A bird's eye view of a neighborhood

About Urban and Regional Planning

Buffalo State’s Urban and Regional Planning program awards the only undergraduate urban planning degree in the State University of New York (SUNY) systems. Planning is a discipline dedicated to managing effective change and development in a positive and beneficial manner. Students enroll in our program because they want to play a role in positive change in their communities and neighborhoods. Students interested in cities and neighborhoods; housing and the building environment; sustainability and the natural environment; transportation; and working with members of the community are what make up our student body. 

The Urban and Regional Planning program provides students with a sound, fundamental, and broad knowledge of the planning profession and the skills utilized by professional planners. The department is committed to provide a rigorous, multidisciplinary education for our students, with a focus on skills and applied experience that will enable them to contribute successfully to the local and global community. We prepare our graduates for a wide variety of positions in government, professional consulting, and community development. Additionally, our graduates are well-prepared for graduate school. Our graduates are currently working in community planning; housing and development; transportation planning; and geographic information systems (GIS).

Urban and Regional Planning, B.S.

Degree Information

Planning is a multidisciplinary field where students are exposed to many of the profession’s discipline:

  • Local, state, and federal government
  • Real estate and development
  • Transportation
  • Marketing and demographics
  • Geographic information technology
  • Economic development

We have graduates working around the United States and internationally. Our recent graduates are working at:

  • Erie County Department of Environment and Planning
  • Orleans County Planning and Development Department
  • City of Jamestown
  • Westminster Economic Development Initiative
  • Buffalo Erie Niagara Land Improvement Corporation

Graduate Students: Students who attend graduate school typically specialize in any number of planning’s disciplines, including community development; real estate development, historic preservation; environmental planning; or geographic information systems, among others.

There are numerous opportunities for applied learning experiences for planning majors. Our students have recently completed internships at: 

  • Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council
  • Niagara County Center for Economic Development
  • Richardson Center Corporation
  • Mayor’s Office for Strategic Planning
  • Erie County Department of Environment and Planning
  • Westminster Economic Development Initiative

Students have conducted research projects in areas ranging from main street business development to low-impact development to investigating housing conditions. 

Student Research and Creativity Conference: Students routinely present their research results at the annual Student Research and Creativity Conference and at regional conferences. 

Student Research and Creativity Conference Information

Small Class Sizes

The majority of our courses have small class sizes, with between 8 and 12 students. Approximately three courses in the program have enrollments between 18 and 45 students. Our students benefit from small classes and close interaction with faculty and fellow students. 

A Reputation of Success

Our program is recognized locally by planning agencies and departments; local nonprofit organizations; and by graduate programs at SUNY Buffalo State and SUNY Buffalo for turning out excellent graduates who have contributed to their community as students and are, and have been, successful in both the workforce and graduate school. Our graduates continue to excel in the profession, locally and nationally. 

Experienced Faculty 

Our primary faculty worked in the profession and in the cases of our adjuncts, continue to work in the field. They are involved in a variety of activities including research and community work. Areas of interest in planning include land-use planning, housing and community development, transportation planning, and GIS.

James R. Bensley Lecturer
Elisa T. Bergslien Associate Professor
Jennifer L. Connelly Associate Director, Planetarium
Camille A. Holmgren Professor
Wende A. Mix Associate Professor
Mary F. Perrelli GIS Lab Supervisor
Gary S. Solar Chair and Professor
Nicholas B. Sullivan Lecturer
Tao Tang Professor
Joshua M. Unghire Lecturer
Vida Vanchan Professor
Stephen J. Vermette Professor
Kevin K. Williams Associate Professor
Cynthia A. Wong Administrative Assistant 1