Urban Studies & Planning

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Urban Studies & Planning


Mission Statement

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning prepares students, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, for professional careers in urban studies and planning. The department faculty supports the mission through teaching, research and publication, community outreach and University service.

Vision Statement

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning provides a broad-based educational experience that addresses diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice, and develops informed, thoughtful and able individuals who are prepared to contribute to the field of urban studies and planning.

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning is Hiring for AY 2024-25

Visit our Employment Opportunities page for a list of part-time lecturer positions.

Urban Studies & Planning Alumni: Locally Engaged, Globally Prepared

September 2022

2022-23 Academic Affairs Research Fellow for the College of Social and Behavioral Science

Dr. Mintesnot Woldeamanuel has been awarded the Academic Affairs Research Fellow for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences for 2022-2023 academic year. Research Fellows receive a significant cash award to cover research expenses and are also reassigned from teaching and other duties to research, allowing them to focus intensively on their research during the course of the academic year. Dr. Woldeamanuel’ s project is called the “Built Environment Disparity: Assessing the Impact of Urban Design on Active Living across Different Socio-economic Groups in Los Angeles.” The results of the research will help inform policy makers and contribute to an improvement of “active living” opportunities for the regions residents.
Congratulations Dr. Woldeamanuel!

June 2022

URBS Students, Ali Day and Rebecca Swint, selected as 2022 Merritt Scholars.

We are proud to announce that Ali Day and Rebecca Swint were selected as 2022 Merritt Scholars. The Merritt Scholars Program is a statewide scholarship and mentorship program that attracts the next generation of affordable housing finance and development professionals. Ali and Rebecca will have access to a mentor, fully paid attendance at local and statewide industry conferences, and engagement with industry leaders. We are excited to see what opportunities this program provides Ali and Rebecca. To learn more about this years Merritt Scholars please visit their website.   

May 2022

Commencement Ceremony 2022 

This past weekend urban studies and planning students and urban planning graduate students celebrated their accomplishments and walked across that graduation stage. Below are a couple of photos of our graduates and faculty members during the ceremony. We are immensely proud of all of our graduating students and can't wait to see all the great things you will accomplish. Congrats Class of 2022!

Department of Urban Studies and Planning Graduation Dinner 

After two years of having virtual graduation celebrations, we were excited when the opportunity presented itself to celebrate our students in person. On Thursday, May 19th the department hosted our annual graduation dinner at The Odyssey Restaurant. Graduating undergraduate students, MUP students, family, faculty, and staff came together to celebrate and reflect on the 2021-22 academic year. We also had the opportunity to present scholarship awards to some of our exceptional students. We are looking forward to watching URBS students walk across that stage tomorrow! Congratulations Class of 2022! 

URBS Faculty Member selected as 2022-2023 Academic Affairs Research Fellow for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Mintesnot G. Woldeamanuel, a professor in our department since 2011, was recently selected as the 2022-23 Academic Affairs Research Fellow for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. As the academic affairs research fellow he has received funding for his project titled "Built Environment Disparity: Assessing the Impact of Urban Design on Active Living across Different Socio-economic Groups in Los Angeles". The purpose of this study is to assess the state of the built environment in communities with varied socio-economic conditions in the Los Angeles area. He will do this by examing neighborhood disparity in urban design and the extent to which the built environment encourages or discourages active living. The study will recommend policy and planning strategies that create an equitable urban environment. We are excited that Dr. Woldeamanuel has the opportunity to pursue his research. Congratulations!   

Alumnus Honored as 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow

Dr. Michael Mendez (BA ’01) has been named a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy and Planning at the University of California, Irvine. The Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program provides philanthropic support for scholarship in the humanities and social sciences that addresses important and enduring issues confronting our society. This award is for a period of up to two years and provides fellows with the funding to complete a major study or book. Dr. Mendez will be using this award toward a project titled “Undocumented Disasters: (In) visible Communities Confronting Climate Change and Environmental Injustice”. He is investigating how climate-induced disasters intensify social inequities among undocumented Latino/a and Indigenous migrants. You can read more about Dr. Michael Mendez's journey on the Andrew Carnegie website

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (CSBS) Student Success Impact Award 

URBS student, Juan Lopez, received the student success impact award from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Our faculty member, Dr. Craig Olwert, was also honored with the student success impact award in recognition of his significant contribution to student success. We are pleased that they have been acknowledged for their hard work.   

Department Scholarship Winners

The Department of Urban Studies and planning is proud to announce the winners of this year’s department scholarships. We offered up to 20, $1,000 scholarships for majors and graduate students. Generous donations and gifts from the department’s alumni over the years have funded several scholarships specifically for majors and graduate students. The five different scholarships are the James H. Ring Undergraduate Scholarship, James H. Ring Graduate Scholarship, Alumni Scholarship, Professor Warren Campbell Scholarship, and Paul T. Johnson Scholarship

Please join us in congratulating this year’s scholarship winners:

James H. Ring Undergraduate Scholarship:
  • Stephanie Banuelos
  • Rocio Coronado
  • Levon Dahjet
  • Raylene Gonzalez
  • Jacob Hartmann
  • Peter Kato
  • Erick Robles
  • Jailah Smith
  • Rebecca Swint
  • Kenny Uong
James H. Ring Graduate Scholarship:
  • Timothy Halligan
  • Evan Sahagun
  • Elias Salgado
  • Benjamin Uhrig
  • Brittany Webber
Urban Studies and Planning Alumni Scholarship:
  • Noah Laber
  • Angelique Soliz
Urban Studies and Planning Scholarship- Professor Warren Campbell Scholarship:
  • Ricardo Leyva
Urban Studies and Planning Scholarship- Paul T. Johnson Scholarship:
  • Alexandra Day

March 2022

The department is now accepting applications for the five department scholarships we offer every year. These scholarships are only open to urban studies and planning students which makes every applicant's odds very good! The best part is that you only have to submit one application to be considered for all five scholarships the department is offering. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 25th, 2022. 

January 2022

Per President Beck's announcement on January 7th, CSUN will begin the spring semester with temporary primarily remote instruction for the first three weeks of the semester, Monday, January 24 through Friday, February 11. We will resume in-person instruction on Monday, February 14. Per California State University's new policy, all eligible students and non-represented employees will be expected to provide proof of a booster shot by February 4. For more information follow this link

September 2021

A department alum is appointed vice president

Diana Yedoyan gets appointed vice president of the Afriat Consulting Group. Read more about Diana's role here. 

An undergrad student wins a scholarship

Rebecca Swint was awarded the Stanley R. Hoffman Memorial Scholarship by the California Planning Foundation. Read more about the award on the California Planning Foundation website. Congrats Rebecca!   

June 2021

Urban Studies and Planning student, Kenny Uong, is featured in a recent issue of the Los Angeles Times. Check it out

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.