Downtown San Jose (Northbound) Santa Clara Light Rail Station (VTA).
Image by xAtsukex, via wikimedia (cropped). Creative Commons license CCby3.0

Hello and Welcome

Our institution provides the sole accredited Master's program in Urban Planning within the Silicon Valley region. In addition, our institution provides a range of captivating academic programs. These include a Bachelor of Arts and a Master's degree in Geography, a Bachelor of Science program in Geographic Information Science (GIS), a Master's program in Public Relations, and several certificate programs. The field of urban planning and geography benefits from the expertise of prominent scholars hailing from several academic disciplines such as architecture, communication, economics, history, public policy, and sociology. The presence of our downtown site in one of Northern California's greatest metropolises enriches the educational experience and career-focused programs we offer. Our department has established enduring collaborations with industry, government, and community partners. The graduates of our institution have achieved notable professional success in a wide range of esteemed organizations, including prominent Silicon Valley companies, government entities, and non-profit organizations located in the Bay Area and other regions. we look forward to our next encounter in the upcoming semester.

Message from the URBP Department Chair Dr. Laxmi Ramasubramanian

We are delighted to welcome you to visit our website!

Geography Banner

Masters in Geography

To comprehend a location, geographers analyze its physical, human-made, and social aspects. GIS uses geographical analysis and computers to evaluate huge datasets. Taking advantage of its location, the Silicon Valley Geography Masters program emphasizes urban, cultural, economic, and geospatial techniques.

urban planning

Masters in Urban Planning

Urban planners use visionary thinking and practical problem-solving to help stakeholders manage growth and change.Official and informal institutions handle affordable housing, climate variability, financial growth, ecological protection, communal well-being, and transportation. Since 1970, San Jose State University has offered Silicon Valley's only recognized Master of Urban Planning.

Crosswalk design created by students

Advanced Certificate Programs

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning offers postgraduate certificates in Affordable Housing and Community Development Finance, Applications of Technology in Planning, Community Design and Development, Environmental Planning, GIS, Real Estate Development, and Transportation and Land Use Planning. San Jose State University postgraduates and the public can get professional certifications from the Open University.

Wifi graphic in blue and orange

Mapping Inequity: SJSU Provides Data for New Broadband Legislation

As schools closed in spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, California Assemblymember Robert Rivas, ’11 MPA, saw how "blatant" limited broadband Internet access was hurting families in Assembly District 30, which covers Morgan Hill to King City. The SJSU Spatial Analytics and Visualization (SAVi) Center, led by Assistant Professor of Urban Planning Ahoura Zandiatashbar, created a series of maps that depicted broadband access by demographic across District 30. Early analysis revealed that communities with a higher proportion of vulnerable households live in areas with lower broadband access fixed services.

Students at Guadalupe River Park
APA CA Photo by Aleisha Wright

Activating the Civic Commons in San Jose’s Guadalupe River Park

As part of the Reimagining the Civic Commons Initiative, fourteen MUP students helped CommUniverCity, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, and SPUR assess the national effects of prioritizing public spaces in fall 2020. Richard Kos, AICP, and Jason Su, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy executive director, led it. They led students.

White shore bird wadding in marsh.

Research Shows Lockdowns Did Not Decrease Park Visits

Urban Planning Professor Dr. Ahoura Zandiatashbar and Bloomberg Assistant Professor of American Health in Environmental Challenges in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Dr. Shima Hamidi worked together for this study and found a 13% drop in visits to "essential" stores like grocery stores. And instead an increase in the amount of people who visited parks and beaches.

Professor Laxmi Ramasubramanian

Congratulations to ACSP's Next President!

Dr. Laxmi Ramasubramanian, a professor and Interim Dean of Research for the College of Social Science, was elected Vice President/President Elect of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), the university urban planning professional organization. SJSU commends her. Dr. Ramasubramanian is the 2019–2021 Vice President. She will automatically become ACSP President for 2021–2023 this summer. Dr. Ramasubramanian's election shows her leadership in urban planning and SJSU's growing national recognition. Laxmi, congrats!

Savi Center

Announcing SAVi, the new Center for Spatial Analytics and Visualization at SJSU

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning, SJSU Provost's Office, and Institute for Metropolitan Studies are launching a geographic information systems and urban spatial data science center. Amazing project. The Spatial Analytics and Visualization Center (SAVI) produces significant research and professional services for our campus and the cities, organizations, and companies that shape our region by gathering faculty and students from various University departments.

Students and community members review plans

A Tradition of Community-Based Service and Scholarship

SJSU urban planning and geography students collaborate with locals. They work with Bay Area groups, policymakers, and neighbors. Participatory planning addresses crucial regional future questions. Communities received over $31 million in government funds to implement their plans. Our community partnerships and local planning reports are available at the link above.

Books by URBP faculty members.

Influential Research

Urban Planning and Geography at SJSU are known for their research. The department's esteemed national and international scholars influence policy-making, planning, and academic discourse. For recent publications, awards, and other recognition, click the link above.

View of San Jose, Northern California's largest city.

SJSU is located on the traditional territory of the Muwekma Ohlone people, in the 'Valley of Heart's Delight' on the southern end of the San Francisco Bay.