Course Descriptions

Regional science … concerns the careful and patient study of social problems with regional or spatial dimensions, employing diverse combinations of analytical and empirical research.

- Walter Isard

The Sustainable Urban Planning Program offers a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree consisting of 48 credits, including a common curriculum composed of 10 courses - plus a track in either Climate Change Management and Policy or Sustainable Landscapes. In addition, the program offers Graduate Certificates in Sustainable Urban Planning and Climate Change Management and Policy tailored to students who are not in need of a complete master’s degree. The complete sequence of classes required for the masters degree is offered each calendar year - including the summer - and students are welcome to take classes on either a full- or part-time schedule.  The MPS degree is structured as follows:

Common Curriculum   

PSUS 6201 - Principles of Sustainable Urban Planning (3 credits) is an introductory planning history and theory course that examines the “triple bottom line” of economic, environmental, and social sustainability. It is a reading- and discussion-intensive seminar wherein students actively debate the concept of sustainability with the goal of forming their own ideas about its meaning and implications. Instructor: Andrew Bernish, AICP.
PSUS 6202 - Urban and Environmental Economics (3 credits) is concerned with the application of neoclassical economics to problems faced by practitioners of the field of sustainable urban and regional planning. It develops a set of analytical methods for understanding urban and environmental challenges and their solutions; urban growth; environmental quality; public policy; and more. Instructor: John Carruthers, Ph.D.
PSUS 6203 - Research Methods I: Geospatial and Econometric Analysis (3 credits) is focused on developing proficiency in geographic information systems (GIS) and econometric analysis, a method of statistical analysis for measuring the relationships at work in socioeconomic phenomena. The course teaches how to build an analyze spatial datasets, specifically using ArcGIS and Stata. Instructor: Mesbah Motamed, Ph.D.

PSUS 6204 - Legal Frameworks (3 credits) addresses the legal environment in which planners operate. The course gives detailed attention to the implementation of innovative design techniques, urban adaptation strategies, and public-private partnerships. Instructor: Trisha Miller, J.D.

PSUS 6210 - Transportation Planning in City Systems (3 credits) is about transportation planning with long-run goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in mind. It delineates the role of planning - at local and regional scales - within the broader frame of transportation engineering and provides a basis for engaging in this increasingly complex and interdisciplinary dimension of urbanization. Instructor: John Thomas, Ph.D.

PSUS 6211 - Land Use and Agricultural Economics  (3 credits) explores the economics of land use patterns and land development processes in the United States and elsewhere in the world. It also provides an introduction to the field of agricultural economics and examines food deserts and other food-related problems relevant to the field of sustainable urban planning. Instructor: Mesbah Motamed, Ph.D.

PSUS 6212 - Sustainable Communities I: Housing and Design  (3 credits) addresses community development with special attention given to the policy arena and the various sectors of interest that impact contemporary urbanization. Along the way, a number of special topics - including water supply, food deserts, public health, urban resilience, and more - are introduced. Instructor: John Thomas, Ph.D.

PSUS 6213 - Research Methods II: Advanced Geospatial and Econometric Analysis (3 credits) builds on skills developed PSUS 6203 via the application of advanced research methods - namely econometric and geospatial analysis - in the field of sustainable urban and regional planning. It emphasizes objectivity and involves using the scientific method to form defensible, evidence-based policy. Instructor: John Carruthers, Ph.D.

PSUS 6230 - Studio in Sustainable Urban Planning  (3 credits) is an applied course, trained on the nexus of urban design and neighborhood health impact assessment. It addresses both new and existing urban environments and is grounded in pragmatic approaches to real-world problem solving. Instructor: Sandra Whitehead, Ph.D.

PSUS 6233 - Capstone in Sustainable Urban Planning (3 credits) forms a final project completed by each student taking the MPS in Sustainable Urban Planning. It is individualized in nature and is intended to demonstrate a rounded mastery of knowledge and skills gained in the program. Instructor: John Carruthers, Ph.D.

Climate Change Management and Policy Track

PSUS 6221 - Planning Resilient and Low-carbon Cities (3 credits) is a course with an international perspective on urban planning for - and in - a warmer future, brought about by climate change induced by greenhouse gas emissions. It is taught with reference to the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and considers how urbanization around the world must adapt to the reality of global warming and its consequences. Instructor: Anthony Bigio.

PSUS 6222 - Sustainable Building: Energy Demand, Efficiency, and Supply (3 credits) develops an understanding of the energy use in built environments with an emphasis on fundamental drivers of energy demand, strategies to promote energy efficiency, and essential features of energy supply. It examines the relationship between energy demand and supply in development - and addresses how advances in construction technology can help to counter greenhouse gas emissions. Instructor: Chris Pyke, Ph.D.

