UAP Graduate Certificates 2018-02-09T21:28:56+00:00

      UAP

         GRADUATE CERTIFICATES

     UAP

        GRADUATE CERTIFICATES

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE OPTIONS

UAP’s degrees explore the intersections of planning, policy and practice at the metropolitan, community, and neighborhood scales and in the diverse contexts of rural and urban, poor and affluent, fast growing and declining communities. Our core curriculum includes theory, law, economics, methods, and project-based studios along with such topics as sustainability, real estate development, urban design, community engagement, technology and planning. Students have the flexibility to shape their degrees with special concentrations in environmental planning, international development, urban design, and others that can help them choose careers and market their skills to employers.

UAP faculty have earned national reputations as experts in sustainability, urban regeneration, international development, transportation, housing, disaster management, and community and economic development. UAP faculty in Blacksburg and Alexandria often collaborate with colleagues in the School of Public and International Affairs, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and several Virginia Tech research centers.

Our program is well connected throughout the region with many of our alumni working for local governments–thus, giving students an extensive network for launching careers in local public service. UAP has an excellent faculty-student ratio at each location, which means most of the classes are relatively small with excellent opportunities to interact with the faculty. Each semester UAP offers studios, in which student teams working for public, private and nonprofit clients tackle real world planning, policy, development or design problems—several studios have won awards from the Virginia American Planning Association.

Degree Requirements

The graduation requirements in effect at the time of graduation apply. When choosing the degree requirements information, always choose the year of your expected date of graduation. Requirements for graduation are referred to via university publications as “Checksheets”. The number of credit hours required for degree completion varies among curricula. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion.

The university reserves the right to modify requirements in a degree program. However, the university will not alter degree requirements less than two years from the expected graduation year unless there is a transition plan for students already in the degree program.

Please visit the University Registrar website at http://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.html for degree requirements.

Satisfactory Progress

University policy requires that students who are making satisfactory progress toward a degree meet minimum criteria toward the General Education (Curriculum for Liberal Education) (see “Academics“) and toward the degree in Urban Affairs and Planning.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (ED)

During the next generation, more than $40 trillion will be spent reshaping America’s built environment. More half of all structures existing today will be demolished or reconfigured to serve different functions. New development will exceed in volume 75% of everything existing today. The magnitude of this change will challenge economic, social, governance, physical and environmental systems as never before. It is imperative that the broadest number of current and prospective professionals possible appreciate the dynamics underlying this change, and in some way learn how to manage it.

The Graduate Certificate in Economic Development is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of urban and regional economic development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. Urban and regional planners need to know how they can develop their economies. The challenge for policymakers, economic developers and urban planners nowadays is to design appropriate local and regional economic development policies and programs to respond to challenges resulting from globalization, technological development, demographic changes, urban decline, sprawl, and social inequities.

The target population includes current Virginia Tech and other graduate students in all fields, and others with undergraduate degrees who qualify for admission to the certificate program. As the nature and extent of future development will touch everyone, everyone qualified should have the opportunity to become familiar with the challenges and opportunities.

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time

    Contact Margaret Cowell, mmcowell@vt.edu

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Admission to the Certificate Program requires status as a graduate student in good standing at Virginia Tech, either as a current degree student or as a non-degree certificate student. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 based on the last 60 semester hours of coursework is needed for admission to the Graduate School. Non-degree students whose undergraduate GPA was above 2.75 but below 3.00 may apply for admission under Commonwealth Campus status. Official transcripts must be submitted. Once admitted to the VT Graduate School, please fill out the following graduate certificate application form and submit it to the Graduate School:

Certificate Application

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The Certificate requires the completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate course work. To receive the Certificate, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the courses taken. Students seeking the Certificate must complete at least six credit hours from among the following courses plus six credit hours in electives:

UAP 5234: Urban Economy & Public Policy

UAP 5104: Urban & Regional Development Theory

UAP 5784: Local Economic Development Planning

UAP 5774: Economic Development Studio

All credits for the Certificate must be 5000- or 6000-level courses and must be graded on an A-F basis unless they are only offered on a Pass/Fail basis. All courses must be taken from programs in Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs with at least nine in Urban Affairs and Planning. The Certificate is offered at both the Alexandria and the Blacksburg campuses.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (GIT)

Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) includes collection and analysis of remotely sensed data, digital spatial and attribute data used by geographic information systems (GIS), and the application of related technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Geographic Information Science is one of the leading careers in the United States today.

As depth of knowledge is important to careers in the industry, this certificate requires 12 hours of geospatial coursework. Coursework is taken from three categories, beginning with introductory topics, and continuing through more advanced and specialized topics as best fits the student’s background and future goals.

  • UAP
  • Blacksburg
  • Full Time/Part Time

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Virginia Tech students accepted in any graduate program category: PhD., MS, MA, Commonwealth Campus, or Non-Degree can be admitted into the GIT program by completing the Graduate Certificate Application, and completing a plan for taking courses required on the course checklist below. Students should meet with an academic adviser familiar with the classes on the list below and submit the application form to Dr. Bill Carstensen for Certificate Program Approval signature no fewer than six months prior to completion of coursework.

Specific steps in the process are:

  1. Meet with or discuss the choice of acceptable courses with an adviser knowledgeable of the GIT coursework on campus (suggestions are below in additional information),
  2. Fill out and bring the certificate application form to Dr. Bill Carstensen for signature.
  3. Submit the signed form to the Graduate School no fewer than six months prior to completion of course requirements,
  4. Complete 12 hours from the course requirements list below, and
  5. Submit the completed course check sheet and an unofficial copy of the transcript along with the Application for Degree or Certificate Conferral form  to Dr. Bill Carstensen, chair of the Oversight Committee, for a signature, and then take Application for Certificate Conferral Form to the Graduate School.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

