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Masters in planning receives 7-year accreditation

November 04, 2011

The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning learned on Oct. 27 that the Planning Accreditation Board granted a 7-year accreditation to the Master of Urban and Environmental Planning (MUEP) program. This is the longest term possible under the Board’s rules, and is based on the program’s “exemplary record”, according to Isaac Heard, Jr., AICP and chair of the Planning Accreditation Board.

On the same day, the ASU administration informed the school that its proposal to offer a doctorate degree in urban planning had been approved. Application to the program will be available very soon, with a goal of admitting doctoral students in fall 2012.

“These are both very exciting developments,” says David Pijawka, planning professor and director of the school’s planning program.

Pijawka says that the positive decision of the Planning Accreditation Board can be attributed the quality of its students and their satisfaction with the program, the faculty’s productivity in research and scholarship, outreach with the professional community, and collaboration between the planning program and other groups within the university.

The program’s accreditation review has been a year-long process that included an extensive self-study prepared by the planning program’s faculty and staff, as well as a visit by a PAB-selected review team that met with faculty, administrators, students and local planning professionals. As the final step, Pijawka and school director Luc Anselin met with the Planning Accreditation Board in October.

The accreditation decision “reflects that we are producing the next generation of top-notch planners who will be leaders both locally and nationally,” Pijawka says.

Pijawka says that the integration of the planning and geography programs into the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, created in May 2009, is bringing valuable synergies. “The combined resources of the two programs will be a real asset to the new doctoral program.”