PSUS 6223 - Sustainable Communities II: Tools for Assessment and Transformation (3 credits) builds on PSUS 6212 by further detailing the theory and tools relevant to the assessment and transformation of neighborhood and communities. It makes use of geospatial analysis to explore the fundamental drivers of urban form, advanced transportation systems, theories of change, and various impact assessment tools used to inform policy implementation. Instructor: Chris Pyke, Ph.D.

PSUS 6224 - Sustainable Energy for Cities and the Environment (3 credits) covers resource management and renewable energy technologies. It looks at the vulnerabilities of existing urban structures - particularly the energy grid - and explores both the implications of, and solutions to, energy-related problems likely to arise in cities of the present and future. Instructor: Scott Sklar.

PSUS 6231 - The Scientific Basis of Climate Change (3 credits) introduces the science that underlies climate change policy and decision making. It is a course designed for non-scientists that provides a rigorous treatment of earth systems, climate change projections, the need for mitigation, and impact assessment. Instructor: Rachael Jonassen, Ph.D.

PSUS 6235 - Advanced Topics  (3 credits) is a special topics banner that is used, as needed, for new and/or specialized course offerings. It is also used to provide course credit for independent studies and internships.

Sustainable Landscapes Track

This concentration is a subset for courses offered in the Landscape Design Program, and consists of the following sequence:
PSUS 6260 Intro to Sustainable Design (2 credits)
PSUS 6261 Ecology of the Built Environment (2 credits)
PSUS 6262 Tools for Sustainable Design (3 credits)
PSUS 6264 Native Plants I  (2 credits)
PSUS 6265 Native Plants II (1 credit)
PSUS 6268 Sustainable Design Methods (2 credits)
PSUS 6269 Sustenance and the Landscape (2 credits)
PSUS 6266 Ecological Restoration (1 credit)
PSUS 6270 Sustainable Design Charrette
 (3 credits)

For course descriptions, see:

The two certificate programs consist of six courses - a sequence of four required courses and two electives. Those enrolled in the Sustainability Urban Planning Certificate must take PSUS 6201, PSUS 6202, PSUS 6210, and PSUS 6211 - plus two electives; those enrolled in the Climate Change Certificate must take PSUS 6221, PSUS 6222, PSUS 6224, PSUS 6231 - plus two electives. The purpose of electives is to facilitate flexibility and cross-pollination between the two concentrations and the common curriculum.


可持续城市规划项目提供专业研究硕士学位。 该学位课程设置为48学时, 其中10门课程为核心课程, 外加气候变化管理与政策或可持续景观专业方向课程。 另外, 对于不想要完成硕士学位要求的学生, 该项目还提供硕士认证课程。 每一学年(包括夏季学期), 可持续城市规划项目都提供所有的硕士学位要求课程。 欢迎同学们选择全日制或者兼职学习计划。 专业研究硕士学位安排如下:


