2008 - 2009 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Community and Regional Planning, M.S.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: July 1

Spring: November 1

Applications are reviewed as they are received up through the deadline.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members, planning professionals, and others in a position to evaluate the applicant's past work and/or ability to do graduate work.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

No specific coursework is required for admission. Students must complete an undergraduate or graduate course in Statistics prior to enrolling in C+R PLN 8513: Planning Analysis.  The credits in Statistics do not apply to the M.S. in Community and Regional Planning.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate baccalaureate degree at Temple University.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be approximately 500-1,000 words and should include the following elements: your reason for pursuing a degree in Community and Regional Planning; your interest in Temple's program in particular; and your future career goals.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE/GMAT is required.  A waiver of this requirement may be requested if the applicant has an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25; OR a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 in 9 s.h. of graduate work from an accredited institution completed prior to applying to the M.S. program; OR a graduate degree from an accredited institution in a related discipline.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 550 paper-based, 213 computer-based, or 79 internet-based.

Transfer Credit:

The Community and Regional Planning Admissions Committee recommends the awarding of transfer credits on a case-by-case basis as applications are reviewed.  The student may not receive transfer credit for coursework taken as part of any other awarded graduate degree.  The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 9.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Total Number of Credits Required to Earn the Degree: 45

Required Courses:

Core Courses (18 credits):

C+R PLN 5524:  Spatial Analysis Techniques/Geographic Information Systems

C+R PLN 8013:  Planning History and Theory

C+R PLN 8014:  Planning Politics and Administration

C+R PLN 8016:  Planning Law

C+R PLN 8213:  Environmental Planning

C+R PLN 8513:  Planning Analysis

Capstone Courses (9-12 credits):

C+R PLN 8413: Planning Communications


C+R PLN 9995: Thesis/Project in Planning

C+R PLN 9889:  Planning Studio II

Electives (15-18 credits):

C+R PLN or related courses chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor

Optional Concentrations:

Two transcripted concentrations are available.  Each requires the completion of four classes: two required and two elective.


Required  Courses:

C+R PLN 5256: Sustainable Community Design and Development

C+R PLN 8276: Regional Development

Select one of the following:

C+R PLN 8156: Neighborhoods, Cities, and Regions

C+R PLN 8266: Sustainable Business Practices

C+R PLN 8476: Collaborative Planning

C+R PLN 8755: Introduction to Emergency Management Planning


One other relevant graduate course in consultation with a department advisor


Required Courses:

C+R PLN 8655: Transportation Planning

C+R PLN 8656: Integrated Transportation and Land Use Planning: Context-Sensitive Design Solutions

Select one of the following:

C+R PLN 8276: Regional Development

C+R PLN 8657: Non-motorized Transportation Planning

C+R PLN 8666: Travel Demand Modeling


One other relevant graduate course in consultation with a department advisor

Internship:  A supervised 180-hour internship is required.  The internship emphasizes the acquisition and application of practical skills in planning. Placements are made at public agencies, non-profit institutions, and private firms, with designated onsite and Community and Regional Planning faculty supervisors.  Internships may require interim reports and must culminate in a written report regarding the experience. Students have the option of registering for C+R PLN 9885: Internship in Planning (3 s.h.) for elective credit.  If the student has relevant professional experience, the internship requirement is waived and C+R PLN 9885 may not be taken for credit toward the degree.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Capstone Coursework:

All students must complete C+R PLN 9889:  Planning Studio II (6 s.h.), which involves undertaking a planning project in cooperation with a local or regional client.  Students synthesize the knowledge gained from previous courses in the development of an integrated approach that is appropriate to their project. 

Students must also select the writing intensive class C+R PLN 8413:  Planning Communications (3 s.h.) or C+R PLN 9995:  Thesis/Project in Planning (6 s.h.).

Thesis Option (C+R PLN 9995):

The master's thesis is substantial in length and follows a knowledge-enhancement model, based on planning theory, methodology, and history. Requirements are specified in the Graduate School’s Dissertation and Thesis Handbook.

