S. Truex, Chairperson 

The urban planning program prepares students for professional careers as urban planners in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Graduates work for city, county, and regional planning agencies or the federal government; planning consultants; community development and other nonprofit organizations; and private firms dealing with urban growth and revitalization in large and small communities. Some may go on to earn PhDs and become researchers or professors.
Planning at Ball State combines physical and policy approaches. Students are taught to improve the design quality of constructed environments while protecting and managing our natural and built environments. Students learn the process of community and economic development as applied to small towns and rural areas as well as urban neighborhoods. Whether as private developers or public officials, graduates are expected to have a commitment to improving community life for citizens of all incomes and a broad competence to make both new and old communities better places in which to live.
    The four-year Bachelor of Urban Planning and Development degree, which is fully accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, prepares students for direct entry into and subsequent growth in professional planning careers. Graduates may also pursue advanced degrees in planning or other professional programs.
    The Department of Urban Planning will review applications for entry into the program at the end of the student’s first year. Students with a 2.75 GPA or higher and a well-designed portfolio are granted admission with no restrictions. Students with a 2.74 or lower GPA and/or with a substandard portfolio may be granted provisional admission; such students will be required to improve their GPA and demonstrate competence in their course work within the second year. If provisional admission is granted, factors to be considered will include: overall academic performance to date, performance in PLAN 100 and any other planning courses taken to date, a writing sample from PLAN 100, a recommendation from at least one faculty member in a studio or project-based course, or any additional materials or recommendations a student may wish to submit. The entry review process is intended to ensure that students enrolling in the professional degree program have the ability to perform advanced work in the field and a sincere interest in urban planning.  

82 credits











Introduction to Architecture
Environment Design and Plan 1
Environment Design and Plan 2
Design Communications Media 1
Design Communications Media 2
Elementary Microeconomics
Urban Economics (3)

Urban Geography (3)
Intro Landscape Architecture
Environment and Society
Intro Urb Planning and Dev
Site Plan and Des Studio
Reg Analy and Des Studio
Hist and Thry of Plan 1
Hist and Thry of Plan 2
Plan and Priv Dev
Comm and Pres Tech
Urb and Neighbrhd Analy Stdio
Economic Development Studio
Quant Meth for Urb Plan
Planning Internship
Field Studio
Urban Planning Law
State and Local Politics
Pol Admin of Local Gov Budgets (3)

Public Finance (3)




3 credits from





Environmental Economics (3)
Decision-Making in Nat Res Mgt (3)
Outdoor Recreation and Socy (3)
Urb Gov in United States (3)
Pub Opinion and Pol Behavior (3)
Political Campaigns (3)
Social Psychology (3)
Social Problems (3) 
Social Interaction (3)


9 credits from electives from PLAN


82 crs
Students are required to complete an internship of three to five months in a professional office with experience involving planning and development.








Intro Urb Planning and Dev


9 credits from     



Hist and Thry of Plan 2 (3)
Urban Land-use Planning (3)
Housing and Comm Dev (3)
Neighborhood Planning (3)
Urban Planning Law (3)


9 credits from approved electives from PLAN


20 crs
The minor course of study must be approved by the planning department advisor.


100 Introduction to Urban Planning and Development (2)
An introduction to urban planning and development. 
    Open to all students.

101 Introduction to Planning (3)
Introduces students to the planning skills needed to help influence the direction and growth of communities and to help neighborhoods, cities, and rural areas strike a balance between development, the provision of essential services, and environmental protection. Offered on-line only to high school students.        
    Not open to students who have credit in PLAN 100.  

202 Site Planning and Design Studio (4)
Site analysis and design principles for small-scale projects, including building complexes, subdivisions, and neighborhood development. Present and defend designs for specific site locations. 
    Prerequisite: CAP first year core program. 

203 Regional Analysis and Design Studio (4)
Land analysis and planning at regional scale. Training to inventory social and physical elements on a regional scale, analyze the suitability of land and the vulnerability of the environment for development, and locate urban functions. Introduces computer-assisted models for land-suitability analysis.

220 History and Theory of Planning 1 (3)
Growth and evolution of cities. Evolution theories and practice of urban planning, emphasizing the United States before 1940.

221 History and Theory of Planning 2 (3)
Evolution of theories and practice of urban planning, emphasizing the United States since 1940. Interaction of public and private initiatives directed toward urban and environmental problems.

240 Planning and Private Development (3)
The process of private-sector land development, including market analysis and site selection, physical design, financing, legal constraints, and assembly of the development package.

261 Communication and Presentation Techniques (3)
Development of graphic and visualization skills for planners. Use of a variety of communication techniques and media for public presentation. 
    Open only to urban planning majors and minors.

302 Urban and Neighborhood Analysis Studio (4)
Collection, analysis, and communication of information for urban- and neighborhood-scale planning, including use and interpretation of published data sources, field surveys and inventories, and interviews. 
    Prerequisite: PLAN 203.

