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online urban planning certificate

Last Updated on January 16, 2023 by Team College Learners

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Program Highlights

15 credit hours |  In-state tuition: $490/credit hour | Out-of-state tuition: $575/credit hour

  • Available in an easily accessible, 100% online format
  •  Interdisciplinary, NASPAA-accredited program based in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program
  • Perfect for working students, military soldiers, full-time employees seeking a career change or enhancement, and others who are place-bound
  • Curriculum uniquely centered on aspects of public administration and economic development, with attention to current public policy issues such as border security, housing, health, emergency management and public safety


Join a NASPAA- (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) Accredited Program 

Urban and regional planning is an interdisciplinary field of study that is essential to the planning and development of settlements and communities. Urban planners engage in a whole range of activities involved with developing policies as well as physical and economic infrastructure of urban areas so they will best support the needs of diverse and growing populations. In doing this, planners must manage resources of all kinds effectively and also be able to plan for both current and future needs of the population.

Graduates of UTEP’s urban and regional planning online certificate will

  •  Acquire core knowledge in economics, demography, law, and administration, and the technology (such as GIS) necessary for planning activities and learn how to apply this knowledge to real-world issues
  • Be qualified to work in any government, nonprofit or professional organization that requires the services of a planner
  • Be prepared to seek additional certifications such as those from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The job outlook for graduates is positive; in addition to proceeding to graduate school for an MPA, many graduates find employment in local and state government and nonprofit organizations, locally, regionally and even internationally.

The UTEP Career Center also provides graduates with resources to help them pursue their career goals.

Work With Accomplished Faculty 

Our faculty are accomplished teachers and mentors who bring a personal touch to online learning. Many of them are frequently published in peer-reviewed journals and students often use free digital texts produced by the faculty and co-authors in their courses. This allows students to have a closer understanding of their professors. Coursework also includes a capstone project paper in which each student is mentored by faculty to analyze and make recommendations to an organization local to the student, regardless of location. Faculty have mentored students in El Paso and other US urban areas but also in cities in Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Turkey, the European Union, Africa and Asia.

Course Overview

Students must complete four elective courses plus one required capstone course for a total of five courses (15 semester credit hours) with a grade of C or better to receive the certificate. 

Regional and Urban Planning Study planning topics associated with satisfying area-wide service needs in urban and regional environments. Topics may include land-use regulations, capital facilities siting, and transportation planning.
Public Policy Process and InstitutionsExplore the history of public administration and the basic issues confronted, both legal and political, the role of bureaucratic expertise in contemporary government and in solving public problems, and public participation in administration.
Urban AdministrationExamine public administration at the level of service delivery with emphasis upon the management of and policy problems facing local agencies.
Intergovernmental RelationsExamine the interrelationships among international, national, state, and/or local governmental institutions in the policy-making, executive, and/or administrative processes. Also discuss the special issue of states and communities situated on international borders.
Selected Problems in Public AdministrationUndertake independent study, research, and writing on a topic agreed upon with the professor. May be repeated for credit up to three times when the topic varies
Comprehensive Integration of Public Administration (Capstone)Demonstrate competency in the area of interest in a professional format.  Design and complete a research project that demonstrates the ability to synthesize and apply relevant knowledge and skills to a public service problem. The capstone course may be aligned with degree requirements.


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