Urban & Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning is a systematic, creative way to influence the future of neighborhoods, cities, rural and metropolitan areas, and even the country and the world. It is a collaborative, dynamic field that centers on recognizing and solving critical problems and making a difference in our communities, in the region, and even the world.

Want to fight climate change and protect the environment? Are you interested in positive social, economic, environmental, and physical change? Do you think about the future – about what the world could be – rather than what is? Are you interested in planning for and bringing about a more sustainable future? If you answer “YES” to any of these questions, you should consider majoring in Urban and Regional Planning at EWU.

In each of our programs, you will learn how to design sustainable, livable, equitable, and environmentally sound communities. You will also study historical and contemporary planning, as well as the different values and ethical standards that affect the practice of planning. Change policy and planning, change the world!

Both BA and Master’s degree programs at EWU are accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board. In fact, the BA is one of only 17 accredited undergraduate planning programs in the United States.

For more information, email urp@ewu.edu, or contact Lisa Denker at 509.828.1317 or ldenker@ewu.edu. Check out our Facebook page as well: https://www.facebook.com/EWUURP.

Why Study Urban & Regional Planning at EWU?

At EWU, our graduates have a strong record of employment in the field as well as becoming leaders of the planning profession and guides to sustainable futures in the region and beyond. We work closely with local communities on variety of projects which giove students the necessary practical knowledge and experience they will need as they become the next generation of planning professionals..

Work Together

Work with public officials and practicing professionals to communicate, analyze, design, and plan.

Make a Difference

Improve the quality of life in your neighborhood, city, state and region.

Help the Community

Provide technical assistance for area agencies and communities.

What You Will Learn

  • How to design sustainable, livable, equitable and environmentally sound communities
  • Human settlements as they relate to planning
  • Historical and contemporary planning practice, policy, and processes
  • The different values and ethical standards that affect the practice of planning
  • How to practice planning in various settings
Agencies and organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest compliment our program for producing graduates who need little additional training to assume their employment responsibilities.

Careers in Urban & Regional Planning

The Urban and Regional Planning curriculum prepares students for a wide variety of occupational possibilities:

City Planner

Major Projects Manager

Transportation Planning Manager

Landscape Architect

Urban Design Planner


Strategic Plan

Revised on August 2019

Implementation of the following is based on a continual revision of our strategic plan to address the critical needs of students, communities, and changes in our profession. We are rigorously assessed through measurement, along with an annual review by professional planners in our Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) and accrediting agencies.

View the Full Listing of master goals, strategic directions, priorities, and benchmarks.

Our Vision

The vision for the Urban and Regional Planning program is that our graduates are leaders of the planning profession and guides to sustainable futures.

Our core values include:

  • Community-based research and service learning since 1968
  • Focus on problem-solving at the local scale
  • Promotion of diversity
  • The desire to address global understanding
  • Recognition of the need for local actions
  • Preparing alumni to shape and influence the future of our region as professional planners and community builders

Our Mission

The mission of the Urban and Regional Planning program is to provide quality professional planning education, research, and community service with an emphasis on problem-solving at the local level.

To support the achievement of this mission, we seek to:

  • Emphasize excellence in student learning and teaching through student-centered learning environments.
  • Provide intellectual and professional development to students through coursework, student organizations, research opportunities, internship opportunities, community engagement and service learning
  • Develop students’ knowledge and understanding of different cultures and foster a deep appreciation of diversity and equity.
  • Reward faculty excellence in teaching and research and service, thereby enhancing their ability to make meaningful contributions to the college, the community, the profession and the academy.
  • Develop and maintain a qualified, diverse faculty and staff
  • Value and act on inputs from constituencies, such as planning practitioners and students, regarding their education needs and their view of the Urban and Regional Planning Programs’ quality and relevance.

Fellowship & Scholarship Opportunities

The Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association Scholarship offers $3,000 to undergraduate and graduate students. Started in the 1980s, this tradition reflects the strong encouragement and support for higher education in professional planning programs.

To be qualified for this scholarship you must be a member of APA and a full-time student working towards a Master of Urban & Regional Planning (MURP) at EWU.

The APA scholarship will be awarded to the student who demonstrates the most overall:

  • Academic excellence
  • Commitment/experience in planning and the APA
  • Potential future effectiveness in the field of planning
  • Financial need
  • Interest in specific planning issues.

Mr. King Cole was perhaps the most influential planner in the history of Spokane—as the leader and organizer for economic revitalization as well as being the person most responsible for the 1974 World’s Fair. Redevelopment and revitalization still shape an evolving, successful downtown that builds on our legacies of preserving the natural environment. Although he never worked as a planner for the city, Mr. Cole worked tirelessly through business and non-profit organizations to form Spokane as a 20th-century city.

The King and Jan Cole Scholarship shall be administered as an endowment of $1,000, the annual earnings of which will be used to support an undergraduate student planning to major in Urban and Regional Planning. The criteria for selection of the candidate to fill this scholarship are as follows:

  • The recipient must be an undergraduate student of at least junior standing (no post-graduate student applications).
  • The recipient must have a minimum of 2.5-4.0 grade point average at time of initial application. 3.0 grade point average for scholarship renewal.
  • The recipient must demonstrate financial need.
  • Applicants will be screened by a committee appointed by the Department Chair.
  • Permission is given for the appropriate release of information regarding the fund, e.g. in the Annual Report published each year by the Foundation.
  • Opportunity with Downtown Partnership or area Chambers of Commerce for internships and volunteer experience.

Mr. Len Zickler is an alumnus of our program and a prominent landscape artist. The Len Zickler Planning Scholarship has a value of $1,000.

The scholarship will be managed according to the following stipulations:

  • The recipient must be an undergraduate/graduate, junior/senior majoring in Urban and Regional Planning.
  • It is preferred that the recipient come from a family with a demonstrated challenge or hardship (i.e. one or both parents deceased, or a single parent aspiring to attend college)
  • The recipient must demonstrate financial need
  • The recipient must have a minimum grade point of 2.8 or higher
  • Suitable candidates will be identified and selected through the general scholarship application process by the University Scholarship Selection Committee. Candidate(s) names will be forwarded to: 1) The Urban and Regional Planning program, and; 2) the donor.

Frank Schadegg was an exceptional professor in geography, fascinated with action research and field applications across the Inland Northwest. He was a strong force in creating and promoting planning in rural areas, and responsible for the formation of the Planning Association of Washington. Schadegg was the founder of our program, the product of his keen interest in teaching and learning in the field. An endowment for this $1,000 scholarship was established by planners, alumni, and friends of Schadegg to continue the tradition of applied planning and field research among students.

The scholarship shall be administered with the following stipulations:

  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Active participation and leadership in community service
  • Demonstrated financial need

Association for Student Planners (ASP)

The Association of Student Planners (ASP) is an organization for interested students. Our goals as an organization are to:

  • Provide opportunities to utilize urban planning skills in community service projects
  • Promote networking between students and professionals

We serve on the Washington Chapter and the Inland Empire Section of the American Planning Association’s Board of Directors (APA-IES).

For further information or questions, please contact faculty advisor, Jason Scully, at jscully@ewu.edu.

Contact Us

Questions? We're here to help.

Matthew Anderson, PhD

Professor, Director of Urban and Regional Planning
Photo of Matthew Anderson, PhD
Catalyst Room #427

Lisa Denker

Senior Secretary
EWU Creative Writing, Public Administration, and Urban and Regional Planning
Photo of Lisa Denker
Catalyst Room #438