303 Economic Development Studio (4)
Collection, analysis, and communication of information for community- and county-scale economic development planning, including use and interpretation of published data sources, field surveys and inventories, and interviews, as well as development of community assessment and recommendations.

320 Quantitative Methods for Urban Planning (4)
Calculation, application, and interpretation of statistics and quantitative models used in urban planning. Topics include association, variation, probability, sampling, regression, and models for population forecasting.

350 Computer Applications in Planning (3)
Microcomputer applications using spreadsheets, databases, and modeling and mapping packages suitable for planning and development office use. Brief overview of Intergraph graphic and mapping applications.

365 Economic Development Planning (3)
Strategies and tools for stimulation of local economic growth including government incentives, financing alternatives, and examples of public-private partnership in strategic planning. 

369 Planning Internship (0)
Supervised work experience for at least 200 hours in an approved planning or development organization. Students to prepare portfolios for review. Offered credit/no credit only.                 
    Prerequisite: completion of the program's third year or permission of the department chairperson.

401 Field Studio (4)
Analysis and application of planning skills in a real-world setting, involving an actual community or outside client. Emphasizes smaller town or rural planning issues. 
    Prerequisite: PLAN 302.

402 Field Studio (4)
Analysis and application of planning skills in a real-world setting, involving an actual community or outside client. Emphasizes urban planning issues. 
    Prerequisite: PLAN 302.

404 Urban Design (3)
An exploration of the physical form of the public realm and how it has been shaped by social, economic, political, and cultural forces. Special attention will be paid to issues of identity, sense of place, placemaking, and sense of belonging.

411 Property Law (1)
Essential state and federal statutes and codes as well as case law, regulating real estate and its transaction, including landlord/tenant relations, deed encumbrances and covenants, memorialized developer commitments, forms of realty ownership and leasing, mortgage sureties and financing, and contractual instruments of public-private partnerships. Historic evolution of this body of law and development instruments and their effectiveness in promoting the public interest.
Not open to students who have credit in RE 230.

412 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Urban Planning (3)
Designed to introduce principles of GIS and GIS applications in an urban environment. Topics include GIS components, modeling methodology, and management of environments. Implications for urban and environmental policy development.

413 Advanced Concepts in Geographic Information Systems for Urban Planning (3)
Advanced topics in modeling and analysis of urban and regional environments. Techniques for database organization, database development, and analytical processes (algorithm development). 
    Prerequisite: PLAN 412.

421 Urban Land-use Planning (3)
Principles of urban land-use planning for newly developing areas and for changing older communities. Attention to environmental, efficiency, and aesthetic concerns in urban growth. Preparation of the comprehensive urban land-use plan.

425 Urban Agriculture as Community Development (3)
Examines the growing role of urban agriculture in cities and the implications for community development and design. Examines the broad issues of food production and distribution along with related policies. Focuses on the present discourse associated with food security. Sustainability provides a framework under which communities better use natural resources, create infrastructures that are more efficient, protect and enhance quality of life, and create new, greener businesses that strengthen their economies without compromising the environment.

428 Urban Impact Analysis (3)
Techniques for estimating the environmental, socioeconomic, fiscal, and energy effects of proposed plans and development projects.

430 Housing and Community Development (3)
Analysis of public programs and market conditions affecting housing and community development, housing supply and demand, finance, the role of government subsidies.

431 Urban Transportation Planning (3)
Transportation planning methods and policy, including analysis of travel demand, links between land use and transportation, choice of transportation modes, and design of balanced transportation systems.

433 Environmental Planning (3)
Introduction to the fundamental issues and technologies associated with planning for sensitive use of environmental resources. Topics include waste management, air and water quality planning, ecological systems, and methods of environmental analysis and implementation.

435 Energy Planning (3)
Energy resource issues in urban planning. Strategies for incorporating energy efficiency in housing, land use, transportation, social services, and community development. Analysis of energy policy, emphasizing innovative public and private sector initiatives at the community level.

436 Theory of Urban Spatial Planning (3)
Seminar in theories of location and development of principal urban activities including transportation, housing, industry, commercial centers, and public facilities. Implications for urban-planning policies.

439 Community Facilities Planning (3)
Design principles and economic conditions in planning for urban physical facilities, including recreation facilities, streets, sidewalks, drainage, water supply systems, sewerage, waste treatment, and others.

440 Building Performance (3)
A scientific approach to understanding how energy and moisture move in buildings and how buildings fail with respect to health and safety, durability, comfort, and affordability. While the focus is on housing, the fundamentals are applicable to all buildings.

441 Sustainable Housing (3)
Methods for bringing sustainable design and construction practices into the housing industry, with an emphasis on increasing durability, comfort, and energy efficiency while reducing costs. Use of computer software for economic analysis of design improvements, ensuring code compliance, and determining HERS and Energy Star ratings. 
    Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson. 
    Prerequisite recommended: PLAN 440.

