Georgia Tech’s graduate planning program ranked No. 5 nationally

By Maria Saporta

Georgia Tech’s Master of City and Regional Planning is building its national stature.

Planetizen, an online publication that caters to urban and regional planning professionals  has just released its top schools for urban planners.

Georgia Tech has climbed from No. 8 to No. 5 in the country since the last edition was published in 2012.

Catherine Ross, director of Georgia Tech’s Center for Quality Growth and Regional Planning, could hardly contain her excitement Wednesday night. When she was congratulated for Georgia Tech’s progress, she gave a huge smile and put her hand for a “High Five.”

She then quickly pointed out that Harvard University is ranked No. 10.

Asked if Georgia Tech could move up in the rankings ladder in future editions of Planetzin, Ross said there were possibilities for advancement in future rankings.

“Many of you are aware that the last edition had Tech in 8th place nationally, so this is a sizeable step up, reflecting the hard work and good ideas of so many of our alumni, faculty, students, staff, and friends,” said Jessie Brandon, communications and outreach coordinator for Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning.

The four schools that have a higher rank than Georgia Tech are: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1); University of California – Berkeley; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and University of California, Los Angeles.

Rounding out the Top 10 are: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (6); Cornell University (7); University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (8); University of Southern California (9); and Harvard University (10).

“The Planetizen Guide is a widely-used, rich source of information about graduate planning programs in the United States,” said Bruce Stiftel, chair of the School of City and Regional Planning, in a story written on its website. “Identification as a top five program by Planetizen in their performance indicator-based ranking is a welcome recognition of Georgia Tech’s innovative and professionally-engaged planning education.”

Rankings are based on a reputational survey of planning educators; program characteristics such as student retention, financial aid, and student/faculty ratio; faculty characteristics such as diversity and research productivity; and student characteristics including employment rate post-graduation, average GPA and GRE scores, and diversity of the student body.

“I am very proud of the great strides our School of City and Regional Planning has made in recent years,” said Steve French, dean of the College of Architecture. “This top five ranking is a reflection of the outstanding scholarship and clear focus on continual improvement they are dedicated to.”

Georgia Tech’s graduate planning program began in 1952 and counts more than 1,400 alumni now working in 49 states and territories and 31 foreign countries.

In addition to the Master of City and Regional Planning program, the School of City and Regional Planning offers courses for undergraduates, as well as a Ph.D. program in city and regional planning, a Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology, and a Master of Science in Urban Design.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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