A.  Introductory Courses:  (0 – 6 credits to cover prerequisites for courses below)
Conceptual, technical, and operational aspects of geographic information systems as a tool for storage, analysis, and presentation of spatial information. Focus on engineering applications in resource management, site selection, and network analysis. Laboratory work required. Graduate standing required.
Examination of data structures used in geographic information systems. Map projections and coordinate systems used in mapping. Database creation, maintenance, and integrity. Applications of GIS methods for solving civil engineering problems in land management and related areas.
Course will introduce students to the theory and applications of database management systems (DBMS) and geographic information systems (GIS). Uses, challenges, and limitations of these technologies in natural resource management application will be discussed.
Philosophy and rationale of remote sensing as a part of the resource management process; comparisons of analogic and digital sensors; sensor selection and proper use; accuracy assessment; signature development; and identification of factors which affect the quality of remotely sensed information.
Foundations and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS); geographic coordinate systems, Cartesian map projections, spatial data sources, efficient GIS data structures, map representations, and spatial applications of GIS. Pre: Graduate Standing.
Theory and methods of remote sensing. Practical exercises in interpretation of aerial photography, satellite, radar, and thermal infrared imagery. Digital analysis, image classification, and evaluation. Applications in earth sciences, hydrology, plant sciences, and land use studies. Field project and report. Review of current research literature. Graduate standing required.
Introduction to the concepts and methods of ecological resource survey and analysis at regional and site scales. Approaches to environmental problem solving with an emphasis on data collection, evaluation, and synthesis using applicable technologies such as geographic information systems. Interpretation of landscape resource data for the purpose of physical planning and design.
An examination of a wide range of computer-based techniques that are of value in analyzing urban and regional planning and management problems. Techniques include linear programming, goal programming; modeling of complex systems; and decision modeling. May be repeated with different content for a maximum of 12 credits.
B.  Advanced Courses:  (6 -12 credit hours)
This project based course deals with both vector and raster Geographic Information Systems (GIS), network analysis, tracking applications, hydrologic applications, spatial analysis, web databases, and linking GIS to models with programming, specifically in the civil and environmental engneering arena. Pre: Any introductory GIS course, including CEE 5204, GEOG 4084, or BSE 4344. Pre: Graduate standing.
Advanced GIS course focusing on raster analysis with particular application to the issues associated with hydrologic analysis. Application and evaluation of algorithms for terrain analysis, watershed characterization, and hydrologic analysis and modeling as implemented in GIS. Digital elevation data sources and error assessment. Approaches to GIS/model integration and application. Pre:Graduate standing.
This course treats a specific advanced topic of current research interest in the area of data and information. Papers from the current literature or research monographs are likely to be used instead of a textbook. Student participation in a seminar style format may be expected. Prerequisite(s): CS 5604 (UG) OR CS 5614 (UG) OR CS 5604 OR CS 5614.
Interdisciplinary seminar devoted to current research in the fields of remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems, and related topics. Seminars, workshops, and presentations conducted by students, faculty, and visitors. Pre: Graduate standing.
Theory of spectroscopy and spectrometry from portable spectroradiometers to airborne and spaceborne hyperspectral sensors as relevant to natural resource applications, including vegetation species indentification and vegetative health, soil and peat properties, mineral and geothermal characteristics, and water applications. Practical investigation of research tools and techniques used to analyze hyperspectral data. Pre-requisite: Graduate Standing Required.
Acquiring and using publicly available natural resources data sources. Methods and algorithms for terrain modeling and landscape metrics. Evaluation of the impacts of data errors and variability on analysis results, including sensitivity analysis of GIS-based resource assessments. Special issues related to temporal data and the management of natural resources information systems.
Theoretical underpinning of established and emerging research using light detection and ranging (lidar) technology for forestry applications including detailed terrain mapping and digital elevation models, canopy height modeling, prediction of forest biophysical parameters, forest physiology and the canopy light regime, watershed mapping and stream modeling, ecological modeling, landsca[pe classifications, and wildlife habitat. Advanced research tools and techniques used to analyze lidar data for different applications. Graduate standing required.
Methods of describing and analyzing spatial distributions, including spatial autocorrelation, quadrat analysis, trend surface analysis, and methods of map comparison. Applications to student research problems.
Use of automated systems for geographic data collection, diditization, storage, display, modeling and analysis. Basic data flow in GIS modeling applications. Development of proficiency in the use of current GIS software. Pre: Graduate Standing.
Principles, history, and methods of aerial photographic interpretation. Introduction to photographic systems and application to aerial photography. Human dimension to photo interpretation. Applications to varied fields of knowledge such as land-use mapping, earth sciences, forestry, agriculture, history and archaeology, and military and strategic studies.
Geographical analysis of water as a hazard upon human (infrastructure, economy) and natural (rivers, groundwater) systems in the form of hydrometeorological events, water- and vector-borne disease, climate change, dams, and eutrophication. Development of proficiency in demonstrating the multi-dimensionality of water resources. Pre: Graduate Standing.
Analysis of the spatio-temporal patters of land use and Land Cover Change (LULCC) as observed in satellite images. Tropical deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural intensification. Rates and patterns of LULCC linked to biophysical and socio-economic drivers. Impacts of land change with respect to local climate, biodiversity, water yield and quality, and ecosystem services.
This course focuses on the analysis of the spatio-temporal of the vegetated land surface as observed in satellite images. Phenological events, such as the first openings of leaf and flower buds, are good indicators of the impact of local and global climate change. The focus of this course will beon satellite image time series used in the derivation of land surface phenology, the appearance and development of phenology other global regions, and the methods developed for the monitoring of phenology with satellite imagery. A major theme will be causes of spatio-temporal changes of phenological events and the effect of global climate change. Pre-requisite: Graduate Standing required.
Computational methods of map analysis with the ArcGIS Geographic Information System. Scripting and Visual Basic.NET programming using Environmentatl Systems Research Institute’s ArcObjects library for customization of GIS software to meet research and analytical needs for both the desktop and the web. Pre: 5084G and computer programing experience.
Use of web mapping technologies for geographic data collection, storage, analysis, and display. Web mapping topics include history and context, spatial data infrastructures, hardware and software architectures, Open Geospatial Consortium standards, mapping API’s, virtual globes, user-centric design, web cartography. Pre: Graduate standing.
In-depth coverage of advanced topics in the field of remote sensing selected to cover emerging techniques and technologies. Examples of topics, which will differ each semester, include field data in support of remote sensing, accuracy assessment, and hyperspectral remote sensing. Critical assessment of the ways in which remotely sensed data and information are employed in varied scientific disciplines and by society.
Spatial data structures: geostatistical data, lattices and point patterns. Stationary and isotropic random fields. Autocorrelated data structures. Semivariogram estimation and spatial prediction for geostatistical data. Mapped and sampled point patterns. Regular, completely random and clustered point processes. Spatial regression and neighborhood analyses for data on lattices.

Potential Advisors and Departments

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN GLOBAL PLANNING & INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (GPID)

The world is facing enormous challenges in the next century including climate change, water scarcity, world hunger, poverty, rapid urbanization, unemployment, natural habitat loss, resource degradation, and fiscal and institutional mismanagement. To face these challenges, we need thoughtful, ethically informed, and future-oriented solution builders who are thinking at a global scale.

The Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies builds on Virginia Tech’s internationally recognized, 30-year specialization in international development planning and an innovative partnership between faculty in programs such as Urban Affairs and Planning, Public Health, Geography, and Building Construction. The certificate seeks to prepare graduate students in multiple disciplines to engage in meaningful global professional leadership and academic positions to systematically tackle and resolve these global planning and development issues. The certificate may be taken in conjunction with most of Virginia Tech’s masters and doctoral degree programs. This certificate is only available on the Blacksburg campus at this time.

The certificate may be taken in conjunction with most of Virginia Tech’s masters and doctoral degree programs.

Contact: Ralph Hall, rphall@vt.edu

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

The certificate is open to all graduate students pursuing masters or doctoral degrees at Virginia Tech. Interested non-degree students may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis. Prospective certificate applicants should confer with their respective graduate degree program academic advisors to ensure that pursuit of the certificate will productively complement their primary graduate degree objectives.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The core of this graduate certificate focuses on global planning issues and development project design, implementation, and evaluation. Following the required two-course, six-credit core sequence, students may select an additional six credit hours in three specializations:

  • Non-profit and Non-governmental Organization Management and Development
  • Sustainable Infrastructure Development
  • Public and Environmental Health and Global Development

Additional graduate courses of study in environmental planning and policy, women and gender in international development, natural resources management, homeland and global security, agricultural and rural development, and international business management are also offered at Virginia Tech and may be taken in addition to the three areas of specialization.

Required Core Courses (6 to 9 credit hours)*

1. UAP 5764G International Development Policy and Planning (3H)
2. UAP 5764 International Development Planning Studio (3H)

*Note: UAP/AAE 6314 Applied Development Economics (or equivalent) may be required of students not having adequate development economics background (to be determined by certificate coordinator in consultation with student’s department faculty advisor).

Elective Courses (6 credit hours)*

Non-profit and Nongovernmental Organization Management and Development

– UAP 5364 Nongovernmental Organizations in International Development
– UAP 5454 Nonprofit Organization and Management
– UAP 5534 Nonprofit Leadership and Governance
– UAP 5544 Public and Nonprofit Financial Management

Sustainable Infrastructure Development

– UAP 5324 Topics in Infrastructure Planning in Developing Countries
– UAP 5864 Topics in Transportation Policy and Planning
– BC 5144 Sustainable Infrastructure Systems
– UAP 5424 Urban Planning in Europe (1 H)

Public and Environmental Health and Global Development

– PHS 5004 Fundamentals of Public Health
– PHS 5014 Environmental Health
– PHS 5224 Comparative Health Systems
– GEOG 5214 Health and the Global Environment

*Note: The two required elective courses can be selected from two different areas of specialization.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN METROPOLITAN STUDIES (MS)

During the next generation, more than $40 trillion will be spent reshaping America’s built environment. More half of all structures existing today will be demolished or reconfigured to serve different functions. New development will exceed in volume 75% of everything existing today. The magnitude of this change will challenge economic, social, governance, physical and environmental systems as never before. It is imperative that the broadest number of current and prospective professionals possible appreciate the dynamics underlying this change, and in some way learn how to manage it.

