Urban Planning and Sustainable Development

Urban Planning and Sustainable Development


Huxley’s Urban Planning and Sustainable Development (UPSD) major emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to solving complex problems that face communities. The program emphasizes a concern for progressive change that is needed in the design 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 multidimensional issues in urban development. Students exit the program with the knowledge and skills necessary to make positive changes towards sustainability in an increasingly complex world.


Our program aspires to serve diverse communities and we encourage students with a breadth of backgrounds and life experiences to apply.

Beyond the Classroom

Student work has been recognized from national, statewide, and international organizations for exceptional problem-solving solutions. In 2017, student work received the “Outstanding Student Planning Project” award from the American Planning Association Washington Chapter, and the Planning Association of Washington, for a sustainable development planning study.


Bringing together even broader communities, Huxley College’s urban planning and sustainable development students have the opportunity to take international classes through a number of Huxley faculty-led study abroad summer programs. Each year, our urban planning studio classes participate in community partnerships through Huxley’s Urban Transitions Studio program and WWU’s Sustainable Communities Partnership program to apply classroom research and learning to help solve real life community problems.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The program prepares students to enter professional fields concerned with the sustainability of the human and natural environment, with the knowledge and skills that are necessary to make positive changes towards sustainability in an increasingly complex world. Graduates are prepared for professional careers in planning agencies, consulting firms, and non-profit organizations at the local, state, and federal levels of government, as well as advanced graduate study.

Recent Employers of Graduate Students:

  • Apex Engineering
  • Google Maps
  • Rat2 Motorsports

Sample Jobs

  • Urban Planner
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • County Planner
  • Environmental Public Relations
  • Director of Non-Profit Organizations

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.