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Message from Our Chair

 Qisheng Pan, Ph.D.

ChairIt is my privilege to welcome you to the Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University.  Our department offers instruction, research, and professional services through two graduate degree programs, Master’s of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy (MUPEP) and Doctoral of Philosophy (PhD) in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy.

Our MUPEP program is the only accredited planning program in the Greater Houston region and the fourth accredited planning program in the State of Texas. It was first accredited in 2009. Recently it was awarded a seven year re-accreditation (the longest period allowable) by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). The MUPEP program is designated to train students toward policy-oriented planners and environmental policy analysts and to assume leadership positions in planning organizations. Our PhD program provides advanced knowledge, skills, and extensive experience for students to work closely with an interdisciplinary faculty in research and instruction. We have eight full-time faculty members that are recruited from the first-rate universities and highly qualified for teaching and research. Our faculty members have extensive research experience in varied planning fields, such as housing and community planning, environmental planning, and transportation planning. Our faculty and students have also been actively engaged with the Texas APA and Houston APA. Our programs have received strong support from local planning community through the Council of Planning Advisors (CoPA). Many of our PhD graduate are working as faculty or research scientists in universities or research institutes. Most of our MUPEP alumni are professional planners working in public agencies, not-for-profit community development organizations, private real estate development firms, and other entities.

I appreciate our dedicated faculty and staff. I am also proud of our students’ superior professional performance. I invite you to spend time visiting us or looking deeper into our programs. I will share with you more successful stories of our faculty, staff, and students.

Department’s Mission Statement

The mission of our department is to prepare our Masters students to be professional planners and train doctoral students to be urban planning researchers and professors who are well-prepared to help solve the pressing urban and environmental problems of our city, the region, the nation, and the world. As a state-designated “special purpose institution for urban programming,” we embrace the challenge of preparing students to work on demanding urban and environmental problems in complex political and institutional settings and in difficult multi-cultural situations. We understand the diversity of our students – in race and ethnicity, nation of origin, gender, life experiences and cultural background, and otherwise – as a precious resource for our program, the profession and society. Our mission is to develop this resource to advance the public interest and the common good through planning and policymaking.