Geography and Planning

Teaching and research in the department emphasize urban, social, physical, and cultural geography; city and regional planning; urban design; remote sensing; cartography and geographic information systems; environmental studies; climatology; computer and statistical models; area (regional) studies; urban and regional planning methods; economic development; small town and rural land-use planning. Members of the faculty have strong international links with China, Russia, Australia, and various countries in Africa, Latin America and Western Europe.

Visit the Department of Geography and Planning web site.

Geographic Information Systems CGS

The Geographic Information Systems Certificate program provides students with professional and technical training in Geographic Information Systems and in associated techniques of spatial analysis. A Geographic Information System is a computer-based system for handling spatially structured information, with facilities for processing, retrieval and display (including maps, imagery and other graphics). The disciplines of automated cartography, remote sensing and computer graphics are closely linked in the study of GIS. Various quantitative techniques of spatial analysis are used in bringing GIS products to bear on a wide range of problems, which include analysis of satellite imagery for applications in resource management, agriculture, forestry, and urban planning; land use mapping; computer map analysis and graphics; market area analysis; display of socio-economic data; and a host of other applications ranging from archeology to the analysis of acid rain.

Geographic Information Science MS

The Master of Science in Geographic Information Science prepares students for careers in a wide range of social and environmental application areas that make use of the technologies and methodologies of spatial analysis and mapping.

Geography MA

The unifying idea of modern geography is the study of spatial patterns in the cultural and physical features of the earth's surface. Faculty strengths in the department include: urban, social, cultural and economic geography; climate and environmental systems; geographic information systems, remote sensing, cartography, computer applications and spatial analysis. Faculty have regional interests in Europe, Latin America, North America, Africa, and East Asia. The Department offers two options within the Master’s in Geography: a thesis track for students who intend to pursue further academic study, and a non-thesis track for those interested in obtaining a terminal degree in pursuit of career goals.

Urban Policy CGS

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. The program provides students with an overview of basic concepts and strategies in urban policy analysis, with a focus on both domestic and international realms. It offers opportunities for specialization in specific fields of urban research and policy, drawing on one or more social science disciplines.

Urban and Regional Planning MRP

The M.R.P. in Urban and Regional Planning is a 48-credit program designed to prepare students for professional planning careers with government agencies, consultancy firms, developers, and nonprofit groups. The mission of the Master’s Program (MRP) in Urban and Regional Planning is to provide education for professional planning practice, to research and publish on planning-related issues, and to apply planning methods to improve the quality of life in communities and regions. The Program is interdisciplinary, student-centered and participative, integrating scholarship and practice. It emphasizes the importance of creativity, public involvement, social justice, professional ethics, and environmental sustainability. Please click here for additional program information regarding the Urban and Regional Planning MRP program.

Urban and Regional Planning MRP/JD (Albany Law)

Given the significance of legal issues in planning, and the importance of land-use, housing, transportation, environmental and other planning issues in law, in 2001 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. Please click here for additional program information regarding the Urban and Regional Planning MRP program.

Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy MS

Students learn the basic concepts in conservation biology, politics, policy and planning and how these fields interact in the real world. Biologists with a basic understanding of how policy relates to the goals of preservation and conservation are essential to conservation efforts. Our program, with its multidisciplinary approach, allows students to examine decision-making processes as both scientists and policy analysts.