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Tufts University

Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning

Programs Offered: M.A., M.P.P., M.A./J.D., M.A./M.B.A.,

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in urban and environmental policy and planning is a two-year program which prepares public spirited individuals for rewarding careers in government, nonprofit organizations, citizen advocacy groups, and the private sector.

The program, which consists of twelve credits plus a thesis, focuses on the opportunities and critical challenges inherent in planning and policymaking for more just and sustainable communities. Students take required courses in foundations of public policy and planning; economics for planning and policy analysis; field projects: planning and practice; cities in space, place, and time; and quantitative reasoning for policy and planning. In addition to the core requirements, students take a minimum of seven elective courses that provide a strong grounding in basic methods and approaches to public policy and planning. Students choose electives that match their interests, in consultation with an academic adviser.

Students in the M.A. program are also required to complete an internship of at least 150 hours. Typically fulfilled between the two academic years, internships are often based in a public or nonprofit agency and students are usually compensated. Alternatively, students may pursue a research internship in which they work on a university- or research institution-based project. Although faculty members provide assistance and advice, students are expected to secure their own placements.

The department's thesis requirement provides students with an opportunity to carry out an independent investigation on a topic of the student's choosing. Theses may be technical studies, policy analyses, theoretical papers, research studies, or planning documents.

The Master of Public Policy (M.P.P) is a one-year program for those who are interested in expanding their policy and planning capabilities.

The program, which consists of nine credits and can be completed full or part time, provides students with the opportunity to strengthen their critical thinking, policy analysis, and communication skills; improve their professional practice in areas such as mediation, land use planning, or financial management; and establish close professional relationships and networks among faculty, affiliated agencies, and other graduate students.

The program's curriculum consists of core courses, public policy courses, and professional practice electives.

A required core curriculum enables students to reflect on their professional practice and examine dominant theories and themes in the public policy literature. The core courses focus on reflections on public policy practice, economics for planning and policy analysis, and quantitative reasoning for policy and planning. In consultation with their academic advisers, students choose their public policy courses. These offerings focus on urban, social, and/or environmental policy issues and include courses in race, class, and public policy in the United States; community planning and development; environmental law; and developing sustainable communities.

Students also have opportunities to enroll in courses that enhance their professional practice skills. Courses cover areas such as leadership and organizational development, financial analysis and management, program evaluation, and geographic information systems. Up to two courses may be selected from course offerings in other Tufts departments or schools and, in addition, one course may be taken during the second semester at a consortium school as long as the class relates to public policy and is approved by the student's adviser. Transfer credits are not accepted.

The dual-degree M.A./J.D. program is for students interested in the connections between law and urban and environmental policy and planning. Students receive a Master of Arts and a Juris Doctor (M.A./J.D.).

Law and planning are inexorably linked as recognized by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Boston College through the creation of this dual-degree program. Planning (including policy analysis) guides future development patterns; the law frames the mechanisms and limits of governments' control over this process. Planning and law immerse students in broad debates and critical thinking about the environment, human settlements, social and environmental justice, corporate responsibility, and land use. All of these issues are guided by constitutional, equitable, and pragmatic principles.

The M.A./J.D. is a collaboration of the Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) and the Boston College Law School. No other graduate program in New England offers this unique combination of strengths.

Students apply to both schools independently and during their first year take courses exclusively through UEP or the law school. Students split their courses between the two in subsequent years. Offerings through UEP include land use planning, environmental justice, urban planning and design, community economic development, and water resources policy. Relevant law school courses include environmental law, real estate finance, housing policy and law, state and local government, and energy law.

With the M.A./J.D. coordinator and academic advisers from both UEP and the law school, students plan a course of study that balances background and interests with program requirements. In addition, the advisers collaborate under the auspices of an advisory committee to ensure that students receive accurate, timely information about how to proceed through the program.

Students may transfer credits toward each degree so as to concentrate their studies and complete the program in four years (five years is typical of students pursuing each degree separately). For a list of Boston College Law School faculty, click here.

UEP and the Boston College Carroll School of Management are now offering a Master of Arts and Master of Business Administration dual-degree.

A three-year combined master's degree program with the Tufts Fletcher School focuses on international environmental policy. Another combined master's program is available with Tufts' Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. There is also a five-semester combined master's degree program with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The certificate programs of the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning provide students with the management, community development, evaluation, and/or environmental skills necessary either to enhance their existing careers or to move into new fields.

Each certificate consists of four courses; earned credits may be transferred into the department's Master of Arts or Master of Public Policy programs if a student wishes to continue his/her graduate studies.

The certificate in community environmental studies provides professional training for careers in evolving environmental fields. Students can take courses in areas such as planning, policy, economics, sustainable development, engineering, and science. These courses are complemented by classes in negotiation, law, and nonprofit management. The program is ideal for midcareer professionals seeking to apply their skills to environmental work; business professionals working with communities on environmental issues; and individuals seeking increased environmental expertise as part of their work for nonprofits, public agencies, or other organizations.

The management of community organizations certificate is for students seeking professional management training within the framework of the social, economic, and political values that shape the nonprofit sector. Courses are offered in financial analysis and management; nonprofits, states, and markets; social policy for children and families; and urban planning and design.

Offered in collaboration with the Tufts Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development in the School of Arts and Sciences; the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy; and the School of Medicine, the certificate in program evaluation is designed for midcareer professionals who wish to learn about the design and implementation of effective evaluation strategies. Students develop practical skills that can be put to use in evaluating a range of social service, public health, community development, and environmental programs. Along with taking courses in program evaluation, applied statistics and data analysis, and research methods, students are required to complete a practicum in which they design an evaluation and put into practice their data collection and analysis skills.

Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning: Faculty

Julian Agyeman, Chair
Ph.D., University of London
Sustainable communities, environmental justice, intercultural planning

Rachel G. Bratt
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Housing and community development

Mary E. Davis
Ph.D., University of Florida
Environmental health

Laurie Goldman
Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Social welfare and housing policy, policy implementation, public and nonprofit management

Justin Hollander
Ph.D., Rutgers University
Urban planning and policy development

Francine Jacobs
Ed.D., Harvard University
Child and family policy, program evaluation

James Jennings
Ph.D., Columbia University
Urban and neighborhood politics, social welfare, community development

Sheldon Krimsky
Ph.D., Boston University
Environmental policy and environmental ethics

Penn S. Loh
M.S., University of California, Berkeley
Environmental justice

Barbara M. Parmenter
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Geographic information systems

Ann Rappaport
Ph.D., Tufts University
Environmental science and management

Robert Russell
J.D., Harvard University
Environmental law

Jon Witten
J.D., Suffolk University Law School; M.R.P., Cornell University
Land use planning

Weiping Wu
Ph.D., Rutgers University
Comparative urban development, urban economic policy, China

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Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

School of Engineering

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