B.S. in Urban Planning and Design

Urban design is the process by which cities, towns, and villages are shaped, with the goal of making urban areas functional, attractive, and sustainable. It unites all the built environment professions, including urban planning, landscape architecture, architecture, civil and municipal engineering, and focuses on the design, quality, character, and appearance of places. Urban planning is the process concerned with the use of land and design of the urban environment, including air, water, and infrastructure networks. It guides and ensures the orderly development of communities, and concerns itself with research and analysis, strategic thinking, policy recommendations, implementation, and management.

The major in Urban Planning and Design (971, 971D) combines these two processes to provide students with a sharper focus on city design, community development, GIS and graphic communication, as well as planning practice.

Prior to Fall 2019: 971 curriculum sheet | 971D curriculum sheet

Fall 2019 and later: 971 curriculum sheet | 971D curriculum sheet

Download the Urban Planning and Design Learning Goals

Urban Planning and Design Suggested Course Sequence

SAS Students (971)

The Urban Planning and Design (UPD) major is sequence-dependent. To prepare students for two capstone design studios during their final undergraduate year, the curriculum builds knowledge and skills in urban planning and design over the preceding two semesters. The required sequence of courses is listed below. Please note that the capstone courses, Planning and Design Studio I and II are only offered consecutively in the fall and spring semester. Because all required courses are sequenced, it is important that a student develop an academic plan with their Bloustein major advisor when they declare the Urban Planning & Design major.

SAS students seeking to declare the Urban Planning & Design major must apply for admission to the major prior to declaring it. SEBS students wishing to declare Urban Planning & Design as their second major should contact the Bloustein School’s Office of Student and Academic Services at ugadmissions@ejb.rutgers.edu.

Students can apply during one of our application cycles listed here

As a credit intensive major, Urban Planning and Design does not require declared students to complete a minor. However, students may benefit from completing a minor and this option should be discussed with the Bloustein School major advisor while developing their academic plan. In addition, if choosing a minor, students are encouraged to meet with the Urban Planning and Design Program Coordinator for career advice.

To ensure degree completion by their anticipated graduation date, students are advised to declare the UPD major no later than the first semester of their junior year. However, students must start planning their scheduled set of courses with a Bloustein advisor during the first semester of sophomore year. SAS students may pursue Urban Planning and Design as their first major and remain within SAS. 

Only courses with “C” or better may be counted towards the major, and students must complete the Core Curriculum requirements of their primary school. The degree is awarded jointly by the Bloustein School and SAS.

Applicants must have achieved a minimum grade of “C” or better in each of the pre-requisite courses and be in good academic standing.


Prerequisites (6-7 cr)

  • 355:101 Expository Writing (3)
  • 775:205 Basic Statistical Methods (3-4) or equivalent (see approved equivalent statistics courses in Degree Navigator)

Transfer (Direct Admit) Students (971D)

Students seeking the Urban Planning and Design major must have at least 30 credits before applying to the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Successful applicants will have completed the prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or better, and have achieved an overall GPA of at least 2.50.

Current Rutgers students seeking a school-to-school transfer from another Rutgers unit, or students transferring to Rutgers from another college or university, must apply via the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. For a school-to-school transfer visit here. If you are transferring from outside of Rutgers, apply here. Contact ugadmissions@ejb.rutgers.edu for more information.

Transfer students from New Jersey community colleges are encouraged to complete the prerequisite courses and the associate’s degree in order to benefit from the NJ Statewide Transfer Agreement.

This program is designed to accommodate the needs of transfer, adult and nontraditional students. For more information, please visit https://bloustein.rutgers.edu/undergraduate/nts/

Only courses with “C” or better may be counted towards program requirements. Upon completing the major, all General Education requirements, and a minimum of 30 credits at Rutgers (12 within the Bloustein School) with at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA, the student will receive the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from the Bloustein School.

Prerequisites (6-7 cr)

  • 355:101 Expository Writing (3)
  • 200-level or higher statistics course (3-4)

Contact ugadmissions@ejb.rutgers.edu for more information.

Starting Fall 2023, Introduction to Urban Planning and Design (10:971 or 762:201) or Environmental Design Analysis (11:550:230) will be the prerequisite course for the following:

  • History and Theory of Urban Planning and Design (10:971:318)
  • Methods of Planning Analysis (10:971:395)
  • Advanced Graphics Communications (10:971:403)
  • Environmental Law and Policy (10:971, 762, and 833:463)
  • Transportation Planning (10:762 or 971:472)

Urban Planning and Design (971 and 971D) Major Requirements (51 cr) 

*Effective Summer 2023*

  • One of the following:
    • 971:201 Introduction to Urban Planning and Design (3)
    • 550:230 Environmental Design Analysis (3)
  • 971:202 Designing Healthy Cities (3)
  • 971:250 Introduction to GIS (3)
  • 971:314 Graphic Communication for Planning (3)
  • 971:315 Fundamentals of Urban Planning & Design (3) – Pre or Corequisite 971:314
  • 971:316 Introduction to Site Planning and Urban Design (3) – Prerequisites 971:201, 971:314, and 971:315 (open to majors and minors only)
  • 971:318 History and Theory of Urban Planning & Design (3) – open to majors and minors only 
  • One of the following:
    • 762:307 Community Development (3)
    • 762:413 Urban Revitalization (3)
  • 762:472 Transportation Planning (3)
  • 971:463 Environmental Law and Policy (3)
  • 971:395 Methods of Planning Analysis (3) – (open to majors and minors only)
  • 971:403 Advanced Graphic Communication (3) – Prerequisite 971:314 (open to majors and minors only)
  • 971:404 Planning and Design Studio I (3) – Prerequisites 971:316, 971:403 (open to majors only – Seniors)
  • 971:405 Planning and Design Studio II (3) – Prerequisite 971:404 (open to majors only – Seniors)
  • Three, 3-credit electives (9 cr total) – see approved list in Degree Navigator

Joint BA or BS/MCRP  Program

Exceptional, well-prepared students who wish to pursue graduate studies in Urban Planning are encouraged to seek advising about the  3-1-1 Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) program.


To learn about opportunities for majors in Urban Planning and Design, click here.