The Graduate Certificate in Metropolitan Studies is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of metropolitan development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. The certificate is part of the Urban Affairs and Planning program’s overall mission to teach students how to understand, analyze, and influence the forces that shape the metropolitan built environment.

The target population includes current Virginia Tech and other graduate students in all fields, and others with undergraduate degrees who qualify for admission to the certificate program. As the nature and extent of future development will touch everyone, everyone qualified should have the opportunity to become familiar with the challenges and opportunities.

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time

Contact: Kris Wernstedt, krisw@vt.edu

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Admission to the Certificate Program requires status as a current graduate student in good standing in Virginia Tech. If not currently such a student, then application as a non-degree certificate student is necessary. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 for this category is needed. Exceptions include achieving this minimum based on the last 60 semester hours of coursework or Commonwealth Campus admission if the GPA is above 2.75 but below 3.00. Official transcripts must be submitted. Application requirements are posted on Virginia Tech’s Graduate School web site.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The Certificate requires the completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate course work. To receive the Certificate, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the courses taken.

Students seeking the Certificate who are *not *enrolled in the MURP degree program must complete at least six credit hours from among the following core certificate courses plus six credit hours in electives.

Core: Six credit hours from among:

UAP 5104: Urban & Regional Development Theory
UAP 5174: Theory & Practice of Urban & Regional Planning
UAP 5194: Urban Growth Management
UAP 5234: Urban Economy & Public Policy
Electives: Six credit hours from among other UAP courses including those not used for the core noted above, as approved by the faculty.

Students seeking the Certificate who *are *enrolled in the MURP degree program must complete the following two core certificate courses plus six credit hours in electives.

Core: Six core credit hours from:

UAP 5104: Urban & Regional Development Theory
UAP 5194: Urban Growth Management

Electives: Six credit hours from among other UAP courses not used for the core noted above and not appearing on the MURP plan of study, as approved by the faculty.

All courses used for the Certificate must be graded on an A-F basis. All courses also must be taken from Virginia Tech’s Urban Affairs and Planning Program.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT (NM)

Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs offers an exciting certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management. We are expanding the reach of the certificate by moving all courses to an online format and focusing the core material on the most vital and urgent management challenges for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. The certificate is ideal for rising professionals across the globe navigating the complex fiscal, managerial and networked environments of nonprofits and NGOs during a time of significant change. Courses in the certificate also include a focus on leadership, complex management, program evaluation with an emphasis on accountability, and all courses seamlessly integrate the domestic and international context.

The School of Public and International Affair’s graduate certificate in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management serves graduate students in NCR and Blacksburg and working professionals in both nonprofits/NGOs and the public sector. The certificate fosters the development of students by offering a streamlined curriculum focusing on the seamlessness between international and domestic environments, engaged pedagogy, reflexivity, and collaborative learning.

For more information, please contact: Anne Khademian khademi@vt.edu and/or Anna Erwin erwinae@vt.edu

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Admission and award requirements for the Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management certificate program are equivalent to the requirements for the Graduate School and the participating SPIA programs.

For persons not already enrolled in a Virginia Tech master’s or doctoral program:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Graduate School application (Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management)
  • Application Fee (see Graduate School for amount)
  • Transcripts – undergraduate and other graduate degrees, if applicable.
  • GRE scores are not required.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter describing your substantive interests and possible area of specialization
  • International Students – also include TOEFL examination scores

For master’s and doctoral students:

  • be accepted as a graduate student in an established academic department
  • have at least one faculty member from the School with experience in NPOs/NGOs on your graduate committee
  • have your application signed by your major professor
  • provide evidence of how you will integrate this certificate program into your overall plan of study

Certificate Award

In order to earn the graduate certificate in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management, students must complete all certificate courses with a grade of “C-” or better and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 across the certificate courses

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Students are required to take four out five of the following courses:

  • SPIA 5514 – Nongovernmental Organizations in International Development (offered on Blacksburg campus and online) Roles of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO) in international development. NGO interactions with local governments, community organizations, international governmental organizations, and private businesses. Tensions and collaborations between NGOs and other development actors.
  • SPIA 5544 – Public and Nonprofit Financial Management (offered only online) Role of finance in the management of complex public, nonprofit, and nongovernmental organizations. Functions of financial management, including planning and budgeting, reporting, resource acquisition, and internal controls in the nonprofit context.
  • SPIA 5574 – Nonprofit Organization and Management (offered on Blacksburg campus and online) Internal management for nonprofit and nongovernmental organization managers with emphasis on unique cultural, social, political, and economic challenges facing nonprofit managers. Key management knowledge, processes, and systems skills for managers in nonprofit organizations and NGOs and the role of internal collaboration. Challenges facing domestic nonprofits compared to those found in nongovernmental organizations across the globe.
  • SPIA 5534 – Nonprofit Organization Leadership (offered on Blacksburg campus and online) Methods of devising and implementing leadership strategies in the complex economic, cultural, social, and political contexts in which nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations operate. Theories, models, and tools for success, focusing on leadership accountability, ethos, and performance.
  • SPIA 5524 – Nonprofit Accountability and Evaluation (offered only online) Societal role of the nonprofit sector. Why nonprofit organizations are held accountable, to whom they are accountable, and how organizations can satisfy accountability demands. Evaluation tools for accountability.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN WATERSHED MANAGEMENT (WM)

In the 21st century, challenges that relate to watershed management and the need to protect water quantity and water quality will be intensified in Virginia and the nation, owing to increased water demand, changes in land-use, and other competing interests. Management of water resources is a critical issue facing governmental agencies, as well as the private/industrial sector and citizens. Universities and colleges have a major responsibility to prepare future water and land managers to meet these challenges. Future water managers and decision makers need knowledge and training in natural science, technical assessment, economics, planning, and policy. In recent years, it has been recognized that the most effective approach to management of water resources is at the watershed scale with input from various stakeholders. Furthermore, there have been significant advances in understanding watershed science both in the natural and social sciences, and there is a national trend to integrate various facets of watershed studies in interdisciplinary programs.

The Watershed Management Certificate (WSMC) program at the graduate level integrates existing programs and courses from five colleges and ten departments at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making. The program provides excellent opportunities for students from many disciplines to study watershed management and develop interdisciplinary skills necessary for effective professional work in this emerging field.

The Watershed Management Certificate requires the completion of 11 credit hours. Students must complete the core class “Land Use and Environment: Planning and Policy” and chose three other courses in Watershed Science and/or Watershed Analysis.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Virginia Tech students accepted in any graduate program category: PhD, MS, MA, Commonwealth Campus, or Non-Degree can be admitted into the WSMC program by completing the Graduate Certificate Application, and completing a plan for taking courses required on the course checklist below. Students should meet with an academic adviser familiar with the classes on the list below and submit the application form to Dr. Kevin McGuire for the Certificate Program Approval signature no less than six months prior to completion of coursework.

After completing the 11-12 hours of courses required, take the course requirements checksheet (available on the WSMC webpage: http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/watershed-management-graduate-certificate) to Dr. McGuire for signature. Students should bring a copy of their transcript for verification purposes.  Submit the signed course requirements checksheet to Dr. McGuire no less than six months prior to completion of course requirements, or as soon as possible to meet the Graduate School deadlines. Transfer credits are not permitted.

Upon successful completion of certificate requirements, an Application For Certificate Conferral must be signed by the department and submitted by the Application for Degree deadline in the term in which the certificate will be awarded.  The Graduate School will then check to see that courses listed on the Certificate Application form were satisfactorily taken (i.e., grades for certificate courses must be “C” or higher and the overall certificate GPA must be 3.0 or higher).

