Trinity College will begin offering Connecticut’s first Master of Arts Degree in Urban Planning in fall 2023.
“There isn’t another program like this in the state of Connecticut,” said Garth A. Myers, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies and director of Trinity’s Center for Urban and Global Studies (CUGS).
Trinity faculty members identified a need to better equip in-state candidates with the qualifications needed for high-level jobs in city planning offices. “The state has 169 towns, and they all have planning offices. Our graduates will be competitive in that market,” Myers said. “For people who want to become urban planners in Connecticut, Trinity is in the middle of the state and has talented faculty members with experience in the field.”
The new master’s degree program will provide students with professional training and expertise through a curriculum that meets the American Planning Association’s Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) standard.
Building on Trinity’s graduate certificate program in urban planning that was introduced in fall 2020, the master’s program is aligned with Trinity’s mission to prepare bold, independent thinkers to lead transformative lives and take on some of the world’s biggest challenges.
Myers said that graduate students in Trinity’s newest program will help address issues that cities face now and in the future. “In the Greater Hartford area, we have transportation issues, housing issues, environmental issues—all of these are addressed in our courses,” he said. “Also crucial is that we look at community development and inequality, giving people grounding in what creates those situations, and giving them useful tools in planning for the transportation future.”
The course content will go well beyond Hartford. “We want to connect Trinity to Hartford and Hartford to the world,” Myers said. “My course called ‘Global Studio’ includes a Hartford and Connecticut unit, a U.S. cities unit, and a global unit, examining what planning looks like around the world, what planners do, and how can we address different issues. It’s not enough to address the problems of a specific neighborhood, so we look at the whole system across the country and globally. This takes advantage of Trinity’s global strengths. I’m excited to have this master’s hosted in Trinity’s Center for Urban and Global Studies because it’s combining urban and global issues.”
In addition to Myers, the faculty for the program includes Assistant Professor of Urban Studies Laura Humm Delgado, who holds a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning, and professors of the practice who share insights from years of job experience. “I would like to add even more faculty focused in transportation, housing, and global climate change and sustainability issues,” Myers said. “CUGS and this program are linked with other Trinity departments; we depend on them and share resources with them. There is lots of collaborative energy on campus across departments and programs.”
The M.A. in urban planning consists of 12 course credits. Students will take four core courses, four required courses, and three courses toward a concentration, in addition to completing a thesis or final project. Urban planning graduate students will have opportunities to pursue internships with city planning offices and projects focused on learning how to do research. Full-time students should expect to complete the degree requirements in two years, Myers said, after which they may take the certification exam from the American Institute of Certified Planners. Course descriptions are available here.
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