Planning and Public Affairs

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Graduate degrees: MPAff; MS in urban and regional planning



Planning and public affairs encompasses the development and implementation of public policies that improve the quality of life in cities, regions, states, and nations as well as protects the environment and sustains the earth. Concentration areas for the MS in urban and regional planning include economic development, geographic information systems (GIS), land use and environmental planning, housing and community development, and transportation. Focus is on analytical urban planning, public policy, and sustainability. Concentration areas for the Master of Public Affairs include public and nonprofit management and public policy.

The School of Planning and Public Affairs is a campus leader in community engagement and hosts the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) through which students from disciplines across campus provide key answers to important sustainability questions for communities in Iowa.

Group of people smiling at camera with kayaks.

Related Certificate

Transportation Planning

The Transportation Planning Program offers the Certificate in Transportation Planning. The program focuses on the varied and complex problems of transportation and on interdisciplinary approaches to addressing them. The departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering (College of Engineering), Economics (Tippie College of Business), and the School of Planning and Public Affairs (Graduate College) participate in the program.

The certificate is coordinated by the School of Planning and Public Affairs. See the Certificate in Transportation Planning (Graduate College) in the catalog.