Welcome to the Department of Geography and Planning at the University at Albany. Our students are educated to succeed in a broad range of careers in the Geography and Planning professions.

Our programs reflect an interdisciplinary approach in the training of students. However, students also have the flexibility to pursue specific disciplinary interests in the social sciences, the humanities, or professional areas. Moreover, they can easily combine their culture and language interests and skills with a commitment to issues of diversity, civil and human rights, and social justice.

Program Announcement

Dr. Catherine T. Lawson, Director of the Masters in Urban and Regional Planning (MRP) Program, is pleased to announce the recent modification in the MRP Program, bringing the old specialization of Housing, Local Economic Development and Community Planning, under the new, more comprehensive, designation of Community Planning. This expanded area of specialization will now include community resiliency, along with original three areas. The MRP Program has a policy of “rolling” admissions. For more information, contact Dr. Lawson by email or call (518) 442-4775.

Undergraduate Programs


Geography Major
Geography studies the complex spatial relationships, interactions, and processes within the cultural and natural environments of the Earth’s surface. Read More

Major in Urban Studies & Planning
Urban Studies and Planning majors become deeply engaged with questions of community and neighborhood development, urban policy and design, sustainability, transportation, regionalism, and community development. Read More

Globalization Studies Major
The Globalization Studies Major is designed for students seeking a liberal arts education focusing on major global issues. Students will gain a systematic awareness of the global forces and processes that shape our lives. Read More

Undergraduate Certificate in GIS
This certificate program provides undergraduates with professional and technical training in geographic information systems (GIS) and associated techniques of spatial analysis. Geographic information systems are computer-based systems for storage, analysis, and display of spatial data. Read More

Combined BA/MA in Geography
The combined B.A./M.A. program in geography provides an opportunity for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill integrated requirements of undergraduate and master’s degree programs from the beginning of their junior year. Learn More


Graduate Programs


Masters of Regional Planning
The Certificate in Urban Policy is a graduate-level program designed both for students currently enrolled in graduate programs in social science, and for public officials who wish to improve their knowledge of urban policy. Read More

Masters in Geography
The unifying idea of modern geography is the study of spatial patterns in the cultural and physical features of the earth's surface. Read More

Combined MRP/JD with Albany Law School
The State University at Albany and the Albany Law School received approval for a jointly registered MRP/JD program, constructed from the two institutions’ existing Master of Regional Planning (MRP) and Juris Doctorate (JD) programs.Read More

Graduate Certificate in GIS
The purpose of the graduate certificate program is to provide graduate students in various disciplines, and continuing students working in government and private agencies, with professional and technical training in Geographic Information Systems and in associated techniques of spatial analysis. Read More

Urban Policy Certificate
The Certificate in Urban Policy is a graduate-level program designed both for students currently enrolled in graduate programs in social science, and for public officials who wish to improve their knowledge of urban policy. Read More