450 Neighborhood Planning (3)
Planning strategies for revitalization of older residential neighborhoods and neighborhood commercial areas. Includes community organization and the role of public and private neighborhood organizations.

451 Issues of Planning Practice (3)
Capstone seminar to explore application of theory to planning practice and management. Issues of planning ethics, citizen participation, styles and strategies for effective implementation of planning. 
    Prerequisite: PLAN 369; PLAN 401 or 402.

452 Urban Planning Law (3)
Legal tools for plan implementation, including zoning, subdivision regulations, planned unit-development regulations, and other techniques for guiding urban development while balancing community interests and private property rights.

453 Center City Revitalization (3)
Strategies for revitalization of core urban areas, including case studies of successful cities. Examples include employment-based, recreation and convention-based, and residentially-based revitalization.

455 Women and Urban Environments (3)
Examines the linkages between women and urban environments by focusing on the role played by the urban environment in facilitating/hindering women’s access to economic, social, and political opportunities. Domestic and international examples are used to illustrate concepts.

458 Introduction to Multiculturalism as a Planning Context (3)
An analysis of planning issues in diverse societies with a focus on the USA. The class explores meanings of cultural diversity, social segregation, subordination, exclusion, and marginalization, and how these variables affect the urban society and fabric. Approaches to urban planning are explored that deal with the various interpretations of a diverse and uneven social context.

459 International Planning (3)
An exploration of the nature of the urban and regional planning process in other countries. Topics include development policies, planning strategies, institutional structures, implementation strategies, and accomplishments. Attention also paid to the applicability of these experiences to American cities.

460 Alternative and Sustainable Community Planning (3)
Seminar course examining nontraditional approaches to community planning and design. Focuses on concepts associated with the design of sustainable communities. Historical precedent, case study, and utopian alternatives are synthesized to project alternative futures for present community planning and design issues.

461 Emergency and Disaster Planning (3)
Examination of natural disasters and what planning and design measures can be undertaken to prevent and/or mitigate those disasters. Focuses on tornadoes, hurricanes, flash floods, earthquakes, and other natural and human-made disasters. Recent examples of natural and human-made disasters will serve as case studies.

465 Community Development and the Faith Based Initiative (3)
A participatory lecture course that looks at the origins of community development in urban neighborhoods throughout the United States. Examines the influences of the civil rights movement, housing policies, and community activists who shaped this movement. Additionally, looks at the role of religious institutions in urban communities and current issues surrounding faith based community development.

477 History of Urban Form (3)
An examination of the historical transformation of the urban form and its elements. Focuses on the physical organization of the city in relation to social, economic, political, and cultural forces that have shaped it. Special attention will also be paid to non-Western urban forms and histories.

481 Public Participation: Issues, Methods, Techniques for Knowing the Public Interest (3)
Issues and qualitative methods/techniques useful to the planner’s paramount responsibility: understanding/integrating local knowledge and values into the public decision-making process. Issues and theories of public participation. Methods and skill techniques of being informed by the public, of informing the public, and of advancing planner/constituency collaboration.

482 Grant Procurement and Administrators for Planners (1-3)
Techniques of proposal writing including RFP and RFQ responses, and grant procurement, including intergovernmental, foundation and corporate giving, contract negotiation and administration, and lobbying strategies. 
    A total of 3 credits may be earned.

484 Advanced Digital Communication (3)
Advanced graphic design representation and presentation techniques in the digital environment. Emphasis on portfolio building and online marketing of digital rendering skills.

485 Introduction to Community Development and Enterprise Planning (3)
An overview of the basic principles of real estate, community development, and enterprise planning practices with an emphasis on the roles played by the three economic sectors: public sector, private sector, and not-for-profit sector. Review of the development process and the various financing tools used to make projects a reality, with emphasis on the role of the planner in the overall implementation process. Topics also include emerging trends in community development, including the growth of the not-for-profit sector, public/private partnerships, and shifts in state and federal policies towards rebuilding communities.
    Prerequisite: PLAN 240; at least junior standing.

486 Methods of Public Interest Development (3)
From an enterprise planning perspective, the rationale and methods of development. Finance: proforma, break-even cash flow, equity investment, lender underwriting, and gap financing analyses; public-private partnerships incorporating range of development inducements. Strategies for creating markets given disinvestment pattern. Managing community development organization and projects through development process.

490 Independent Study in Planning (1-9)
Independent study in urban planning and development topics undertaken on an individual basis with guidance of a faculty member. 
    Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson. 
    A total of 9 credits may be earned.

498 Special Projects in Urban Planning and Development (3-9)
Special projects in urban planning and development undertaken by groups of students under faculty direction. 
    A total of 9 credits may be earned.