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Food Systems Academic Programs




University of Wisconsin – Madison

Department of Urban and Regional Planning


Our Mission:

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning has three core missions of teaching, research, and outreach.  First, our professional masters curriculum actively prepares graduate students to become competent, creative and effective practicing planners while our doctoral program trains students in planning research for their entry into academia.  Second, we create new knowledge through multidisciplinary research relevant to planning; scholarship that is published in peer-reviewed journals, books, monographs, and technical reports.  Third, we engage the Wisconsin Idea through professional planning activities and service to communities throughout the state and beyond in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin – Extension, a variety of public agencies, planning consulting firms and other private and non-profit sector organizations.


The Curriculum

In our master’s degree program, students complete a set of foundational courses that build competence in the following knowledge areas for a successful career in the government, nonprofit, or private sector:

  • Structure and function of cities and regions
  • History and theory of planning processes and practice
  • Administrative, legal, and political aspects of plan making
  • Public involvement and dispute resolution techniques
  • Research design and data analysis techniques
  • Written, oral, and graphic communication skills
  • Ethics of professional practice
  • Collaborative approaches to problem solving

Students individualize their programs of study developing expertise in an area of specialization that reflect specific professional aspirations and intellectual interests. In the elective coursework that cultivates an area of specialization, students work with URPL faculty and faculty in other departments, programs, and centers.  This cross-college collaboration further strengthens the already robust relationships of the various departments with the knowledge their colleagues share many of the same passions and drive of the Wisconsin Idea.




Tufts University

Department of Urban & Environmental Policy and Planning


Today’s world of rapid urbanization faces tremendous social and environmental challenges. If you are interested in becoming a talented thinker and practitioner to engage and confront them, UEP is the right place for you. Our goal is the education of a new generation of leaders, ‘practical visionaries,’ who will contribute to the development of inclusive and sustainable communities. A key step toward this is making our institutions more responsive to child, adult, and ultimately community well-being by helping them understand, empathize with, and respond to the social, economic, and environmental needs of individuals and communities.

At 40, UEP has grown tremendously in its capacity and influence. The UEP education integrates knowledge, skills and values to anticipate the future. You will develop an understanding of the dynamics of cities and regions, integrate theories and practices of planning and policy-making, explore creative ways to bridge social justice and sustainable development, and engage in community-based projects and research. UEP students are an activist group, successful in the creation of learning communities involving food system planning, climate policy and planning, and intercultural practice. For you, the room to grow and flourish is enormous.

We offer two graduate public policy and planning programs culminating in either a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree, which is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB), or a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) degree. Our curriculum is built around a set of six core values (below) and a set of competencies based on three areas: knowledge, skills, and policy and planning in practice. We offer a wide range of electives, many taught by seasoned practitioners with extensive teaching experience. Students benefit from our connections with other schools at Tufts and Boston College, through either taking courses or pursuing joint/dual degrees — among the areas are child development, nutrition and food policy, international affairs, environmental engineering, law, and business management.

UEP is a community of practice and scholars – our faculty, students and alumni are public-spirited individuals committed to engaged processes and just outcomes for cities and communities. Enabled by the UEP education they receive here, our graduates progress to important positions and challenging careers in government, nonprofit organizations, citizen advocacy groups, international NGOs, and the private sector, both in the U.S. and across the world. Our diverse faculty is active in research and engaged scholarship; many are leading scholars in their respective fields of expertise. Just sustainability, environmental health and ethics, shrinking cities, housing and community development, child and family policy, and international planning and urban policy, to name just a few.

Come and join us to foster your ambitions and hone your abilities. We look forward to hearing from you.


Weiping Wu

Professor and Chair

UEP’s curriculum is built around a set of six core values:

  1. An appreciation of the inextricable linkages between social, economic and environmental issues and the ability to make policy and planning recommendations accordingly;
  2. An appreciation of the role of values in policy formation and planning and the ethical/social responsibility of policy and planning professionals to act accordingly;
  3. An appreciation of the deeply embedded nature of gender, age, race, class, disability, culture and sexual orientation in all aspects of public policy and planning;
  4. An appreciation of the centrality of spatial, social and environmental justice to all aspects of public policy and planning;
  5. An appreciation of the need to understand the role of individual and community rights and responsibilities in public policy and planning; and
  6. An appreciation of the need to move society toward the development of sustainable communities where there is a high quality of human life, delivered in a just and equitable manner while respecting the limits of supporting ecosystems.




University of Michigan

Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning


Urban and Regional Planning is a profession that strives to improve the environmental quality, economic potential, and social equity of places: neighborhoods, towns, cities, metropolitan areas, and larger regions.

Planners seek to improve alternatives to sprawling, auto-dependent areas; to revitalize downtowns and inner-city neighborhoods; to develop cities and towns in a manner that protects the environment; to create lively, interesting neighborhoods and commercial areas; and to foster sustainable development.

Michigan Planning seeks to shape place-based policy and design for social equity and sustainability, regional solutions to metropolitan problems, just and effective remedies for urban decline, and the creation of human settlements that offer alternatives to environmentally consumptive land-development patterns. Taubman College offers two degrees: a Master of Urban Planning and a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning.

The Master of Urban Planning (M.U.P.) degree offers professional education in the planning field. Graduates apply their professional skills in various government agencies, private enterprises, or nonprofit organizations within a variety of subject areas. Concentrations include: Land Use and Environmental Planning; Housing, Community, and Economic Development; Global and Comparative Planning; Physical Planning and Design; and Transportation Planning. Graduate education at Taubman College emphasizes the development of students’ abilities to analyze, evaluate, integrate, and apply critical thinking in interdisciplinary planning processes. The course of study normally requires two years (four terms/full-time) for completion.

The Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning trains scholars for careers in higher education, research, and high-level policy positions. It is a doctoral degree with a flexible, interdisciplinary focus. Graduates work in universities, government, nonprofits, and the private sector in the U.S. and around the world. The curriculum integrates analytical methods, research design, a rigorous understanding of urbanization dynamics, and an examination of broader social theories, processes, and policies. Students address complex systems that typically encompass an array of spatial, environmental, social, political, technical, and economic factors. The emphasis is on theory, analysis, and action. Each student is also expected to demonstrate an understanding of the literature, theory, and research in a specialization area within the larger discipline of urban and regional planning.




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