University of Florida's Department of Urban and Regional Planning Surpasses 750 Graduates from its Master of Urban and Regional Planning Program

UF Also Attains Top 5 Status from U.S. News & World Report for all Public Universities
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 9:00 AM EDT

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Oct. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Florida's Department of Urban and Regional Planning today announced a significant milestone achieved over more than 40 years, as the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program has exceeded 750 total graduates. The program has a particularly strong appeal for students looking to pursue design-focused careers.

UF Department of Urban and Regional Planning
UF Department of Urban and Regional Planning

"We are very proud of the program and its graduates, who are making a major difference as exceptional urban planning professionals across the country and around the world," said Dr. Kathryn Frank, Interim Department Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Associate Professor/Acting Director of the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning. "Researching our cumulative graduations since the program began revealed today's exciting news, and is a nice way to honor our graduates, encourage current students and continue to bolster future enrollment."

The Department was created in 1975 and the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program was accredited three years later. In addition to traditional in-person learning, the program became available online in 2012 as the first and, still, only accredited online MURP program in the country. This is an outstanding distinction and source of pride for the program.

Department of Urban and Regional Planning graduates are in high demand in today's job market, representing many fascinating, challenging positions. The program's graduates attract the best, most diverse opportunities in the planning profession, and Florida is at the forefront of some of the nation's most critical planning issues. These include rising sea levels, rapid population growth due in large part to an influx of retiring Baby Boomers, significant development demands and more. Exciting professional endeavors include: resilience; equity (DEI/race relations); community-scale planning; historic preservation; housing (displacement, affordable housing & gentrification); and transportation (technology, autonomous vehicles, micro-mobility, transportation access & equity).

Program graduate examples include:

  • Jennifer Krouchick - Assistant Master Planner for the Kennedy Space Center and NASA in Brevard County, Fla. In this position, Jennifer is involved in a process that encompasses all aspects of the planning field, but especially those that help NASA reach its goals of expanding access to space. Jennifer views planning as a comprehensive look at how any entity can prepare for the future and support future goals. "The future is open and as planners, we have the power to bring people together," said Jennifer.
  • Lian Plass - Professional Planner working in the Washington, DC metro-area who was first exposed to planning as an economic development intern for the North Miami Department of Community Planning and Development after receiving a bachelor's degree in Sustainable Development from Columbia University. Lian's work centers around the idea that the planning field can bridge the gap between optimal and efficient solutions and the solutions that work with the imperfections of humanity.  She is currently working for a nonprofit organization where she conducts research, provides technical assistance, and supports outreach projects, and other initiatives aimed at making cities, buildings and communities more prepared for the impacts of climate change. Her experience at the University of Florida speaks to the quality of education which helped fine-tune her analytical thinking skills. "I think that UF attracts some really fantastic professors and some really fantastic instructors in general that have long-standing roots in planning in general, nationwide, but also in the state of Florida," said Lian. She also thinks that the high quality of education is supplemented by a rich alumni network and numerous opportunities after graduation. "There is not a single place that you can go in the state of Florida where you will not run into a planner with a UF degree, so that connection is incredibly helpful not just from a professional development standpoint but also from a personal standpoint," she added.
  • Jerry Bell - Assistant Director of Planning for Miami-Dade County, Fla. Jerry's career has spanned both the private and public sectors of the planning profession and has helped him gain an understanding of the proper way to balance the many, and often opposing, viewpoints that offer solutions to planning problems. The planning profession for Jerry is special because of the direct impact it can have on an area. "The ability to identify an issue, analyze the issue and then be able to prescribe policy solutions and then to actually see them in place, I think it's very fulfilling that we're able to do that," said Jerry.

About University of Florida's Department of Urban and Regional Planning

The Department is one of the country's most respected graduate planning programs, with internationally recognized faculty known for planning education, research and practice. The Department is also noted for the creative use of planning information systems/technologies and interdisciplinary research and education in a multitude of professional areas, such as: sustainability; planning information and analysis; transportation and land use planning; urban design; housing and community development; economic development; historic preservation and international planning. Visit https://dcp.ufl.edu/urp/shape-the-planet/ for more information.

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SOURCE University of Florida Department of Urban and Regional Planning

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