The Master of Science in City and Regional Planning at Pratt
Pratt Institute offers a Master of Science Degree in City and Regional Planning through its top ranked School of Architecture. Pratt Institute is one of the oldest and best design schools in the nation. The institute is located in New York City, the world's art capital where students have the opportunity to live in a city replete with museums, galleries, and numerous examples of world-class architecture.
The School of Architecture at Pratt has an "ecological" approach that encourages feedback relationships among industry, manufacturing, political agencies, theoretical studies, and other categories and disciplines that are newly emerging in contemporary culture. It seeks to expose students to contemporary debates and issues in architecture.
The City and Regional Planning Program prides itself on its diverse student body, a professional and practicing faculty, skill-building internships, and a range of course offerings and concentrations. In addition to the Master of Science degree, planning students at Pratt may pursue a joint M.S. Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School.
The Academic Plan
Since its inception 50 years ago, the City and Regional Planning Program has provided an education that emphasizes practice over theory, participatory planning over top-down policy making, and advocacy over technocracy.
At Pratt, the accredited Master of Science in City and Regional Planning degree requires 60 credits. The schedule of classes allows prospective students to enter in fall or spring and complete their studies in 2 or 3 years.
The core program of required courses (in the first half of study) allows students to develop an understanding of community development, land use, and sustainability issues. Electives and studios (in the second half of study) allow students to either hone or broaden their skills and knowledge. Through a Demonstration of Professional Competence, students must prove their analytical and creative capacity to deal with an advanced problem in planning. The Demonstration may be a project related to a specific course, an employment-related performance, a thesis that makes an original contribution to the field, or a documentary film.
Students in the City and Regional Planning Program gain real-world work experience through internships. The program guarantees that virtually every student will have an opportunity to serve either an unpaid, for-credit internship, or a paid internship for which he or she will not receive credit.
Organizations providing student internships include the New York Industrial Retention Network and the Project for Public Spaces. NYIRN is the city's leading advocate and technical assistance provider for industry, and a national leader in studying and advocating green construction and industry. PPS -- with projects all around the world -- is the nation's leading proponent of "placemaking," "traffic calming," public markets, and more.
All of the planning studios are inter-disciplinary. As well as graduate students from City and Regional Planning, studios draw students from the other 3 planning programs in the Graduate Architecture department: Sustainable Environmental Systems, Facilities Management, and Historic Preservation. The studios tackle real-life planning challenges, usually in connection with projects under the auspices of the Pratt Center for Community Development or another advocacy organization.
An Array of Professional Concentrations in City and Regional Planning
To promote specialized and/or interdisciplinary study, half the credits in the City and Regional Planning Program come from elective seminars and studios. While this is not a program requirement, each student may focus on one of 4 professional concentrations, each of which has its own faculty coordinator. These are community development and advocacy; environmental planning and policy; physical planning and urbanism; and preservation planning and livable cities.
The Community Development and Advocacy Concentration
Students in this group focus on strengthening healthy locations and revitalizing distressed ones. They learn to regulate land use with neighborhood quality of life in mind; to develop affordable housing; to strengthen businesses in order to retain jobs; and to enhance urban environments through design and amenities. This concentration encourages students to conduct directed research and/or complete internships at civic- and community-based organizations in New York City's 5 boroughs.
The Environmental Planning and Policy Concentration
Students concentrating on environmental planning learn how to promote the preservation and development of sustainable communities. Students' studies address the urban problems of air, water, and noise pollution, as well as brownfields (regions contaminated by hazardous substances). Students concentrating on this topic test the impact of infrastructure projects and property development; they also promote the principles of environmental justice.
The Physical Planning and Urbanism Concentration
Students concentrating on this topic develop an understanding of the interplay among physical, social, cultural, and economic considerations in creating viable physical development patterns for diverse neighborhoods and contexts. Rather than emphasizing pure design, this concentration focuses on experience of place and programming. Students learn from leading New York professionals who serve as Urban Design Fellows. Students may also enroll in fifth-year Undergraduate Architecture seminars, which provide a wealth of electives.
The Preservation Planning and Livable Cities Concentration
Students focusing on this topic learn to integrate historic preservation in the wider context of urbanism, real estate development, and sustainability. The National Council for Preservation Education recognizes this concentration.
A Top Faculty of Practicing Professionals and Distinguished Educators
At Pratt, the graduate department of City and Regional Planning has a strong faculty of distinguished educators, researchers, and practicing architects and planners. For example, Professor Ayse Yonder has worked in community development, disaster mitigation, gender issues, and informal land and housing markets in developing countries. She exhibited at the World Urban Forum in Vancouver, Canada, with examples from around the world that highlight the importance of securing public spaces for grassroots women's organizing.
Serving Disadvantaged Neighborhoods: The Pratt Center for Community Development
The Pratt Center is one of the nation's foremost university-based research and technical assistance organizations in the service of disadvantaged communities. A number of City and Regional Planning courses relate to Pratt Center projects, and many planning students intern at the Pratt Center. Center services include identifying community needs and workable strategies; providing testimony and staging events designed to inform groups and officials about community challenges and opportunities; researching, making recommendations for action, and providing advocacy to advance community plans; and organizing neighborhood-to-regional coalitions in order to advance specific policy recommendations.
Degrees & Awards
|Master's Degree Requirements||Writing sample, bachelor's degree, transcripts, letters of recommendation, portfolio|
TOEFL Paper score: 575
TOEFL IBT score: 90
Tuition & Fees
|Financial award applicants must submit:||FAFSA|
|Application deadlines for financial awards||February 1|
|Types of financial support available||
Health Care Benefits
Scholarship and/or loans
|Black or African American||12.5%|
|White or Caucasian||37%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||Not Reported|
|Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander||Not Reported|
|Two or more races||4.17%|
|Focus of faculty research:||Advocacy planning, community development, comprehensive physical planning, transportation planning, real estate development|
|Externally sponsored research expenditures last year:||0|