Urban Studies & Planning

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Urban Studies & Planning

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning is to prepare students, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, for professional careers in urban studies and planning. In addition, the department seeks to provide a broad based educational experience, set in the context of the social sciences, which contributes to the development of informed and thoughtful individuals prepared to contribute to the society at large. Department faculty supports the mission through teaching, research and publication, community outreach and action, and university service.


The Master of Urban Planning program is now accepting applications for the Fall 2021 

Application Deadlines: 
Priority: Friday, March 5, 2021 
Final: Friday, May 28, 2021

 Hiring Part-Time Faculty for 2021-22 Academic Year

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning at California State University, Northridge is seeking applicants for part-time faculty position pools to be eligible for hire in the 2021-2022 academic year to teach a range of courses, from introductory to upper division.

Featured News

February 2021

Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships 2021

Applications deadline: March 26, 2021

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning is pleased to announce its annual scholarship award competition. This year the department will award up to 15 individual scholarships ($1,000 each) to deserving students.

All scholarships are open only to undergraduate majors in Urban Studies and Planning and/or graduate students enrolled in the department’s master of urban planning program. Read complete details and application process.

January 2021

Governor Appoints Alumnus to Regional Water Board

Michael Mendez (BA 2001) has been appointed by Governor Newsom to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.  Dr. Mendez is an assistant professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the National Academies of Sciences’ Board on Environmental Change and Society.  Mendez earned a master of public policy degree in environmental planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and doctorate in environmental planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

December 2020

Alumnus Awarded the 2021 Dale Prize for a Practitioner. Planning In The Pandemic: Public Health and Social Justice

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Cal Poly University, Pomona, awarded the Dale Prize for a Planning Practitioner Prize to department alumnus, Miguel Vazquez, AICP.  The prize is awarded annually to a distinguished planning practitioner.  Mr. Vazquez currently serves as Healthy Communities Urban Regional Planner at Riverside University Health System - Public Health in Riverside, California.  Congratulations Miguel! For details see Miguel Vazquez, AICP, 2021 Dale Prize Winners.

November 2020

Alumna Elected to City Council of Santa Monica

Department alumna, Christine Parra, has been elected to the Santa Monica City Council.  Christine is also works full-time as the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Culver City. For more details on her election see Christine Parra, Los Angeles Times.

October, 2020

Alumni Appointed as Planning Commissioners

Two of the department’s alumni have been appointed recently as planning commissioners. Melodie Magee (BA ’14) is a recent to the Planning Commission for the City of Klamath Falls, Oregon. While in Los Angeles, Yvette Lopez-Ledesma (BA ‘11, MPA/Urban Studies ‘13) now serves as a commissioner on the North Valley Area Planning Commission for the City of Los Angeles. 

Urban Studies and Planning Students Win Scholarships

The department’s undergraduate majors and graduate students have won a number of prestigious scholarships this summer and fall. These include four scholarship awards from the California Planning Foundation, two scholarship awards from the WTS Los Angeles – Advancing 
Women, and one scholarship from the My Matador Scholarship Fund.  Congratulations to the winners!

American Planning Association – California Planning Foundation

  • Whitney Heller, (Undergraduate Major)
  • Maribel Sandoval Contreras, (Master’s Student)
  • Roxan Rivas, (Master’s Student)
  • Nathan Romine, (Master’s Student)

WTS - Los Angeles – Advancing Women – Advancing Transportation  

  • Roxan Rivas, (Masters Student)
  • Rebecca Swint, (Undergraduate Major)

MyMatador Scholarship Fund 2021 Dario Fernandez Scholarship

  • Maribel Sandoval Contreras, (Master’s Student)