Concentrations + Certificates

Areas of Concentration

Each student in the Urban and Regional Planning program, in consultation with their advisor, must identify an individualized area of planning where they develop in-depth skills and knowledge. The area of concentration is commonly used by graduates of the UW–Madison program to communicate areas of special expertise to potential employers and allows the student to concentrate on planning issues of most importance to them. The area of concentration often draws on courses taught in URPL, but often also draws on courses taught in other leading departments available to students at UW–Madison.

One unique thing about URPL is that each student and their advisor develop areas of concentration individually. Although it is up to the student to choose an appropriate area of concentration based on their interests, often areas of interest fall into broader categories, including:

  • Community Development
  • Disaster Planning
  • Downtown Revitalization
  • Ecological Planning
  • Economic Development Planning
  • Energy Planning
  • Environment & Transportation
  • Environmental & Energy Planning
  • Environmental & Open Space Planning
  • Environmental Policy
  • GIS Applications and Utilization
  • Historic Preservation
  • Housing
  • International Planning
  • International Sustainable Community & Economic Development
  • Land Use Planning
  • Markets and Food Systems
  • Natural Resource Development and Planning
  • Parks and Open Space Planning
  • Social Justice and Environmental Equity
  • Sustainable and Smart Growth Planning
  • Transportation Planning and Policy
  • Urban Land Use Development & Law

Each student consults with their advisor in identification of their chosen area of concentration and in selecting the courses that will be used to fulfill the Area of Concentration requirement. This process normally starts during the first semester of study and must be completed by the last semester of study. 


Energy Analysis and Policy

Urban and Regional Planning, via the resources and environmental planning concentration, has joined with other departments and colleges in a curriculum titled "Energy Analysis and Policy"; a program administered by the Institute of Environmental Studies. Although the degree can be taken in URPL, the curriculum is tailored to educate students for energy-related professional work with governments, utilities, consulting firms, and other organizations. A certificate is issued to those students who complete the Energy Analysis and Policy curriculum.

Students interested in this option should have at least one college level course in biology or chemistry, calculus, computer programming (a short course is sufficient), economics, physics, and politics and government or American history. A core of 19 credits of basic planning courses is normally required in the Professional Master's program. Three "core" planning courses are specifically required:

  • URPL 741 - Introduction to Planning
  • URPL 781 - Planning Thought and Practice
  • URPL 912 - Planning Workshop

Six credits in energy modelling and analytical methods will be substituted for Urb R Pl 721. The department's internship will meet the three credit thesis or internship required in the "Energy Analysis and Policy" curriculum.

Details on this program may be obtained by writing to the program or the Institute for Environmental Studies, 64 Science Hall.

Transportation Management and Policy Program

The Transportation Management and Policy Program (TMP) combines studies of environmentally sensitive transportation planning and development with studies of the economic, political, and social dimensions of transportation development.

Graduate students who complete the program receive a certificate in TMP to supplement their graduate degree. The Transportation Management and Policy Program offers a broad perspective on the environmental, economic, political, and societal impacts of the demand for, and development and management of, transportation infrastructure.