Planning and Community Development

In majoring in the planning and community development major you will learn how to create better places to live and work. You will acquire a toolbox of skills for working in an evolving, dynamic field that tries to improve a community's economic, social and environmental qualities. You'll learn to balance the value of heritage, natural environments and cultural features in changing economic and social conditions. Through internships and work in the field with established planners and developers, you'll learn strategies for community organization, urban and regional planning, citizen action, advocacy and sustainability. You'll build a network of support for your ideas.

Choose from one of the following Planning and Community Development credentials to work towards:
Bachelor of Arts
Undergraduate Certificate  (18 credits)
Graduate Certificate (18 credits)

For questions about any of our programs or to add the minor to your program of study, please contact Dr. Aspa Rigopoulou-Melcher.

Program Highlights

  • Semester-long internships available in rural, suburban or urban communities connect to each student's personal interests.
  • Internship placements that have included:
    • Sartell Community Development Department
    • St. Cloud Downtown Council
    • Region 5 Regional Development, Staples
    • Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment Authority
    • Brooklyn Park Community Development Department
    • Benton County Development Department
    • Anoka County Highway Department
  • Small classes and department organization emphasizes individual attention to students.
  • Emphasis on communication and leadership skills helps our graduates quickly assume community leadership roles.
  • Development of strategies to address divisive community issues such as suburban sprawl, aging neighborhoods, heritage preservation, redevelopment and traffic congestion.

Program Distinctions

  • Minnesota's only undergraduate program that integrates planning and community development.
  • Graduates influence development, transportation and flood planning in cities such as Richfield, Waconia, Big Lake, Eagan, Tracy and Sartell, and Anoka and Stearns counties.
  • Our Mentorship Program connects our students to peers and professionals who can help them design a career path while they learn.
  • A member of the American Planning Association. 
  • Kent Robertson Memorial Scholarship provides additional student funding.

Popular Careers

  • City/Regional Planner
  • Environmental/Zoning  Regulation
  • Economic Development
  • Urban Design Development
  • Historical Preservation
  • Transportation Planner
  • Housing Planner