PSUS 6201 -可持续城市规划原理是一门介绍规划历史和原理的课程, 检验了三重底线准则的经济、环境和社会的可持续性。 该门课程是以讨论课的形式展开, 注重课下阅读和课堂讨论。 学生可以在关于可持续性概念的活跃课堂争辩当中, 形成自己对可持续性意义和应用的独到见解。 讲师:Andrew Bernish, 美国规划协会
PSUS 6202 – 城市和环境经济学是关于如何应用研究新古典主义经济学去学在解决实践者在可持续城市和区域规划领域所面临的实际问题时的应用, 如实践者在做可持续城市和区域规划时所面临的问题。 该课程发展了一系列分析的研究方法去理解城市和、环境的挑战以及和它们的解决这些挑战方案方法。 除此之外, 该课程内容还包括, 还有城市增长、环境质量、公共政策等等 讲师:John Carruthers博士
PSUS 6203 – 研究方法I:地理空间和计量经济学分析专注于培养在地理信息系统(GIS)和计量经济学(一种衡量社会经济现象之间关系的统计分析方法)研究方面的熟练程度。 该课程将教授如何建立空间数据集, 特别是如何使用ArcGIS和Stata。 讲师: Mesbah Motamed博士
PSUS 6204  – 法律体制着重于规划者所触及的法律环境。 该课程特别关注于创新设计技术、城市适应政策和公私伙伴关系的应用。 讲师:Trisha Miller博士
PSUS 6210  - 城市交通系统规划关注于是关于具有长远目标的地方和区域交通规划的长期目标, 将包括减少温室气体排放考虑其中。 它描绘了规划在更广泛的交通工程中所起到的作用, 并为将来投入到日渐复杂的多学科交融的城市化中提供基础。 的规划的作用——从地方和区域的尺度——在交通工程的范畴内, 并且提供了日益复杂的跨学科城市规划提供了基础。 讲师:John Thomas博士
PSUS 6211 -土地利用与农业经济学探讨美国以及世界其他地方的土地利用形式和土地开发过程的经济学。 它还提供了有关农业经济领域的介绍, 并探讨了和食物沙漠和其他在可持续城市规划领域内与食物相关的等与可持续城市规划相关领域的问题知识。 导师:Mesbah Motamed博士
PSUS 6212 - 可持续社区I:住房和设计是关于社区发展的课程, 着重于政策领域和其他与当代城市化相关的领域。 随着课程开展, 通过协调政策领域和多方面利益强调了当今城市化中的社区发展。 一直以来, 许多专项话题——包括供水、食物食品沙漠、公共卫生、城市应变能力, 等等——都将被阐述和介绍。 讲师:John Thomas博士
PSUS 6213 – 研究方法 Ⅱ:高级空间和计量经济学分析建立在PSUS 6203所学技能基础上, 将高级研究方法(一般来说是计量经济学和空间分析)应用到可持续城市和区域规划中。 它偏重于客观性并使用了科学的方法去建立具有防护性的以事实为依据的政策。 讲师:John Carruthers博士
PSUS 6230 – 可持续城市规划实践课是一门应用课程, 在基于训练有素的城市设计和邻里卫生评估之间的的关系上而进行训练。 它着重于新的和已经存在的城市环境, 并且训练了用系统的方法解决现实的问题的能力。 
PSUS 6233 – 可持续城市规划毕业设计要求每一位要获得专业硕士学位的可持续城市规划学生完成一个毕业设计。 该课程本质上要求设计的个性化, 旨在展示在项目中所学的知识和技能。 


PSUS 6221 – 弹性规划和低碳城市是以国际视角探讨在气候变化影响下的城市规划, 考虑了由温室气体排放所将导致的全球气温的增长。 它的教授过程参考了政府间气候变化委员会的研究结果, 并考虑了怎样让世界化的城市进程适应到气候变暖的现实和它所造成的结果。
PSUS 6222 – 可持续建筑:能源需求、效率和供应建立了对能源利用在建筑环境中的理解。 过程当中强调了能源需求的驱动因素、提高能源效率的政策和能源供应的必要因素。 它检验了能源需求和供应在发展中的关系, 并强调了先进的建筑技术是怎样克服温室气体排放的。 
PSUS 6223 – 可持续社区 Ⅱ:评估与转变的工具是建立在PSUS 6112的基础上, 进一步介绍了与邻里社区的评价和转变所相关的理论和工具。 它利用了空间分析去探索城市形态、高级交通系统、社区理论的转变和运用于政策执行的多样评测工具。 讲师:Christ Pyke博士
PSUS 6224 – 城市和环境的可持续能源课程涵盖了资源管理和可持再生能源技术。 它着眼于现有城市结构的缺陷, 特别是关注于能源网方面。 , 并探索了在现有城市和将来的城市中, 与环境问题相关的应用和解决方法。 讲师:Scott Sklar
PSUS 6231 – 气候变化的科学依据介绍了专注于气候变化政策和决策制定的科学。 该门课程是为非科学家设计, 提供了一个严格的地球系统应对措施和气候变化方案, 并强调了缓和气候变化的需求和影响评价。 
PSUS 6235 – 进阶主题是根据需要而设定的一个特殊的主题科目横幅, 用以对新的和特殊课程的选择。 它还用以为独立学习和实习提供学分。 


这一方向的课程是景观设计项目课程的一部分, 包括了以下课程内容:

PSUS 6260  可持续设计介绍
PSUS 6261  生态建筑环境
PSUS 6262  可持续设计工具
PSUS 6264  土生植物 I
PSUS 6265  土生植物II
PSUS 6268  可持续设计方法
PSUS 6269  食物和景观
PSUS 6266  生态恢复
PSUS 6270  可持续设计讨论会


这两个学位认证项目包括了六门课程-4门必修和2门选修。 参加城市可持续认证的学生必须选择PSUS 6201, PSUS 6202, PSUS 6210, and PSUS 6211和两门选修课;参加气候变化认证的学生必须选择PSUS 6221, PSUS 6222, PSUS 6224, PSUS 6231和两门选修课程。 选修课程的目的是为了加强两个方向之间课程选择的灵活性。

Registration Information

All College of Professional Studies registrations are conducted via the GWeb Information System. This system will enroll you in classes and automatically generate your schedule and bill.