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

A. Required Core Course: Watershed Management (3 credit hours):

Choose one of the courses below:

UAP 5134G Land Use and Environment: Planning and Policy

UAP/NR 5414 Natural Resources Planning (NCR)

B. Additional Courses (8-9 credit hours):

1. Watershed Science (choose 1 course, 3 hours)
BSE 5404 Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution
FREC 5354G Advanced Forest Soils and Hydrology
LAR 5304G Topics: Advanced Landscape Architecture Technology – Hydrology
FIW 5534G Advanced Wetland Ecology and Management
NR 5884 Watershed Science, Education & Leadership (NCR)
CEE 5324 Advanced Hydrology (NCR)
CEE 5734 Urban Hydrology and Stormwater Management
GEOS 5804G Advanced Groundwater Hydrology
FIW 5814 Stream Habitat Management

2. Watershed Analysis (choose 2 courses, 5-6 hours)
BIOL 5034 Ecosystem Dynamics
BSE 5244 GIS in Hydrologic Analysis
BSE 5354 Nonpoint Source Pollution Modeling
CEE 5204 GIS Applications in Civil and Environmental Engineering (NCR)
FREC 5254 Remote Sensing of Natural Resources
FREC 5264 GIS Applications in Natural Resources Management
LAR 5044 Land Analysis and Site Planning
CSES 5854 Advanced Wetland Soils

UAP UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM

Undergraduate Course Descriptions (UAP)

Introduces academic requirements for the Public and Urban Affairs (PUA) and Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP) majors. Assists students with academic planning and career exploration. Students develop an ePortfolio to document their personal and professional growth in the major. Course must be taken during the first semester in the PUA or EPP program. (1H,1C)
This class introduces some of the most vital concerns and issues challenging democratic capitalistic urban societies today. Topics addressed include different perspectives on the causes and portent of the urban underclass, the growing inequality between the educated and less well educated in the nation’s labor markets, the causes of the marked resegregation of many of the nation’s urban centers by race and income and the implications of privatization and interjurisdictional competition for the public policy behavior and outcomes of subnational governments. (3H,3C)
Introduction to real estate, including markets, land use planning and zoning, development, finance, construction, sales, marketing, management and property valuation. Examines the key actors and processes in each of these areas. Explores major public policies impacting real estate. (3H,3C)
Relationships between urbanization and economic development; role of cities in social, political, cultural, and economic development of societies; cities as settings for innovation and change. (3H,3C)
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.
An introduction to urban policy and urban planning. Includes analysis of the basic concepts and principles of urban policy, a review of urban policy in the United States, discussion of the development of urban planning and its role in shaping the urban environment, and an analysis of the relationship between public policy and planning and the organization and structure of the urban environment. Must complete prerequisite UAP 1024 with a B- grade or higher. Pre: 1024. (3H,3C)
Overview and application of various methods used to study, represent, understand communities in their urban and regional context. Data collection and analysis; population, land use, transportation and economic forecasting; selecting and applying an appropriate method; designing and presenting a community study. Restricted to majors and minors only. (3H,3C)
Systematic analysis of the field and practice of public policy implementation. Includes analysis of the structure and dynamics of the policy process as well as specific analytic approaches to understanding policy implementation. Includes analysis of intra-organizational, inter-organizational and intergovernmental implementation processes. Must complete prerequisites UAP 3014 (B- or higher) or 3354, and UAP 3024 (B- or higher). Pre: 3024, (3014 or 3354). (3H,3C)
Consideration of one particular issue of immediate importance to the contemporary urban environment. Topics emphasize major social or economic policy issues, and may change each year. Junior standing required. (3H,3C)
Critical examination of major global environmental problems (e.g., global warming, atmospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, tropical deforestation, toxic waste) with emphasis on their social, economic, political, ethical, and policy implications and solutions. Completion of Area 4 of University Core required. (3H,3C)
Introduction to the interdisciplinary principles of environmental policy, planning, economics, and ethics to address pollution abatement, resources conservation, habitat protection, and environmental restoration. The course will focus on practical means of identifying environmental problems and creatively solving them. (3H,3C)
The role and context of public administration in the contemporary United States, administrative organization and decision-making, public finance, human resources administration, and program implementation. Pre: PSCI 1014. (3H,3C)
The legal context of the exercise of discretion by public administrators in the United States. Adjudication and rule- making; access to administrative processes and information; legislative and judicial control of administration. Pre: PSCI 1014. (3H,3C)
The concept of community in Appalachia using an interdisciplinary approach and experiential learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, public policy, and human development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)
Description and analysis of the processes and institutions involved in the making and implementation of public policy in the United States, with a primary focus on domestic and economic policy. Empirical and normative models of the process of public policy making in the U.S. Pre: PSCI 1014. (3H,3C)
Methods and approaches used in the analysis and evaluation of public policy; strengths and limitations of various analytic tools; normative issues in the practice of policy analysis. Pre: PSCI 1014 or PSCI 1014H. (3H,3C)
Contemporary uses of Marxian concepts and theories to study the world economy, business structure, current social issues, modern ethical values, and alienation. Pre: PSCI 1014 or PSCI 1014H. (3H,3C)
Variable credit course.
Issues, concepts, and techniques of citizen participation in community development. Institutional frameworks and their historical precedents. Exercises developing group communications skills, public meeting facilitation, and design of community involvement programs. Pre: Senior standing required. (3H,3C)
Explores intersecting roles of gender, culture, and socio-economic status in people’s use of nature, management of environmental resources, and experiences of environmental change. Examines debates on environmental and development initiatives, environmental ethics, and environmental social movements from feminist perspectives. (3H,3C)
Issues in applied environmental ethics. Contributions of diverse religious and philosophical traditions to contemporary perspectives on the human-nature relationship. Examination of environmental policies from utilitarian economic, deep ecology, and ecofeminist perspectives. Junior, senior or graduate standing required. (3H,3C)
This course examines the legal principles and policy debates involved in the regulation and protection of critical environmental resources. Specific topics vary but will likely include wetlands law and policy, endangered species habitat, open space, forestland and farmland protection, coastal zone management, and floodplain regulation and policy. (3H,3C)
Interdisciplinary, experiential problem solving studio focusing on specific environmental problems. Working in groups, students interact with local officials, consultants, developers, environmental groups to explore the processes of environmental management, regulation and mitigation, applying techniques and skills frequently used by environmental planners and policy-makers. Senior status required and 9 credit hours, 3000-level or above, in the Environmental Policy and Planning major or minor; Pre: 3354, 3224. (2H,5L,4C)
Critical examination of the social, political, economic, legal, scientific, and technological contexts underlying processes of environmental change, problems, and solutions, as seen from various conceptual and disciplinary perspectives. Senior status required and 9 credit hours, 3000-level or above, in the Environmental Policy and Planning major or minor. Pre: 3354, 3224. (2H,2C)
Environmental factors involved in land use planning and development, including topography, soils, geologic hazards, flooding and stormwater management, ecological features, and visual quality. Techniques used in conducting environmental land inventories and land suitability analyses. Policies and programs to protect environmental quality in land use planning and development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)
Planning and policy aspects of managing residuals and environmental contaminants and their effects on human health and environmental quality. Technical and economic factors involved in management of water quality, air quality, solid and hazardous wastes, toxic substances, and noise. Implementation of pollution control legislation, policies, and programs at federal, state, and local levels. (3H,3C)
Practical design fundamentals for small scale renewable energy systems: solar building heating and cooling; solar domestic hot water; wind, photovoltaic, and hydroelectric systems; alcohol, methane and other biomass conversion systems. Developing plans, programs, and policies to stimulate development of renewable systems. Pre: (MATH 1016 or MATH 1025). (3H,3C)
This seminar is the integrative forum for the principal elements of the Washington Semester experience. The course explores both the role of political institutions in policy formation and implementation and the primary managerial and leadership challenges that arise for implementing organization managers in American democratic public policy-making. Pre: Junior standing or instructor consent and acceptance into the Washington Semester program. X-grade allowed. (3H,3C)
This course is part of the Washington Semester. Explores the relationship between the imperatives of democratic mobilization, policy choices and organizational choices through intensive study of the operating context of a selected public or nonprofit organization. Examines implications of policy-maker choices for implementing institution dynamics and challenges. Pre: Junior standing and acceptance into the Washington Semester program required. X-grade allowed. Pre: PSCI 3714. (3H,3C)
Examines the provision and financing of public goods and services in local governments. Analyzes associated policy issues. Reviews experience in Western Europe and developing countries, as well as in the United States. Must complete prerequisites UAP 3024 with B- grade or higher, and ECON 2005 and 2006 with C grade or higher. Pre: 3024, (ECON 2005 or ECON 2005H), (ECON 2006 or ECON 2006H). (3H,3C)
Examination of the legal context in which urban planning and public policy operate. Legal structure, role of law, powers of sovereign governments, constitutional limitations on government activities, and public-private conflict and their influence on planning and public policy are examined. Pre: Junior standing required. (3H,3C)
Examination of major development theories and contemporary issues and characteristics of low-income societies (industrialization, urbanization, migration, rural poverty, hunger, foreign trade, and debt) that establish contexts for development planning and policy-making. Junior standing required. (3H,3C)
Course examines the interdependences among the elements of the built environment of the city and those between the elements of the built environment and the policy/planning structure of the city. Considered are those elements associated with the primary urban activities (residential, commercial, industrial) as well as the urban form-giving infrastructure facilities that support those land uses (water supply, sewerage, solid waste disposal, transportation, education, recreation, health, and safety). Pre: 3224. (3H,3C)
This capstone seminar explores the central questions of the role of the citizen and the citizenry in democratic capitalistic urban societies as well as the nature of accountability in such regimes. Topics such as the processes by which representation occurs, alternate theories of democratic community and the relationship of the public, private and civil sectors in urban society are treated. Senior status in PUA required. PUA majors and minors must complete this course with a C grade or higher to graduate; otherwise course must be repeated. Pre: 3224, 4714, 4754. (3H,3C)

