Mission and Educational Objectives


Using Silicon Valley as our laboratory, the Master of Urban Planning (MUP) program at San José State University strives to be a leading center in professional urban and regional planning graduate education. The program achieves its mission by focusing on the following goals and objectives:

Goal 1. prepare a diverse student population to become leaders in rapidly-changing urban environments, with skills for working with wide-ranging constituencies and the commitment towards lifelong professional development.

Objective 1.a. attract and retain a student body that reflects the diversity of our Northern California region (we embrace a broad definition of diversity that encompasses age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, ethnicity, race, gender, marital status, medical condition, national origin, religion or lack of thereof, sexual orientation, transgender status, veteran’s status, economic status and academic background)

Objective 1.b. accommodate the scheduling, advising and curricular requirements of part-time working professional students and full-time students

Objective 1.c. carefully balance the composition of the program’s faculty by recruiting and retaining a faculty that is of a size, caliber, diversity, professional orientation, public service and academic credentials that foster excellence

Objective 1.d. impart education that emphasizes the need and desire for life-long professional development

Goal 2. prepare planning professionals to perform effectively in the public, private and non-profit sectors with a strong education in general planning, as well as specialized training in planning sub-fields

Objective 2.a. provide a broad-based understanding of planning theory and practice through exposure to concepts, methodologies, field techniques and applications concerned with the functioning of urban areas and the planning process

Objective 2.b. ensure the program’s excellence in teaching, advising and student mentoring with a focus on real-world professional practice

Objective 2.c. adopt curricular innovations in response to the rapidly evolving nature of the profession, and familiarize students with state-of-the-art planning concepts, skills and applications

Objective 2.d. provide students opportunities to develop a depth of knowledge and confidence in a particular field of planning -- such as Applications of Technology in Planning, Community Design and Development, Environmental Planning, Land Use and Transportation Planning -- from which to grow and with which to enter the professional field with marketable skills

Goal 3. contribute to enhancing the knowledge and practice of planning through professional and scholarly activities, public service and research conducted by our faculty, students and alumni

Objective 3.a. partner with practicing professionals, communities, organizations and the leadership of our region towards shaping a strong and equitable community

Objective 3.b. provide students with opportunities for direct engagement with diverse planning constituencies through community-based research and learning experiences

Objective 3.c. influence the development of knowledge and innovative planning practices through research, public service and class-based activities

Objective 3.d. strengthen multi-disciplinary collaborations to enhance and complement resources, research, public service, professional and teaching opportunities

Goal 4. cultivate a supportive environment for teaching and learning, research, community service and shared governance in the MUP program that results in a strong sense of community among students, faculty, alumni and the professional community

Objective 4.a. foster an open and participatory departmental governance and policy-making process that incorporates not only faculty, but also students, alumni and members of the professional and academic community

Objective 4.b. maintain physical as well as virtual spaces to support the exchange of information among students, faculty, alumni and the professional community, and the formation of professional networks

Objective 4.c. conduct activities that support collaboration and a sense of community among students, faculty, alumni and the professional community

Objective 4.d. identify and secure external resources to support faculty and student participation in scholarly and applied research activities

Objective 4.e. provide adequate facilities, equipment and resources to support teaching, research and community service We strive to enhance our position as a leading center for urban and regional planning education in Northern California by:

Program Educational Objectives

The MUP curriculum is designed to teach students the following knowledge, skills, and values:

1. General planning knowledge: The comprehension, representation, and use of ideas and information in the planning field, including appropriate perspectives from history, social science, and the design professions. Students will be able to:

a) Describe and explain why planning is undertaken by communities, cities, regions, and nations, and the impact planning is expected to have. (Purpose and Meaning of Planning)

b) Describe and explain the behaviors and structures available to bring about sound planning outcomes, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of different ones. (Planning Theory)

c) Describe and explain the legal and institutional contexts within which planning occurs. (Planning Law)

d) Describe and explain the growth and development of places over time and across space. (Human Settlements and History of Planning)

e) Describe and explain the relationships between past, present, and future in planning domains, as well as the potential for methods of design, analysis, and intervention to influence the future. (The Future)

f) Describe and explain interactions, flows of people and materials, cultures, and differing approaches to planning across world regions. (Global Dimensions of Planning)

2. Planning skills: The use and application of knowledge to perform specific tasks required in the practice of planning. Students will be able to:

a) Assemble and analyze ideas and information from prior practice and scholarship, and from primary and secondary sources. (Research)

b) Prepare clear, accurate and compelling text, graphics and maps for use in documents and presentations. (Written, Oral and Graphic Communication)

c) Collect data, conduct analysis, and use modeling tools for forecasting, policy analysis, and design of projects and plans. (Quantitative and Qualitative Methods)

d) Describe and assess when it is appropriate to use integrative tools for sound plan formulation, adoption, and implementation and enforcement. (Plan Creation and Implementation)

e) Describe and assess when it is appropriate to use different tools for stakeholder involvement, community engagement, and working with diverse communities. (Planning Process Methods)

f) Describe and assess when it is appropriate to use tools for attention, formation, strategic decision-making, team building, and organizational/community motivation. (Leadership)

3. Values and ethics: Values inform ethical and normative principles used to guide planning in a democratic society. The program shall appropriately incorporate issues of diversity and social justice into all required courses of the curriculum. Students will be able to:

a) Describe and explain key issues of planning ethics and related questions of the ethics of public decision-making, research, and client representation (including principles of the AICP Code of Ethics). (Professional Ethics and Responsibility)

b) Describe and explain the roles of officials, stakeholders, and community members in planned change. (Governance and Participation)

c) Describe and explain natural resource and pollution control factors in planning, as well as how to create sustainable futures. (Sustainability and Environmental Quality)

d) Describe and explain the roles of economic, social, and cultural factors in urban and regional growth and change. (Growth and Development)

e) Describe and explain equity concerns in planning. (Social Justice)