1. Planning for the Future – PhD in URSC

The beginning of the 21st century presents new challenges to the study of the built environment. As the baby boomers begin retiring and as people all over the world live longer than ever before, population growth and distribution are evolving at unprecedented levels. New demographics are redefining the makeup of the American population, with new minorities, majorities and a burgeoning elderly population increasing demands on healthcare systems. Changes in the geographic distribution of the population directly impacts the state and the availability of natural resources, as well as the safety of population groups inhabiting areas prone to natural disasters. Newly emerging metropolitan areas with more than 10 million residents pose new challenges in transportation and other issues inherent to population growth. Coupled with these transformations are the issues of environmental degradation that need to be repaired and future planning for the wise utilization of natural resources.

The Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning has a large faculty with diverse interests that revolve around the built and natural environments. The Ph.D. program in Urban and Regional Science (URSC) educates students to become leading researchers and scholars in areas directly responsive to the challenges of the built environment. By allowing students to specialize in areas such as health systems planning, sustainable development, urban design and community development, transportation, and environmental hazard management and planning, the Ph.D. program is producing graduates able to respond to the needs of a changing world.

The Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Science is one of six programs managed by the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning that lead to undergraduate, professional, and research degrees. With over 36 faculty and 300 students, the department has unmatched resources to address all areas related to landscape architecture and urban planning. As a unit of the College of Architecture, the department is part of a vibrant research and teaching community that can comprehensively address issues of the built and virtual environments and includes the departments of Architecture, Construction Science and Visualization. The wider academic family of Texas A&M University is world-renowned for its leadership in teaching, research and service. Located in College Station, Texas, students benefit from a small community atmosphere while having access to three of the 10 largest cities of the United States.

The Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Science at Texas A&M University is one of the 39 Ph.D. planning programs accredited by the American Planning Association in North America. It is a transdisciplinary program that focuses on landscape and urban planning issues. Our faculty comes from backgrounds that include landscape architecture, urban planning, geography, engineering, sociology, psychology, wildlife biology, political science, and land development. The program places emphasis on the interface of human systems with the natural environment, both in terms of the environment’s impact on the human behavior and well-being, and human impact on ecological systems. With its superior reputation, outstanding faculty, progressive curriculum and a supportive environment, this program now has more than 50 Ph.D. students who come from all over the United States as well as countries such as Algeria, Australia, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Korea, Tanzania and Thailand. The majority of our alumni have assumed positions as university faculty and researchers, while others are working for government agencies.

The mission of the Ph.D. program in Urban and Regional Science is to develop scholars in landscape, urban and environmental planning of distinguished excellence.