ASU's planning program ranks in top 25 nationally

October 28, 2014

In a report released this month, ASU’s Master of Urban and Environmental Planning program ranked in the top 25 graduate planning programs in the country for 2014.

ASU's planning program, offered through the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, placed 25th out of 97 U.S. graduate programs listed in the Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs released by Planetizen, a leading online network for urban planning news, commentary and resources. photo of ASU's Coor Hall Download Full Image

The ranking takes into account 29 indicators that encompass program characteristics, such as course offerings, financial aid and student retention, as well as faculty achievement and diversity. Student characteristics, such as academic records of incoming students, acceptance rate and student employment rates after graduation, also contribute to a school’s ranking.

In compiling the rankings, Planetizen gathered data from the planning programs, and it collected surveys from over 1,800 practitioners, educators and current and recent graduate students. The opinion surveys aimed to ensure that a school's reputation in the field and the industry factored into its ranking.

Elizabeth Wentz, director of ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, said the ranking awarded to the master’s program in urban and environmental planning reflected the program's strength and its expanding recognition in the field.

"ASU's place in the list shows that industry practitioners and academics view the program as one of the best in the country," said Wentz. "It's an exciting development for our school to be recognized alongside high-caliber programs such as those at MIT, UC Berkeley and UCLA," Wentz added.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) took the No. 1 ranking for graduate urban planning programs. Among other programs in the top 10 were those at the University of California Berkeley, the University of California Los Angeles, Harvard University, Rutgers University and the University of Illinois (Urbana- Champaign).

ASU's ranking this year marked the planning program's entry into the top 25 programs for the first time.

ASU's graduate planning program is situated in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, and it lies in close proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border and to numerous Native American reservation communities.

Students can pursue specializations in community development, economic development, environment/sustainability planning, housing, land use/physical planning, international development, transportation planning and urban design. There are opportunities for study abroad in Canada, Mexico, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is an independent ranking. The guide aims to serve as a tool for students to evaluate graduate options in the field and as a resource for those interested in urban planning education.

The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Wynne Mancini,
School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning

Barbara Trapido-Lurie

research professional senior, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning


Joint venture expands ASU-China partnership

October 28, 2014

ASU announces Biodesign Center in China

Arizona State University and China’s Shandong University announced a joint venture Tuesday to focus on “bio-inspired” cancer and vaccine research, water and air purification systems and advanced explorations of nanotechnology. President Crow in China President Crow in China Download Full Image

ASU President Michael Crow announced the collaboration on a Biodesign Center to be based in the Chinese port city of Qingdao. It is part of ASU's continued effort to deepen and expand research and related initiatives across China.

“This cooperative effort is what being the ‘New American University’ is all about: engaging globally and deeply with top research institutions in China to achieve amazing things, not only now, but in the many years to come,” Crow said.

Shandong University’s Biodesign Center will be modeled after the ASU Biodesign Institute in Tempe, where researchers work to develop commercially viable health care, sustainability and security solutions by studying how the natural world is designed and how it functions.

“By joining forces with Shandong University, we wish to establish a major Chinese expansion of this vision as part our strategic, long-term commitment to using nature’s design rules to meet some of the world’s most pressing problems,” said Raymond DuBois, executive director of ASU’s Biodesign Institute.

The announcement comes in the middle of a weeklong trip to China for Crow and an ASU delegation that includes Sethuraman Panchanathan, ASU’s senior vice president for Knowledge and Enterprise Development; Richard T. Myers, treasurer of the Arizona Board of Regents; and Denis Fred Simon, Crow’s senior adviser for China and Global Affairs. Simon is a 30-year veteran of working in China on technology and business issues.

In addition to Qingdao, Crow visited China’s capital Beijing Monday, and will travel to western China to the city of Chengdu later this week. There, he will meet with the president of Sichuan University to discuss a new joint training program between Sichuan and ASU’s School of Public Affairs, focusing on disaster and crisis management.

ASU works with more than 10 of China’s top universities as well as the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The university’s programs in China include the Global Decision Theater Alliance, the Center for American Culture and an executive MBA program under the auspices of the Chinese Ministry of Finance.

ASU also sponsors international accelerated degree programs which allow students from China to complete three years of undergraduate work before coming to ASU for two years of graduate study. They earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the end of the program.

And there are more than 3,000 Chinese students at ASU, representing the largest contingent among the university's international students.

ASU and Shandong University are evolving a long-term strategic, academic and collaborative research and development partnership. The Biodesign Center in Qingdao will allow experts at both universities to collaborate in research on chronic disease, the search for new sources of energy and ways to help people affected by natural disasters or acts of war.

“Shandong University is proud of the close, long-term cooperation we have formed with Arizona State University over the years,” said Shandong University President Zhang Rong. “And we are only just beginning. Shandong University looks forward to future collaboration with ASU across a broad spectrum of subject areas and cooperative formats.”

That collaboration extends to the Chinese city in which the Biodesign Center will be located: Qingdao.

“We have determined that the two core focal points for Qingdao's future development will be design and biosciences,” said Qingdao’s Vice Mayor, Wang Guangzheng. “The development of the ASU-SDU strategic partnership in biodesign fits perfectly with the city's key priorities.”