Message from the Chair
The United Nations reports that in 2050, another 2.5 billion people will be added to urban areas around the globe. Managing this growth and change requires an understanding of several inter-connected systems, to preserve and enhance community life, protect the environment, and promote equity. We engage issues affecting where people live, work and play; where they shop and receive medical attention; how they get from place to place; what communities look like; how communities work and how we use our resources. This is exciting and challenging work.
The Urban Affairs and Planning (UAP) program at Virginia Tech has a rich tradition of bachelors, masters, and doctoral level education. We emphasize a practical, hands-on approach that reaches across disciplinary and professional boundaries. Our students learn how to understand ‘places’ and policy at a range of scales – from neighborhoods to mega-regions, in the U.S. and around the world. Our faculty have degrees from the finest planning schools and conduct cutting-edge research.
Our primary degree offerings are:
Public and Urban Affairs (PUA)
The bachelor of arts in public and urban affairs is an interdisciplinary social science degree with a professional focus. It offers students interested in urban issues and public policy the opportunity to study these areas within a liberal arts tradition, and also to develop pre-professional skills in planning, policy analysis, and public management. Faculty members with backgrounds in economics, environmental studies, geography, history, sociology, law, political science, planning, and engineering work together to provide students with a sound understanding of how communities (large and small) work, and how to facilitate positive change within them.
Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP)
The bachelor of science in environmental policy and planning is a university-wide interdisciplinary degree focusing on one of the critical challenges facing society: managing human interaction with the natural environment while protecting important natural systems. Majors learn to apply the social sciences, planning, policy, the natural and physical sciences, ethics, and the humanities to environmental problem solving. In addition to receiving this grounding in the liberal arts tradition, the curriculum provides pre-professional skills in oral and written communications, computer applications, planning and policy analysis, and problem solving to prepare students for meaningful employment.
Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP)
The MURP is a two-year (48 credit hour) interdisciplinary professional degree open to students from a wide variety of undergraduate fields. Offered in two locations: the main campus in Blacksburg and in Old Town Alexandria (National Capital Region), the program’s mission is to prepare students to become professional planners who can address the economic, environmental and social consequences of growth and change; and to provide leadership in fostering a more just and sustainable world through our teaching, scholarship and service. The program is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.
Planning, Governance & Globalization (PGG)
The doctoral program in Planning, Governance & Globalization is a spin-off from the Environmental Design and Planning (EDP) Ph.D. Program in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Initiated in 1975, the EDP program (now Urban & Environmental Design & Planning, or UEDP) has grown in size and also in specializations. The UEDP track is supported by faculty in Urban Affairs and Planning with several thematic areas related to urban and regional development.
140 Otey St NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Mail Code: 0520
1021 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314