Student Satisfaction and Achievement in the Undergraduate

Urban and Regional Planning Program (AY 2016-17)

The undergraduate Urban and Regional Planning Program at Eastern Michigan University is nationally accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, one of only 16 undergraduate programs in the country to receive this distinction.  Accreditation helps to insure that the program maintains a high level of quality in its curriculum and that graduates are well-prepared with the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully enter into professional planning practice and related fields.

For further information on planning accreditation, visit the Planning Accreditation Board website.

View the EMU catalog and description of the Urban and Regional Planning Program.

 

What Students Say About the Urban and Regional Planning Program 

The mission of the Eastern Michigan University Urban and Regional Planning Program is to facilitate learning and the educational experience in preparing students to engage in careers in urban, regional, and community planning, and related areas.  The undergraduate Urban and Regional Planning Program provides a complete and balanced program for planning students that is focused on the application of planning principles and practices across a range of endeavors.  The program's major emphasis is on teaching and the individual mentoring of students in pursuit of planning knowledge.  Opportunities are available for students to engage in relevant research, professional activities, internships, and community service.  The program is particularly regarded for educating students who are well-prepared to begin professional planning careers immediately upon graduation.

The program regularly surveys its students to gain opinions on the quality of their educational experience.  The most recent survey was conducted in 2012, and 67% of program majors responded.

Student Opinion Survey Percent Agreeing with Statement Overall Rating (scale of 1-5)
The curriculum covers the topics necessary to prepare me for a career in planning. 78% 3.96
I am able to specialize in a planning field/minor of interest to me. 81% 4.19
Planning coursework incorporates opportunities for community engagement. 74% 3.92
The faculty is knowledgeable in a range of planning related fields. 85% 4.35
Information is available on opportunities for student internships and/or jobs after graduation. 83% 4.2

Overall approximately 80% of program students feel that the Urban and Regional Planning Program prepares them to enter into professional planning practice and related fields.

 

Student Achievement

The mission of the Eastern Michigan University Urban and Regional Planning Program is to prepare students to engage in careers in urban planning and related areas.  The program is structured to emphasize the practical application of planning knowledge and skills in addressing community planning concerns.

Effective communication is a fundamental applied skill that the program routinely assesses through three advanced courses that together constitute a focused, culminating experience.  Students are evaluated across a range of written, oral, and graphic assignments rated on a five point scale:

 5) able to appropriately present complex planning matters to a variety of audiences in a clear and concise manner, adept at integrating high-quality graphics with both oral and written presentations

 4) may fall slightly short in one of the four areas assessed (complex information, variety of audiences, clear and concise, integration of graphics), but ability is more than adequate in all areas

 3) able to present necessary planning information clearly and concisely to variety of audiences, graphics may not always be well integrated

 2) able to present basic planning information to most audiences, may be lacking in clarity, graphics not well integrated and may be of uneven quality

 1) basic skills are evident, but marginally so; work may be academically passable, but below program and professional standards

Composite scores are as follows:

Academic Year Average Score Score Range
2013-14 4.3 3.5 - 5
2014-15* 4.5 3.5 - 5
1015-16 4.4 3.5 - 5

*Data are incomplete

The regulatory environment for developing and administering plans is another area that the program assesses through a variety of assignments.  Students must show an understanding of land division processes, zoning requirements, and environmental regulations as these relate to community planning efforts.

Students are evaluated across a number of written assignments, oral presentations, and exams in three advanced courses using a five-point scale:

 5) fully understands and is able to explain complex planning, subdivision, zoning, and environmental requirements to a variety of audiences in a clear and concise manner

 4) may fall slightly short in one of the four areas assessed (plan development, subdivision, zoning, environmental regulations), but ability is more than adequate in all areas

 3) understands and is able to present necessary information clearly and concisely to variety of audiences; various aspects may not always be well integrated

 2) may lack understanding of some details, but able to present basic information to most audiences; information may be lacking in clarity, concepts may not be well integrated, or presentation of information may be of uneven quality

 1) basic skills are evident, but marginally so; work may be academically passable, but below program and professional standards

Composite scores are as follows:

Academic Year Average Score Score range
2013-14 3.7 3.0 - 5
2014-15 4.0 2.5 - 5
2015-16 3.9 1.5 - 5

 

Professional Certification

Although not required for planning practice, many urban planners do become professionally certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).  Among the requirements for AICP certification are a minimum of three years of qualified professional work and passage of a rigorous exam.  According to the most recent exam results released by the AICP (through May, 2015), graduates of the EMU undergraduate Urban and Regional Planning Program have enjoyed a 100% passage rate on the exam since 1999 (the first year graduates of the program were eligible for the AICP exam).  The national average is a 75% pass rate.

Of those graduates who take the exam, 40% pass within five years of graduation, with the remainder taking one to four additional years to pass.  Much of this additional time is spent  gaining further planning experience or acquiring a Masters degree.

Percent of graduates taking the AICP exam and passing within 5 years of graduation, class of 2009-10 no exam takers
Percent of graduates taking the AICP exam and passing within 5 years of graduation, class of 2010-11 100%

View more information about the AICP and the certification process.

 

Student Retention and Graduation

The undergraduate Urban and Regional Planning Program is relatively small with about 30 majors working towards their baccalaureate degrees any given semester.  Typically the program graduates 7-10 students each year.  Planning students that enter Eastern Michigan University as freshmen take an average of five years to graduate, while those who enter as transfer students generally take three years to complete all remaining degree requirements. 

Academic Year 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Total Students 56 55 47 54 37 32 29 32
Degrees Awarded 13 10 6 17 7 7 11 n/a
Retention Rate 82% 83% 80% 65% 80% 76% 44% n/a
New Students 25 22 13 15 12 9 12 23
6 Year Graduation Rate 72% 64% 31% 47% n/a n/a n/a n/a

 

Cost of Attending Eastern Michigan University

The Urban and Regional Program has no special fees associated with it beyond what it costs to attend the university.  These costs are estimated below for the 2016-17 academic year for the typical Urban and Regional Planning student taking 12 credit hours per semester.

Michigan/Ohio Residents   Out-of-State
Tuition & Fees: $4,877.60   Tuition & Fees: $11,474.60

View more detailed information on EMU tuition and fees

 

Post Graduation Employment Rates

Based on a 2016 alumni survey 38% of program graduates found work in urban planning or a closely related field, while another 13% found work that is somewhat related to planning or that makes use of the knowledge and skills they learned as planning majors.  Approximately 28% are employed in fields unrelated to urban planning.

Additionally, nearly 22% of program graduates go on to do graduate work in planning and related fields at a variety of universities such as the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, Lawrence Technological University, Portland State University, and Morgan State University, in addition to Eastern Michigan University.

23% of program graduates had a job offer prior to graduation and another 57% were employed within a year of graduation.  The remaining 20% found employment, but took more than a year to do so.