Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning

Our world and the Lowcountry are both changing at a rapid pace! Highway expansions, steady growth in housing developments, and increasing populations leading the State of South Carolina to add a seat in the House of Representatives all attest to the dramatic rate of growth in our region. Understand why our beautiful corner of the world is changing so quickly, how we can direct that change to preserve our heritage while embracing a strong future, and acquire the tools to effect the change you think is necessary right here in Charleston. Study Urban and Regional and Planning at the College of Charleston.

About the Program

The Graduate Certificate Program in Urban and Regional Planning offers a 13-credit overview of the discipline and practice of American planning, as well as the major planning issues facing the Lowcountry.  From transportation problems to housing shortages to legal issues, you will work with talented scholars and practitioners to generate innovative policy responses.  Our program offers working professionals, interested community members, and students seeking a graduate credential a convenient schedule and the opportunity to acquire the basics in a profession that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts will grow by 19% between 2008 and 2018. 

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact our Program Director, Dr. Matt Nowlin.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate Degree
  • Minimum Undergraduate Grade Point Average of 3.0
  • Application to the Graduate School as an "Urban and Regional Planning Certificate" student
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities
  • A statement of goals detailing the reasons for applying to the program, professional experience, academic skills, and career objectives
  • Resume
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation, one of which should be an academic recommendation, the second can be a professional reference.
  • Though not a requirement, applicants may submit a writing sample, such as an undergraduate thesis, a recent work project, professional presentation, etc.

You can find more information on applying at the Graduate School webpage.

Program Requirements

Core Course*

  • PUBA 518 History and Theory of American Urban Planning (3) 

Policy and Management (Complete 1 Course)

  • PUBA 511 Urban Policy (3) 
  • PUBA 516 Local and Regional Economic Development: Policy and Practice (3) 
  • PUBA 517 Urban Transportation: Problems and Prospects (3) 
  • PUBA 520 Local Government Politics and Administration (3) 

Legal Issues (Complete 1 Course)

  • EVSS 534 Environmental Law and Regulatory Policy (3) 
  • PUBA 513 Planning Law (3) 
  • PUBA 531 Administrative Law (3) 
  • PUBA 534 Environmental Law and Regulatory Policy (3) 
  • PUBA 535 Land Use Law (3) 

Geographic Information Systems (Complete 1 Course)

  • EVSS 549 Geographic Information Systems (4) 
  • PUBA 514 Urban Applications of Geographic Information Systems (4)

Transfer Credit Policy

An applicant or student may request the approval from the program director to accept up to three transfer credit hours. This course, if approved, must have a grade of B or higher.

Certificate Transfer

Up to 13 hours taken in the certificate program may be transferred into the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program with the approval of the MPA program director. Students in the certificate program must still apply and be accepted into the MPA program before credit hours can be transferred.

MPA alumni interested in obtaining a certificate in Urban and Regional Planning may use up to 12 hours taken in the MPA program towards their certificate program with the approval of the program directors of the MPA program and the Urban Certificate program. Students must go through the admissions process and be accepted into the certificate program in order to be eligible to earn a certificate.

Students earning the MPA degree and an urban and regional planning certificate are expected to complete an internship relevant to urban and regional planning.