New Online Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UF

University of Florida has been expanding their online programs lately. Last week, we talked about a new forensics science program at the Florida university, and now the Gators are unveiling an online Master's program in Urban and Regional Planning. The new course will be offered this fall through the College of Design, Construction and Planning at UF. The degree will also have a specialization in Geographic Information Systems, often called GIS, and sustainability.

Since the coursework will mostly be completed online, the new degree program will assist professionals who already work in urban planning to enhance their skills and careers, building a better foundation for those who are entering the profession for the first time or those who are looking to hone in on sustainable building.

"This degree program is extremely flexible," said Kristin Larsen, chair of the department of urban and regional planning department. "It gives people the opportunity, especially if someone is currently doing planning work but does not have a planning degree—to get the credentials while maintaining employment."

That's the basis for which many online programs are developed, but this program will be structured, enabling students to participate in creative and engaging learning experiences. Both specializations will start with core courses and specialization courses before getting into the advanced content. The path of study will be incredibly focused. Each track will also end in a capstone course that offers an opportunity for the professional to get into a hands-on project, using the new skills and technologies from the classwork.

Although one of the specializations focuses on sustainable planning concepts and strategies, GSI is really focused on the aspects of how planning information systems relate to construction and building. However, both of the specializations are meant to help the professionals work in the future of urban planning and development career fields. The trends in urban planning and regional planning are actually being monitored constantly, thus evolving into education programs such as this new master's by UF. Larsen totes that the program will give professionals a broader picture while adding the public policy perspective to enhance how the built environment will be designed and function overall.

You can read more about this program from Urban Planning on UF's school site.

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