a master’s degree before beginning the Ph.D. The curriculum is structured as follows:

  1. Core Curriculum (32 Credits)
    1. Research Approaches (9 credits)
      • CARC 601 - Foundation of Research in Planning and Design
      • CARC 602 - Research Methods in Planning and Design
      • One Specialty Research Methods Course (3 credits): e.g. ECON 655, EDAD 690, GEOG 611, LAND 640, PLAN 613, PHSB 605, RELM 635, SOCI 623, SOCI 624, or SOCI 633
    2. Analytic Methods (9 credits)
      • URSC 641 – Analytic Methods in Landscape and Urban Research
      • URSC 642 – Analytic Methods in Landscape and Urban Research I
      • One Specialty Analytic Course (3 credits): e.g. SOCI 631, EDAD 690, FRSC 663, PSYC 607, PSYC 671, PSCY 673. Or EPSY 690
    3. Theory (9 credits)
      • URSC 631 – Foundations of Planning Thought
      • URSC 632 – Structure and Functions of Cities and Regions
      • One Specialty Theory Course (3 credits): e.g. ARCH 675, LAND 645, LDEV 673, LDEV 677, PLAN 631, PLAN 647, PLAN 649, PLAN 664, POLS 646, RLEM 602, or SOCI 622
    4. Professional Development (2 credits)
      • URSC 681 – Professional Seminar I (1 credits)
      • URSC 682 – Teaching Practicum (1 credits)
    5. Teaching (3 credits)
      1. URSC 685 – Teaching Practicum (3 credits)
  2. Specialty Curriculum (9-12 Credits)
    • Three or four other specialty courses (9-12 credits) that fit the student’s research interests to be agreed upon with his/her committee chair
  3. Research/Dissertation Credits
    • Research/dissertation credits for the rest of the course of study.

Brief Description of Core Courses

CARC 601. Foundations of Research in Planning and Design. (3-0). Credit 3.

Introduction to the research process and its application to problems in planning and design; presentation of philosophy and logic underlying the scientific method; critical analysis of planning and design literature according to each step of the research process: problem definition, hypothesis development, study design, analysis and interpretation of the findings.

CARC 602. Research Methods in Planning and Design. (3-0). Credit 3.

Basic empirical research methods used in planning and design research: experimental, survey and case study designs; comparisons of the various methods; application of techniques in sample selection, data collection and analytic approaches. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: URSC 641 or equivalent.

URSC 641. Urban and Regional Analysis I. (3-0). Credit 3.

Provides students in urban and regional science with a fundamental understanding and hands on experiences with techniques and procedures related to conceptual measurement and operational issues, data set development and manipulation, and data analysis issues critical for conducting academic research. Prerequisite: Doctoral Student Standing.

URSC 642. Analytic Methods in Landscape and Urban Research II. (3-0). Credit 3.

Provides students in urban and regional science with a survey of hands on experiences with advanced techniques and procedures related to conceptual measurement and operational issues, data set development and manipulation and data analysis issues critical for conducting academic research. Prerequisites: STAT 651, CARC 601, URSC 641, permission.

URSC 631. Foundations of Planning Thought (3-0). Credit 3.

This PhD level course examines a series of foundational issues in planning and design theory. These include the definition of planning problems, rationality, modernism and post modernism, the validation of value judgments, relations with future generations, multiculturalism and gender justice in liberal democratic societies. Prerequisite(s): Doctoral classification or instructor permission.

URSC 632. Structure and Functions of Cities and Regions (3-0). Credit 3.

Surveys the design, financial, natural, physical, political and social parameters that influence the development of cities and regions, including presentation of theories about cities and regions, organization of, planning to shape them, and public and private sector plans for structure and function of cities and regions. Prerequisite(s): Doctoral classification or instructor permission.

URSC 681. Professional Seminar I. (1-6). Credit 1.

Analysis and criticism of selected landscape architectural projects. Lectures, reports and discussions. Prerequisite: Graduate classification in landscape architecture and urban planning.

URSC 682. Professional Seminar II. (1-6) Credit 1.

Reports and discussions of current research and selected topics in urban and regional planning. Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.

URSC 685. Teaching Practicum. (1-6) Credit 3.

All doctoral students must teach a course before graduating. Students who are instructors of record for an undergraduate course should concurrently enroll in URSC 685 with their mentor or graduate committee chair to receive the teaching credit. Students who do not have an opportunity to be instructors of record will (a) enroll in URSC 685 in their 3rd Spring Semester, (b) complete the Center for Teaching Excellence’s Academy for Future Faculty certification program, and (c) guest-instruct in a section of URPN 202. 

Specialty Courses

Specialty Methods Courses

Analytic Methods Specialty Courses

Theory Specialty Courses

1 GEOG611 is one of the required courses for geography grad students. There is a cap in enrollment and priority will be given to their own grad students during the enrollment.

2 EDAD690 is usually only open to their SAAHE cohort students.

Helpful Links

Suggested Course Progression

Graduate Catalog

Academic Calendar