The student's Master's Committee is responsible for evaluating the thesis and its defense. No thesis should go to defense unless it is ready for public scrutiny. The Committee evaluates the student's ability to express verbally her/his research question, methodological approach, primary findings, and implications. Its members vote to pass or fail the thesis after the conclusion of the public defense. If the student must make revisions, those changes must be approved as arranged by the Committee.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Community and Regional Planning
580 Meetinghouse Road
Ambler, PA 19002


Department Contacts:


Debra Beck

West Hall 200

Program Coordinator:

Deborah Howe, Ph.D.

West Hall 210



Graduate Chairperson:

Deborah Howe, Ph.D.

West Hall 210




Deborah Howe, Ph.D

West Hall 210



About the Program

The Department of Community and Regional Planning offers graduate work leading to the Master of Science degree. The primary purpose of the program is to develop skilled practitioners for the dynamic and growing field of Community and Regional Planning in the government, non-profit, and private sectors. Students develop an understanding of the physical and economic issues of planning; sensitivity to the social and environmental impact of planning decisions; and knowledge of governmental structures as they apply to planning. These skills place students on the front lines of efforts to create and maintain sustainable communities. The program builds on the traditions already established in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture, which has a long history of involvement with land use issues, and the Center for Sustainable Communities.

The Philadelphia suburbs, including those near Ambler in Montgomery County, are experiencing the difficulties associated with population increases: the exponential growth of schools without an adequate tax base; the stress on groundwater and other aspects of the natural environment; the loss of open land to tract housing; the construction of shopping malls and the accompanying decline of small central towns; and the emphasis on the automobile at the expense of public transportation. Community and Regional Planning courses help students develop skills to address these issues by emphasizing the preparation of urban/suburban plans, including data collection; site analysis; and evaluation of location, market, transportation, and environmental factors.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years

Campus Locations:

Ambler, Harrisburg

Required and elective courses are offered in the evening at both campuses.  The program may be completed at either site.  Students may choose to take electives, when available, at other Temple campuses.

Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered after 5 p.m.  Students are able to complete the degree program on a full-time or part-time (8 credit hours or less per semester) basis.  Suggested semester-by-semester course sequences are posted on the department website at www.ambler.temple.edu.

Department Information:

Dept. of Community and Regional Planning
580 Meetinghouse Road
Ambler, PA 19002


Interdisciplinary Study:

Planning is an interdisciplinary inquiry and application.  The curriculum of the program itself is interdisciplinary in nature.


The Department of Community and Regional Planning is affiliated with the Center for Sustainable Communities. The Department is also a member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP).

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


The Community and Regional Planning program has begun the process of seeking accreditation from the Planning Accreditation Board.

Areas of Specialization:

Two optional concentrations are available:  Sustainable Community Planning and Transportation Planning.

Job Placement:

Graduates of the program possess the requisite theoretical and practical skills to address the physical, economic, and social issues of planning. Private, public, and non-profit employment opportunities in planning are strong for graduate degree holders based on current need and projected growth over the next decade.


The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is the professional institute of the American Planning Association (APA). It provides recognized leadership nationwide in the certification of professional planners.  To become a certified planner and be entitled to use the AICP designation, APA members must meet certain educational and experiential requirements and pass a written examination. For details, visit www.planning.org/aicp.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are restricted to taking 5000 or 8000-level Community and Regional Planning courses. A maximum of 9 s.h. can be taken at Temple prior to matriculation.

Financing Opportunities

Research Assistantships and other forms of assistance are available to full-time, matriculated graduate students through the Center for Sustainable Communities. Available graduate student support varies each year. Research Assistants receive a stipend, for which service is required, and a tuition scholarship. Each student performs supervised activities for grant, contract, and research initiatives. Assigned activities are relevant to the student's background and interests and are determined through consultation between the student and her/his supervisor.  Applications for Research Assistantships must include a statement of previous work and/or research experience, areas of interest, and future goals, as well as a curriculum vitae. Request applications from the Director, Center for Sustainable Communities, 580 Meetinghouse Road, Ambler, PA 19002.

Updated 4.30.09