4964: FIELD STUDY: Variable credit course. X-grade allowed.

4964H: HONORS FIELD STUDY: Variable credit course.

4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY: Variable credit course. X-grade allowed.

4984: SPECIAL STUDY: Variable credit course.

4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH: Variable credit course.

UAP UNDERGRADUATE CONTACTS
Co-Chair: Tom Sanchez
University Distinguished Professor: P. Knox
Professors: J.O. Browder, S. Hirt, T. Sanchez, and M. Stephenson
Associate Professors: D. Bieri, R. Buehler, R. Hall, K. Wernstedt, D. Zahm, and Y. Zhang
Assistant Professors: M. Cowell, S. Misra, T. Schenk, and T. Skuzinski
Adjunct Professors: B. Anderson, S. Mastran, E. Morton, J. Provo, and M. E. Ridenour
UAP ACADEMICS

Undergraduate Degrees

The Bachelor of Arts in Public and Urban Affairs degree provides the planning and policy skills and insights in order to understand and affect the economic, environmental, social, and governmental consequences of urban growth and change. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector addressing complex problems in realms such as urban planning, environmental justice, economic development, food systems, and international development.
The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning degree provides students the opportunity to study environmental problems and their solutions from an interdisciplinary perspective involving humanities, natural and social sciences, planning, and public policy. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities. Graduates of the Environmental Planning and Policy degree program work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities.

Undergraduate Minors

The Environmental Policy and Planning Minor provides a critical interdisciplinary insight into modern environmental concerns.
A minor in Public and Urban Affairs requires completion of 18 credit hours:
UAP 1024: Public Issues in Urban Society
UAP 3014: Urban Policy and Planning
12 hours from approved list of UAP courses
The Real Estate Minor is a vital aspect of educating students for careers in real estate and in the real estate aspects of many facets of modern life. The instructional material is relevant to professionals in a wide range of real estate organizations and program graduates work in public sector agencies and in the private sector in such areas as economic development, urban planning and commercial/residential development.
The Watershed Management Minor provides an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy and decision-making. Alumni are prepared for careers in government, nonprofits and private sector organizations that focus on water resources.

Master’s Degrees

The Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree has a dual objective of training graduates for their first planning job, and more importantly instilling conceptual and critical thinking necessary for lifelong learning and career development. Graduates are able to assume professional responsibilities in a wide variety of positions in public service or in the private sector.
MURP’s Dual Masters degrees, also known as simultaneous degrees, exist between the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Natural Resources degrees (MNR). Dual degrees provide students with the opportunity to master core material in more than one field, allowing them to acquire the flexibility to engage in a wide range of activities within multiple fields and become bridge-builders between them; in fact, many rise to leadership positions because of their multi-disciplinary perspective. If you are interested in this program in Blacksburg, please contact uapvt@vt.edu. If you are interested in this program in Alexandria, please contact UAPAlexandria@vt.edu.

Doctoral Degree

The PhD in Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) draws insights from the social sciences and humanities into the multidimensional study of governance processes in all levels of society and international affairs. The faculty and students work jointly to cultivate their experience, knowledge, and skill with regard to the governance practices, political institutions, social dynamics, cultural values, workplace conditions, spatial formations, historical trends, and ethical conflicts that intersect in the workings of government, business, and not-for-profit organizations. Program graduates work in a range of nonprofit/NGO, public and private organizations at national and international levels.

Certificates

Urban and regional planners need to know how they can develop their economies. The challenge for policymakers, economic developers and urban planners nowadays is to design appropriate local and regional economic development policies and programs to respond to challenges resulting from globalization, technological development, demographic changes, urban decline, sprawl, and social inequities. Virginia Tech’s Graduate Certificate in Economic Development is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of urban and regional economic development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them.
Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) includes collection and analysis of remotely sensed data, digital spatial and attribute data used by geographic information systems (GIS), and the application of related technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Geographic Information Science is one of the leading careers in the United States today. As depth of knowledge is important to careers in the industry, this certificate requires 12 hours of geospatial coursework. Coursework is taken from three categories, beginning with introductory topics, and continuing through more advanced and specialized topics as best fits the student’s background and future goals.
The Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies builds on Virginia Tech’s internationally recognized, 30-year specialization in international development planning and an innovative partnership between faculty in programs such as Urban Affairs and Planning, Public Health, Geography, and Building Construction. The certificate seeks to prepare graduate students in multiple disciplines to engage in meaningful global professional leadership and academic positions to systematically tackle and resolve these global planning and development issues.
The Graduate Certificate in Metropolitan Studies is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of metropolitan development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. The certificate is part of the Urban Affairs and Planning program’s overall mission to teach students how to understand, analyze, and influence the forces that shape the metropolitan built environment.
Virginia Tech’s School certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management focuses on the most vital and urgent management challenges for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. The certificate is ideal for rising professionals across the globe navigating the complex fiscal, managerial and networked environments of nonprofits and NGOs during a time of significant change. Courses in the certificate also include a focus on leadership, complex management, program evaluation with an emphasis on accountability. All courses seamlessly integrate the domestic and international context.
The management of water resources is a critical issue facing governmental agencies, as well as the private/industrial sector and citizens. The Watershed Management Certificate provides an excellent opportunity for future water and land managers to develop the interdisciplinary skills necessary for meeting these challenges in the field of water resources. This certificate integrates existing programs and courses from five colleges and ten departments at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making.

Special Programs

The Combined B.A. Architecture/Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree provides students with the option of earning a professionally-accredited Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree along with the professionally accredited Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) degree. Graduates of the combined degree program are at the nexus of planning and architectural design, crafting solutions to community issues that respond to social, political, economic and spatial challenges.
Located in Old Town Alexandria, the Washington Semester is an eleven-week summer program that provides students the opportunity to acquire professional experience in a governmental agency or other relevant enterprise in the private or nonprofit sector.

UAP FACULTY & STAFF

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE OPTIONS

UAP’s degrees explore the intersections of planning, policy and practice at the metropolitan, community, and neighborhood scales and in the diverse contexts of rural and urban, poor and affluent, fast growing and declining communities. Our core curriculum includes theory, law, economics, methods, and project-based studios along with such topics as sustainability, real estate development, urban design, community engagement, technology and planning. Students have the flexibility to shape their degrees with special concentrations in environmental planning, international development, urban design, and others that can help them choose careers and market their skills to employers.

