PhD in Regional Planning

Your Courses: Area of Specialization

Theory  |   Methods  |   Area of Specialization


You are required to take a minimum of 16 credit hours, consisting of 8 approved hours in Urban and Regional Planning at the 500 level to define the specialization (could be from list of examples or defined by faculty advisors) and 8 approved hours in theoretical frameworks, complementary fields, planning methods, or other courses that contribute to your capacity for advanced research and teaching in the specialization.

Your advisor, other faculty members in your specialization, and the Ph.D. Program Director will guide you in selecting coherent sets of courses appropriate to your goals and dissertation plans. Students in the same area of specialization do not necessarily take the identical set of courses because they might prefer different theoretical frameworks, planning methods, or complementary fields. Hence, the three examples below merely illustrate coherent sets of courses, not specific course requirements.

Example One: Community Development

UP 517: Community Studies Theory

4 hours

Covers main currents of thought and paradigms in community studies and development. Focuses on theories of community definition and functioning, building and sustaining community, and the impact of societal change on community processes.Same as HCD 531 and SOC 574.

UP 533: Community in American Society

4 hours

Classic U. S. community studies are paired with current journal articles to examine how people in rural, suburban, and urban places go about making, maintaining or losing "community" in the context of societal change. The community studies provide a window on change at the local level including: urbanization, suburbanization, ethnic group interactions, inner-city poverty concentration, household structure variation, economic restructuring, and environmental impacts. Community studies are also critically evaluated both theoretically and as a research strategy.Same as SOC 572 and HCD 533. Prerequisite UP 517.

UP 535: Local Policy and Immigration

4 hours

Explores major issues confronting urban planners working in highly diverse communities that are undergoing rapid demographic, economic, social, and cultural change. Focuses specifically on planning and policy making in communities with large numbers of immigrants, particularly in cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Europe.

HCD 543: Ethnography Urban Communities

4 hours

Addresses substantive, theoretical, methodological, and policy issues within the field of urban community studies. Focusing primarily on African American urban communities, with comparisons to other racial-ethnic group communities (e.g. Euro-American, Latino, immigrant), ethnographic case studies are used to explore community processes (formation, ghettoization, gentrification, transnationalism), their relationship to historical, economic, social, and political factors, and how these processes are influences by ethnicity, class, gender and developmental cycle. Attention will also be given to how empirical studies can be used to inform public policies affecting urban communities. Interdisciplinary readings draw primarily from anthropology, education, and sociology. Same as HCD 543 and SOC 578.

Example Two:
Land Use

UP 546: Land Use Policy and Planning

2 or 4 hrs

Examines a variety of approaches to land use policy and planning, from both a theoretical and an applied perspective. Explores different values in American land use policy, recent evolution of land use policy.

UP 547: Growth Management and Regional Planning

4 hours

Explores the application of growth management tools at various levels of government, including political histories, regulatory techniques, administrative procedures, and relative effectiveness.

UP 583: Environmental History of Cities and Regions

4 hours

Explores the reciprocal relationship between human settlement and ecology as a basis for planned change. Combines scientific and historical accounts of ecosystems; analyzes the historical interaction of land use change and the ecology of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Focuses on Illinois and the Midwest; includes role of Native Americans and European settlers in midwestern ecosystems and the importance of gender and race in examining society and ecological change.

UP 519: Advanced Applications of GIS

4 hours

Advanced course in geographic information systems emphasizing application of GIS to problems involving spatial analysis. Building upon fundamental concepts, students learn to use GIS software frequently found in planning practice. Also prepares students to use GIS in research requiring management and analysis of geographic data. Extensive use of computing workstations. Prerequisite: UP 418 or consent of instructor.

UP 585: Advanced Modeling in Planning

4 hours

Seminar on formal models used to analyze planning problems and planning behavior. Includes static and dynamic, linear and non-linear, and deterministic and stochastic optimization models. Derivations of models and methods for solution treated in depth, but the emphasis is on applications to planning problems such as transportation, land use, and environmental management. Specific themes change from year to year. Prerequisite: UP 505 and UP 508, or consent of instructor.

Example Three:
Regional Development

UP 552: Regional Development Theory

4 hours

Covers fundamental concepts and theories of regional economic development including export base, neoclassical and endogenous growth, regional convergence, core-periphery, interregional trade, product cycle, industrial districts, entrepreneurship, and regional innovation systems theories. Also discusses policy and planning frameworks for applying regional theory to spatial development problems. Same as ACE 552.

UP 553: Topics in Regional Development

2 hours

Examines current regional economic development research topics, methodological issues, and policy debates. The course focuses on research design, and students identify questions and effective approaches for their own research papers. Same as ACE 553.

UP 554: Federal Programs and Regional Development

2 hours

Establishes the foundation for better policy research in student projects, theses, dissertations, and journal articles. Students analyze federal programs of their choice, determine where funds are being spent, identify gaps in the scholarly and evaluation literatures, assess new ideas Congress is considering, and propose future research. Covers information sources, data bases, analytical techniques, mapping, and other necessary program analysis skills. Same as ACE 554.

UP 556: Regional Science Methods

4 hours

Examines models of regional growth and development, including export base, input-output and econometric, cohort component and spatial interaction; emphasizes socioeconomic impact analysis and forecasting subnational economic and demographic change. Same as UP 556. Prerequisite: UP 506 or consent of instructor.