BA, Urban Planning & Sustainable Development

Planning Accreditation Board

Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy

College of the Environment | Western Washington University


WWU's College of the Environment's BA in Urban Planning and Sustainable Development Program is nationally accredited through the Planning Accreditation Board

The Urban Planning and Sustainable Development (UPSD) major emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to solving urban problems that face communities. The program emphasizes a concern for progressive change through the planning of equitable, healthful, livable, diverse, and sustainable communities for present and future generations. The curriculum combines urban planning, sustainable design, policy and environmental science to provide students with an understanding of the linkages between urban and the multidimensional problems in urban development. Our program aspires to serve diverse communities and we encourage students with a breadth of backgrounds and life experiences to apply.

The program prepares students with the knowledge and skills needed to make positive changes towards a socially and environmentally just world. Graduates are prepared for professional careers in planning agencies, consulting firms, and nonprofit organizations at the local, state, and federal levels of government, as well as advanced graduate study.


The program envisions a society where individuals and groups can fully participate in the planning and development of their communities such that basic needs of safety, shelter, livelihoods, and opportunity for self-realization are met for all. Community aspirations, as understood by diverse segments of the community, are discussed freely and form the foundation of planning for a more sustainable, equitable, and just future, with special consideration for those who are most marginalized and for the ecological systems that sustain and inspire us.


The mission of the Urban Planning and Sustainable Development Program is to cultivate students to become future planning leaders who are ethical, knowledgeable, and technically capable to assist communities as they plan their futures. The Urban Planning program’s mission affirms and works within the broader mission of Western’s College of the Environment to integrate an outstanding urban planning educational program through faculty-student collaboration, applied research, and professional and community service.

PAB ACCREDITATION NEWS: We received notice on December 11, 2020, from PAB that our application for re-accreditation has been approved for the next five years.

NEWS: Senior Planning Studio received the 2020 Washington American Planning Association and Planning Association of Washington Excellence in Planning Award for City of Ferndale Downtown Redevelopment Plan and the 2017 Outstanding Planning Project for its International Sustainable Planning Study in Greece. In 2019 UPSD Professor Zaferatos was awarded the Myer R. Wolfe Awards for professional achievement to the advancement of the Planning Profession.

Additional Information

For more information on Huxley's UPSD program, please explore the following documentation:

To apply to the UPSD major, visit the UPSD entry in the WWU Catalog.

Sustainable Design Minor

Application Form | Sustainable Design Minor Program Description


Planning Studio Publications


AICP Candidacy Pilot Program

Put your professional career on the Fast Track. Distinguish yourself from your peers through the AICP Candidate Pilot Program. Demonstrate to potential employers a commitment to mastering planning skills and maintaining the highest standard of ethical practice. The AICP Candidacy Pilot program allows students and graduates from accredited programs to register for the AICP Certification Exam in December or June after you graduate, completing the exam prior to earning professional planning experience while the knowledge you gained in the program is still fresh, and authorizing graduates to include "AICP Candidate" in your credentials. Registration information.