UAP faculty have earned national reputations as experts in sustainability, urban regeneration, international development, transportation, housing, disaster management, and community and economic development. UAP faculty in Blacksburg and Alexandria often collaborate with colleagues in the School of Public and International Affairs, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and several Virginia Tech research centers.

Our program is well connected throughout the region with many of our alumni working for local governments–thus, giving students an extensive network for launching careers in local public service. UAP has an excellent faculty-student ratio at each location, which means most of the classes are relatively small with excellent opportunities to interact with the faculty. Each semester UAP offers studios, in which student teams working for public, private and nonprofit clients tackle real world planning, policy, development or design problems—several studios have won awards from the Virginia American Planning Association.

Degree Requirements

The graduation requirements in effect at the time of graduation apply. When choosing the degree requirements information, always choose the year of your expected date of graduation. Requirements for graduation are referred to via university publications as “Checksheets”. The number of credit hours required for degree completion varies among curricula. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion.

The university reserves the right to modify requirements in a degree program. However, the university will not alter degree requirements less than two years from the expected graduation year unless there is a transition plan for students already in the degree program.

Please visit the University Registrar website at http://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.html for degree requirements.

Satisfactory Progress

University policy requires that students who are making satisfactory progress toward a degree meet minimum criteria toward the General Education (Curriculum for Liberal Education) (see “Academics“) and toward the degree in Urban Affairs and Planning.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (ED)

During the next generation, more than $40 trillion will be spent reshaping America’s built environment. More half of all structures existing today will be demolished or reconfigured to serve different functions. New development will exceed in volume 75% of everything existing today. The magnitude of this change will challenge economic, social, governance, physical and environmental systems as never before. It is imperative that the broadest number of current and prospective professionals possible appreciate the dynamics underlying this change, and in some way learn how to manage it.

The Graduate Certificate in Economic Development is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of urban and regional economic development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. Urban and regional planners need to know how they can develop their economies. The challenge for policymakers, economic developers and urban planners nowadays is to design appropriate local and regional economic development policies and programs to respond to challenges resulting from globalization, technological development, demographic changes, urban decline, sprawl, and social inequities.

The target population includes current Virginia Tech and other graduate students in all fields, and others with undergraduate degrees who qualify for admission to the certificate program. As the nature and extent of future development will touch everyone, everyone qualified should have the opportunity to become familiar with the challenges and opportunities.

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time

    Contact Margaret Cowell, mmcowell@vt.edu

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Admission to the Certificate Program requires status as a graduate student in good standing at Virginia Tech, either as a current degree student or as a non-degree certificate student. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 based on the last 60 semester hours of coursework is needed for admission to the Graduate School. Non-degree students whose undergraduate GPA was above 2.75 but below 3.00 may apply for admission under Commonwealth Campus status. Official transcripts must be submitted. Once admitted to the VT Graduate School, please fill out the following graduate certificate application form and submit it to the Graduate School:

Certificate Application

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The Certificate requires the completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate course work. To receive the Certificate, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the courses taken. Students seeking the Certificate must complete at least six credit hours from among the following courses plus six credit hours in electives:

UAP 5234: Urban Economy & Public Policy

UAP 5104: Urban & Regional Development Theory

UAP 5784: Local Economic Development Planning

UAP 5774: Economic Development Studio

All credits for the Certificate must be 5000- or 6000-level courses and must be graded on an A-F basis unless they are only offered on a Pass/Fail basis. All courses must be taken from programs in Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs with at least nine in Urban Affairs and Planning. The Certificate is offered at both the Alexandria and the Blacksburg campuses.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (GIT)

Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) includes collection and analysis of remotely sensed data, digital spatial and attribute data used by geographic information systems (GIS), and the application of related technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Geographic Information Science is one of the leading careers in the United States today.

As depth of knowledge is important to careers in the industry, this certificate requires 12 hours of geospatial coursework. Coursework is taken from three categories, beginning with introductory topics, and continuing through more advanced and specialized topics as best fits the student’s background and future goals.

  • UAP
  • Blacksburg
  • Full Time/Part Time

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Virginia Tech students accepted in any graduate program category: PhD., MS, MA, Commonwealth Campus, or Non-Degree can be admitted into the GIT program by completing the Graduate Certificate Application, and completing a plan for taking courses required on the course checklist below. Students should meet with an academic adviser familiar with the classes on the list below and submit the application form to Dr. Bill Carstensen for Certificate Program Approval signature no fewer than six months prior to completion of coursework.

Specific steps in the process are:

  1. Meet with or discuss the choice of acceptable courses with an adviser knowledgeable of the GIT coursework on campus (suggestions are below in additional information),
  2. Fill out and bring the certificate application form to Dr. Bill Carstensen for signature.
  3. Submit the signed form to the Graduate School no fewer than six months prior to completion of course requirements,
  4. Complete 12 hours from the course requirements list below, and
  5. Submit the completed course check sheet and an unofficial copy of the transcript along with the Application for Degree or Certificate Conferral form  to Dr. Bill Carstensen, chair of the Oversight Committee, for a signature, and then take Application for Certificate Conferral Form to the Graduate School.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

