Applying to the Urban Planning and Sustainable Development Major


Environmental Studies Center


Please send your portfolio as a PDF to or deliver it to ES Building 539.

Application deadline is April 18, 2024 by 5:00pm each spring quarter.

As a nationally accredited professional planning program, admission to the urban planning and sustainable development major at College of the Environment is a competitive process. The program typically accepts a junior cohort class of 25 students annually during spring quarter.

Application Content - submit an application (and a PDF copy) that includes the following:

  • A statement of interest (700-1,000 words) that describes your interest in the urban planning major; your familiarity with urban planning and sustainable development problems; and your vision and affinity to work in the planning field. 
  • A resume summarizing academic, curricular, extra-curricular, and volunteer activities.
  • A portfolio of work that demonstrates your skills and affinity with the major.

Suggested portfolio materials include any or all of the following, or other materials that represent your vision, skills, and experience: a) examples of your best academic writing; b) an annotated list of no more than three inspirational readings; c) examples of creative expression, drawings, or other illustrative skills; and d) description of volunteer or work activities.

Examples of successful portfolios:

Malene Garcia

Austin Hoofnagle

Applications are ranked based on the applicants’ demonstrated interests in solving urban planning problems; commitment to planning’s social and environmental justice goals; aspirations for working in the public interest; relevant skills and experiences; and academic performance. Applicant selection is also based on creating a cohort representing diverse perspectives and lived experiences. To become familiar with the work of urban planning and our program’s curriculum, applicants should review the American Planning Association website as well as the program’s brochure:


Applications are accepted at the College of the Environment office, ES 539, in the spring quarter by April 18 by 5:00pm only for admission to the program in fall quarter. If you have any questions, please contact the admissions advisor in ES 539, or by phone 360-650-2817. For further information, questions, or application forms, please visit the College of the Environment website. You can also email your questions to