Urban and Environmental Planning & Policy

Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy

Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy Logo

Welcome to the department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy


About UEPP

The department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy (UEPP) specializes in quality education, applied research, and community engagement that connect knowledge and action to address two of today’s major imperatives:

Environmental Justice and Sustainability
Equity and Opportunity for All

Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy programs prepare students to become leaders in their fields. The Department is home to three specialized and professional programs that, collectively, reflect a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach to planning and policy for communities, cities, and environments.


The Environmental Policy, BA focuses on natural resource and environmental policy, and the skill sets needed to analyze, develop, and implement policy solutions for diverse, just, equitable, and sustainable communities in a resilient environment.

One of only 16 nationally accredited undergraduate programs in the nation, the Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, BA provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to become professional city and regional planners and make positive changes towards a socially and environmentally just world.

The Urban Sustainability, BA is a dynamic program that draws on a broad set of knowledge and skills to understand problems and implement solutions at the intersection of the relationship between humans, cities, and the natural environment.

Still unsure which major to choose from?  Meet with an academic advisor and declare your major early for timely graduation. Declaring your major early has several additional benefits, such as following the right sequence of courses, taking relevant GURs, access to major restricted courses, connecting with faculty in the department, and finding out about opportunities in your department, such as research, clubs, internships, and scholarships and funding opportunities.


UEPP students also have access to several minors, specializations, and certificates with the department and college that can cater to their particular interests and expand their skills.

UEPP Minors

Approved Minors in the College of the Environment

A student's planning and design project shows a rendering of a building and tree-lined street.

Student planning and design project

Graduate Program

Our MA is a College of the Environment master’s degree with specializations in Urban Planning, Environmental Policy, Energy Policy, and Geography.

Careers with a Degree from UEPP

UEPP programs are designed for rewarding professional planning and policy careers in government, non-profit, and private sectors.  Examples of such careers include:

  • departments of housing, transportation, planning, ecology, emergency management, and economic development for tribal, federal, state, and local governments;
  • non-profit organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based advocacy groups, and international organizations;
  • private sector consulting in planning, policy, urban design, real estate, land development, and environmental analysis;
  • and much more.
A group of people sitting at tables watching a presentation

Students conducting the WA APA “Planning for Temporary Encampments” workshop with State planning professionals, unsheltered advocates, and affordable housing providers.

Why did you choose UEPP?

Vivien Coop

“I chose the UPSD major because I have always loved dense cities, political activism, tightly knit communities, and the ability to walk everywhere you go. I didn’t know that these things had a name or could be a career, so, I was thrilled to discover they all fall under urban planning!”

The UPSD program was critical in preparing me for the urban planning and community development field. The skills that the program taught me and connections that the program helped me make allow me to accomplish the climate change planning work I do today. I now work for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s Department of Environmental Protection conducting community engagement on the Reservation, drafting plans like the Swinomish Climate Adaptation Action Plan Update, and grant writing to help fund future climate change adaptation projects for the tribe.

Vivien Coop
Climate Change Researcher

The UEPP Experience

At UEPP we are committed to recognizing, addressing, and eliminating all forms of discrimination and inequality in our programs, in our professions, and in the communities we serve. We strive for equity and inclusion in our actions, we are committed to meaningful and empowering engagement with place, and we invest in student-centered excellence.

At UEPP we foster a sense of community among all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners. Our programs benefit from active student organizations that enhance the educational experience through field trips, academic and professional activities, internships, and community partnerships and service.

Study Abroad with UEPP

A white building with a blue roof next to a bright blue sea in Greece.

Mediterranean Sustainable Development in Greece 
(Summer 2025)

The City and Everyday Life, Naples: Rebel City (coming soon)

Contact Us

Department of Urban and Environmental Planning & Policy
Main Office -
Arntzen Hall 217
College of the Environment
Western Washington University
516 High Street - MS 9085
Bellingham, WA 98225

(360) 650-7773 (Office)

Interactive map: Arntzen Hall, College of the Environment, WWU
Driving directions to Arntzen Hall