A.  Introductory Courses:  (0 – 6 credits to cover prerequisites for courses below)
Conceptual, technical, and operational aspects of geographic information systems as a tool for storage, analysis, and presentation of spatial information. Focus on engineering applications in resource management, site selection, and network analysis. Laboratory work required. Graduate standing required.
Examination of data structures used in geographic information systems. Map projections and coordinate systems used in mapping. Database creation, maintenance, and integrity. Applications of GIS methods for solving civil engineering problems in land management and related areas.
Course will introduce students to the theory and applications of database management systems (DBMS) and geographic information systems (GIS). Uses, challenges, and limitations of these technologies in natural resource management application will be discussed.
Philosophy and rationale of remote sensing as a part of the resource management process; comparisons of analogic and digital sensors; sensor selection and proper use; accuracy assessment; signature development; and identification of factors which affect the quality of remotely sensed information.
Foundations and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS); geographic coordinate systems, Cartesian map projections, spatial data sources, efficient GIS data structures, map representations, and spatial applications of GIS. Pre: Graduate Standing.
Theory and methods of remote sensing. Practical exercises in interpretation of aerial photography, satellite, radar, and thermal infrared imagery. Digital analysis, image classification, and evaluation. Applications in earth sciences, hydrology, plant sciences, and land use studies. Field project and report. Review of current research literature. Graduate standing required.
Introduction to the concepts and methods of ecological resource survey and analysis at regional and site scales. Approaches to environmental problem solving with an emphasis on data collection, evaluation, and synthesis using applicable technologies such as geographic information systems. Interpretation of landscape resource data for the purpose of physical planning and design.
An examination of a wide range of computer-based techniques that are of value in analyzing urban and regional planning and management problems. Techniques include linear programming, goal programming; modeling of complex systems; and decision modeling. May be repeated with different content for a maximum of 12 credits.
B.  Advanced Courses:  (6 -12 credit hours)
This project based course deals with both vector and raster Geographic Information Systems (GIS), network analysis, tracking applications, hydrologic applications, spatial analysis, web databases, and linking GIS to models with programming, specifically in the civil and environmental engneering arena. Pre: Any introductory GIS course, including CEE 5204, GEOG 4084, or BSE 4344. Pre: Graduate standing.
Advanced GIS course focusing on raster analysis with particular application to the issues associated with hydrologic analysis. Application and evaluation of algorithms for terrain analysis, watershed characterization, and hydrologic analysis and modeling as implemented in GIS. Digital elevation data sources and error assessment. Approaches to GIS/model integration and application. Pre:Graduate standing.
This course treats a specific advanced topic of current research interest in the area of data and information. Papers from the current literature or research monographs are likely to be used instead of a textbook. Student participation in a seminar style format may be expected. Prerequisite(s): CS 5604 (UG) OR CS 5614 (UG) OR CS 5604 OR CS 5614.
Interdisciplinary seminar devoted to current research in the fields of remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems, and related topics. Seminars, workshops, and presentations conducted by students, faculty, and visitors. Pre: Graduate standing.
Theory of spectroscopy and spectrometry from portable spectroradiometers to airborne and spaceborne hyperspectral sensors as relevant to natural resource applications, including vegetation species indentification and vegetative health, soil and peat properties, mineral and geothermal characteristics, and water applications. Practical investigation of research tools and techniques used to analyze hyperspectral data. Pre-requisite: Graduate Standing Required.
Acquiring and using publicly available natural resources data sources. Methods and algorithms for terrain modeling and landscape metrics. Evaluation of the impacts of data errors and variability on analysis results, including sensitivity analysis of GIS-based resource assessments. Special issues related to temporal data and the management of natural resources information systems.
Theoretical underpinning of established and emerging research using light detection and ranging (lidar) technology for forestry applications including detailed terrain mapping and digital elevation models, canopy height modeling, prediction of forest biophysical parameters, forest physiology and the canopy light regime, watershed mapping and stream modeling, ecological modeling, landsca[pe classifications, and wildlife habitat. Advanced research tools and techniques used to analyze lidar data for different applications. Graduate standing required.
Methods of describing and analyzing spatial distributions, including spatial autocorrelation, quadrat analysis, trend surface analysis, and methods of map comparison. Applications to student research problems.
Use of automated systems for geographic data collection, diditization, storage, display, modeling and analysis. Basic data flow in GIS modeling applications. Development of proficiency in the use of current GIS software. Pre: Graduate Standing.
Principles, history, and methods of aerial photographic interpretation. Introduction to photographic systems and application to aerial photography. Human dimension to photo interpretation. Applications to varied fields of knowledge such as land-use mapping, earth sciences, forestry, agriculture, history and archaeology, and military and strategic studies.
Geographical analysis of water as a hazard upon human (infrastructure, economy) and natural (rivers, groundwater) systems in the form of hydrometeorological events, water- and vector-borne disease, climate change, dams, and eutrophication. Development of proficiency in demonstrating the multi-dimensionality of water resources. Pre: Graduate Standing.
Analysis of the spatio-temporal patters of land use and Land Cover Change (LULCC) as observed in satellite images. Tropical deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural intensification. Rates and patterns of LULCC linked to biophysical and socio-economic drivers. Impacts of land change with respect to local climate, biodiversity, water yield and quality, and ecosystem services.
This course focuses on the analysis of the spatio-temporal of the vegetated land surface as observed in satellite images. Phenological events, such as the first openings of leaf and flower buds, are good indicators of the impact of local and global climate change. The focus of this course will beon satellite image time series used in the derivation of land surface phenology, the appearance and development of phenology other global regions, and the methods developed for the monitoring of phenology with satellite imagery. A major theme will be causes of spatio-temporal changes of phenological events and the effect of global climate change. Pre-requisite: Graduate Standing required.
Computational methods of map analysis with the ArcGIS Geographic Information System. Scripting and Visual Basic.NET programming using Environmentatl Systems Research Institute’s ArcObjects library for customization of GIS software to meet research and analytical needs for both the desktop and the web. Pre: 5084G and computer programing experience.
Use of web mapping technologies for geographic data collection, storage, analysis, and display. Web mapping topics include history and context, spatial data infrastructures, hardware and software architectures, Open Geospatial Consortium standards, mapping API’s, virtual globes, user-centric design, web cartography. Pre: Graduate standing.
In-depth coverage of advanced topics in the field of remote sensing selected to cover emerging techniques and technologies. Examples of topics, which will differ each semester, include field data in support of remote sensing, accuracy assessment, and hyperspectral remote sensing. Critical assessment of the ways in which remotely sensed data and information are employed in varied scientific disciplines and by society.
Spatial data structures: geostatistical data, lattices and point patterns. Stationary and isotropic random fields. Autocorrelated data structures. Semivariogram estimation and spatial prediction for geostatistical data. Mapped and sampled point patterns. Regular, completely random and clustered point processes. Spatial regression and neighborhood analyses for data on lattices.

Potential Advisors and Departments

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN GLOBAL PLANNING & INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (GPID)

The world is facing enormous challenges in the next century including climate change, water scarcity, world hunger, poverty, rapid urbanization, unemployment, natural habitat loss, resource degradation, and fiscal and institutional mismanagement. To face these challenges, we need thoughtful, ethically informed, and future-oriented solution builders who are thinking at a global scale.

The Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies builds on Virginia Tech’s internationally recognized, 30-year specialization in international development planning and an innovative partnership between faculty in programs such as Urban Affairs and Planning, Public Health, Geography, and Building Construction. The certificate seeks to prepare graduate students in multiple disciplines to engage in meaningful global professional leadership and academic positions to systematically tackle and resolve these global planning and development issues. The certificate may be taken in conjunction with most of Virginia Tech’s masters and doctoral degree programs. This certificate is only available on the Blacksburg campus at this time.

The certificate may be taken in conjunction with most of Virginia Tech’s masters and doctoral degree programs.

Contact: Ralph Hall, rphall@vt.edu

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

The certificate is open to all graduate students pursuing masters or doctoral degrees at Virginia Tech. Interested non-degree students may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis. Prospective certificate applicants should confer with their respective graduate degree program academic advisors to ensure that pursuit of the certificate will productively complement their primary graduate degree objectives.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The core of this graduate certificate focuses on global planning issues and development project design, implementation, and evaluation. Following the required two-course, six-credit core sequence, students may select an additional six credit hours in three specializations:

  • Non-profit and Non-governmental Organization Management and Development
  • Sustainable Infrastructure Development
  • Public and Environmental Health and Global Development

Additional graduate courses of study in environmental planning and policy, women and gender in international development, natural resources management, homeland and global security, agricultural and rural development, and international business management are also offered at Virginia Tech and may be taken in addition to the three areas of specialization.

Required Core Courses (6 to 9 credit hours)*

1. UAP 5764G International Development Policy and Planning (3H)
2. UAP 5764 International Development Planning Studio (3H)

*Note: UAP/AAE 6314 Applied Development Economics (or equivalent) may be required of students not having adequate development economics background (to be determined by certificate coordinator in consultation with student’s department faculty advisor).

Elective Courses (6 credit hours)*

Non-profit and Nongovernmental Organization Management and Development

– UAP 5364 Nongovernmental Organizations in International Development
– UAP 5454 Nonprofit Organization and Management
– UAP 5534 Nonprofit Leadership and Governance
– UAP 5544 Public and Nonprofit Financial Management

Sustainable Infrastructure Development

– UAP 5324 Topics in Infrastructure Planning in Developing Countries
– UAP 5864 Topics in Transportation Policy and Planning
– BC 5144 Sustainable Infrastructure Systems
– UAP 5424 Urban Planning in Europe (1 H)

Public and Environmental Health and Global Development

– PHS 5004 Fundamentals of Public Health
– PHS 5014 Environmental Health
– PHS 5224 Comparative Health Systems
– GEOG 5214 Health and the Global Environment

*Note: The two required elective courses can be selected from two different areas of specialization.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN METROPOLITAN STUDIES (MS)

During the next generation, more than $40 trillion will be spent reshaping America’s built environment. More half of all structures existing today will be demolished or reconfigured to serve different functions. New development will exceed in volume 75% of everything existing today. The magnitude of this change will challenge economic, social, governance, physical and environmental systems as never before. It is imperative that the broadest number of current and prospective professionals possible appreciate the dynamics underlying this change, and in some way learn how to manage it.

The Graduate Certificate in Metropolitan Studies is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of metropolitan development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. The certificate is part of the Urban Affairs and Planning program’s overall mission to teach students how to understand, analyze, and influence the forces that shape the metropolitan built environment.

