Urban Planning Careers

An Executive Master of Urban Planning isn’t just for urban planners. Building a comprehensive understanding of the economic, political and cultural factors that affect real estate and urban development in your city means a better understanding of the way your city works — knowledge that can help you advance across a wide variety of careers and industries.

How Is an Executive Master’s Different From a Master’s in Urban Planning?

The difference between these two degrees comes down to experience. You can enroll in a master’s degree program in urban planning with no prior work experience, and receive an introduction to the planning industry and build foundational knowledge about its core theories and practices. 

Executive programs like the online Executive Master of Urban Planning from USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy are designed for mid-career professionals with more work experience. USC Price’s program recommends at least five years.

Although foundational planning knowledge is not typically required to apply or enroll in an executive program, you should have professional experience in the urban development field and a general idea of your intended career trajectory. Executive planning programs help bring together like-minded professionals who are able to learn from one another’s experiences.

Are You Ready to Learn More About USC Price?

Request information today and take the next step toward earning an Executive Master of Urban Planning.

Career Paths You Can Pursue With an Urban Planning Background

The USC Price Executive Master of Urban Planning program — unlike many other master’s programs in urban planning — is focused on the intersection of urban planning and real estate development.

Understanding what drives real estate and urban development decisions in your city — and being able to work fluidly between the public and private sectors — is a crucial knowledge base that can be applied to a variety of career paths.

Public Sector and Government Careers

As a public servant, an executive master’s in urban planning will help you make more informed decisions for your city, develop smarter policy and work seamlessly across the public and private sectors.

Throughout the program, you will cultivate a deeper understanding of urban development policy, the economics of real estate and urban development, and the political motivators behind community and advocacy organizations. You will also develop effective tactics for engaging with community residents and stakeholders. 

These skills can apply to positions in sustainable urban development; city, town and regional planning and management; urban policy; and affordable housing. Public sector professionals who can benefit from this degree include: 

  • City managers
  • Council members
  • Public affairs managers
  • Affordable housing professionals
  • Public Policy Workers
  • Nonprofit program managers
  • Economic development professionals

Private Sector Careers

In the private sector, an executive degree in urban planning can help you develop more effective business strategy, provide better counsel to clients and make more informed investment decisions.

Throughout the program, you will study basic concepts of urban and land economics and, in programs like USC Price’s online master’s, you will build a background in the economic and financial aspects of real estate development. 

These skills can apply to positions in law, consulting, real estate development and investing, engineering, civil planning, and architecture. Private sector professionals who can benefit from this degree include:

  • Real estate developers, financiers and investors
  • Civil engineers
  • Architects
  • Land use attorneys
  • Smart city technologists
  • Transportation managers
  • Project managers 

Other Careers Related to Urban and Regional Planning

As someone working in the urban planning space, you already understand the basics of urban development. Executive master’s programs in urban planning will help you build a foundation in real estate development — and learn to work between the public and private sectors to ensure your planning initiatives are successful. 

In many urban planning programs, you will study the economic and financial aspects of real estate development, cross-sectoral collaboration, negotiation and team-building, and stakeholder engagement. 

These skills can open you up to a variety of job opportunities in planning, and help you explore the different types of urban planning jobs that are available. This degree is a good fit for:

  • City planning professionals
  • Urban designers
  • Urban planning technicians
  • Environmental planning professionals
  • Landscape architects
  • Principal planners 

Why Earn Your Degree Online With the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy?

USC Price is ranked No. 2 for urban planning and policy1 and No. 3 for public affairs2 by U.S. News & World Report. The online Executive Master of Urban Planning program will connect you with professionals working and driving innovation at the top of their fields and organizations

The curriculum merges urban planning with real estate development and emphasizes the ability to work between sectors fluidly — a skill set that’s increasingly necessary in today’s interconnected business world.

Additionally, USC’s executive master’s degree is delivered online only, so you can earn your degree while continuing to work. The diversity of each cohort — in background, expertise and career goals — will allow you to learn from your peers and develop connections across the country.   

How Can USC Price Help You Expand Your Network?

Beyond building the skills to advance your career, joining a cohort of students with diverse expertise and career backgrounds will help you build a professional network you can tap into long after graduation. USC Price fosters these connections through an intimate online platform and two in-person intensives throughout the program. Upon graduation, you can also use connectSC   to volunteer, recruit and engage with fellow Trojans.

Are You Ready to Join USC Price?

Request information today and take the next step toward earning an Executive Master of Urban Planning.

1 Urban Planning & Policy Programs, U.S. News & World Report, ranked in 2019 
2 Top Public Affairs Schools, U.S. News & World Report, ranked in 2019 

Curriculum Focus:
Urban planning and real estate development

Reputation:
Price ranked #2 for urban policy¹

Program Length: 16 months

Tuition: $1,928 per credit hour2

In-person Intensives: 2

Format: Live online classes

Admissions:
5-7 years of work experience recommended

Test Scores:
GRE/GMAT scores not required