The target population includes current Virginia Tech and other graduate students in all fields, and others with undergraduate degrees who qualify for admission to the certificate program. As the nature and extent of future development will touch everyone, everyone qualified should have the opportunity to become familiar with the challenges and opportunities.

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time

Contact: Kris Wernstedt, krisw@vt.edu

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Admission to the Certificate Program requires status as a current graduate student in good standing in Virginia Tech. If not currently such a student, then application as a non-degree certificate student is necessary. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 for this category is needed. Exceptions include achieving this minimum based on the last 60 semester hours of coursework or Commonwealth Campus admission if the GPA is above 2.75 but below 3.00. Official transcripts must be submitted. Application requirements are posted on Virginia Tech’s Graduate School web site.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The Certificate requires the completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate course work. To receive the Certificate, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the courses taken.

Students seeking the Certificate who are *not *enrolled in the MURP degree program must complete at least six credit hours from among the following core certificate courses plus six credit hours in electives.

Core: Six credit hours from among:

UAP 5104: Urban & Regional Development Theory
UAP 5174: Theory & Practice of Urban & Regional Planning
UAP 5194: Urban Growth Management
UAP 5234: Urban Economy & Public Policy
Electives: Six credit hours from among other UAP courses including those not used for the core noted above, as approved by the faculty.

Students seeking the Certificate who *are *enrolled in the MURP degree program must complete the following two core certificate courses plus six credit hours in electives.

Core: Six core credit hours from:

UAP 5104: Urban & Regional Development Theory
UAP 5194: Urban Growth Management

Electives: Six credit hours from among other UAP courses not used for the core noted above and not appearing on the MURP plan of study, as approved by the faculty.

All courses used for the Certificate must be graded on an A-F basis. All courses also must be taken from Virginia Tech’s Urban Affairs and Planning Program.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT (NM)

Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs offers an exciting certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management. We are expanding the reach of the certificate by moving all courses to an online format and focusing the core material on the most vital and urgent management challenges for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. The certificate is ideal for rising professionals across the globe navigating the complex fiscal, managerial and networked environments of nonprofits and NGOs during a time of significant change. Courses in the certificate also include a focus on leadership, complex management, program evaluation with an emphasis on accountability, and all courses seamlessly integrate the domestic and international context.

The School of Public and International Affair’s graduate certificate in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management serves graduate students in NCR and Blacksburg and working professionals in both nonprofits/NGOs and the public sector. The certificate fosters the development of students by offering a streamlined curriculum focusing on the seamlessness between international and domestic environments, engaged pedagogy, reflexivity, and collaborative learning.

For more information, please contact: Anne Khademian khademi@vt.edu and/or Anna Erwin erwinae@vt.edu

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Admission and award requirements for the Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management certificate program are equivalent to the requirements for the Graduate School and the participating SPIA programs.

For persons not already enrolled in a Virginia Tech master’s or doctoral program:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Graduate School application (Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management)
  • Application Fee (see Graduate School for amount)
  • Transcripts – undergraduate and other graduate degrees, if applicable.
  • GRE scores are not required.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter describing your substantive interests and possible area of specialization
  • International Students – also include TOEFL examination scores

For master’s and doctoral students:

  • be accepted as a graduate student in an established academic department
  • have at least one faculty member from the School with experience in NPOs/NGOs on your graduate committee
  • have your application signed by your major professor
  • provide evidence of how you will integrate this certificate program into your overall plan of study

Certificate Award

In order to earn the graduate certificate in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management, students must complete all certificate courses with a grade of “C-” or better and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 across the certificate courses

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Students are required to take four out five of the following courses:

  • SPIA 5514 – Nongovernmental Organizations in International Development (offered on Blacksburg campus and online) Roles of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO) in international development. NGO interactions with local governments, community organizations, international governmental organizations, and private businesses. Tensions and collaborations between NGOs and other development actors.
  • SPIA 5544 – Public and Nonprofit Financial Management (offered only online) Role of finance in the management of complex public, nonprofit, and nongovernmental organizations. Functions of financial management, including planning and budgeting, reporting, resource acquisition, and internal controls in the nonprofit context.
  • SPIA 5574 – Nonprofit Organization and Management (offered on Blacksburg campus and online) Internal management for nonprofit and nongovernmental organization managers with emphasis on unique cultural, social, political, and economic challenges facing nonprofit managers. Key management knowledge, processes, and systems skills for managers in nonprofit organizations and NGOs and the role of internal collaboration. Challenges facing domestic nonprofits compared to those found in nongovernmental organizations across the globe.
  • SPIA 5534 – Nonprofit Organization Leadership (offered on Blacksburg campus and online) Methods of devising and implementing leadership strategies in the complex economic, cultural, social, and political contexts in which nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations operate. Theories, models, and tools for success, focusing on leadership accountability, ethos, and performance.
  • SPIA 5524 – Nonprofit Accountability and Evaluation (offered only online) Societal role of the nonprofit sector. Why nonprofit organizations are held accountable, to whom they are accountable, and how organizations can satisfy accountability demands. Evaluation tools for accountability.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN WATERSHED MANAGEMENT (WM)

In the 21st century, challenges that relate to watershed management and the need to protect water quantity and water quality will be intensified in Virginia and the nation, owing to increased water demand, changes in land-use, and other competing interests. Management of water resources is a critical issue facing governmental agencies, as well as the private/industrial sector and citizens. Universities and colleges have a major responsibility to prepare future water and land managers to meet these challenges. Future water managers and decision makers need knowledge and training in natural science, technical assessment, economics, planning, and policy. In recent years, it has been recognized that the most effective approach to management of water resources is at the watershed scale with input from various stakeholders. Furthermore, there have been significant advances in understanding watershed science both in the natural and social sciences, and there is a national trend to integrate various facets of watershed studies in interdisciplinary programs.

The Watershed Management Certificate (WSMC) program at the graduate level integrates existing programs and courses from five colleges and ten departments at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making. The program provides excellent opportunities for students from many disciplines to study watershed management and develop interdisciplinary skills necessary for effective professional work in this emerging field.

The Watershed Management Certificate requires the completion of 11 credit hours. Students must complete the core class “Land Use and Environment: Planning and Policy” and chose three other courses in Watershed Science and/or Watershed Analysis.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Virginia Tech students accepted in any graduate program category: PhD, MS, MA, Commonwealth Campus, or Non-Degree can be admitted into the WSMC program by completing the Graduate Certificate Application, and completing a plan for taking courses required on the course checklist below. Students should meet with an academic adviser familiar with the classes on the list below and submit the application form to Dr. Kevin McGuire for the Certificate Program Approval signature no less than six months prior to completion of coursework.

After completing the 11-12 hours of courses required, take the course requirements checksheet (available on the WSMC webpage: http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/watershed-management-graduate-certificate) to Dr. McGuire for signature. Students should bring a copy of their transcript for verification purposes.  Submit the signed course requirements checksheet to Dr. McGuire no less than six months prior to completion of course requirements, or as soon as possible to meet the Graduate School deadlines. Transfer credits are not permitted.

Upon successful completion of certificate requirements, an Application For Certificate Conferral must be signed by the department and submitted by the Application for Degree deadline in the term in which the certificate will be awarded.  The Graduate School will then check to see that courses listed on the Certificate Application form were satisfactorily taken (i.e., grades for certificate courses must be “C” or higher and the overall certificate GPA must be 3.0 or higher).

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

A. Required Core Course: Watershed Management (3 credit hours):

Choose one of the courses below:

UAP 5134G Land Use and Environment: Planning and Policy

UAP/NR 5414 Natural Resources Planning (NCR)

B. Additional Courses (8-9 credit hours):

1. Watershed Science (choose 1 course, 3 hours)
BSE 5404 Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution
FREC 5354G Advanced Forest Soils and Hydrology
LAR 5304G Topics: Advanced Landscape Architecture Technology – Hydrology
FIW 5534G Advanced Wetland Ecology and Management
NR 5884 Watershed Science, Education & Leadership (NCR)
CEE 5324 Advanced Hydrology (NCR)
CEE 5734 Urban Hydrology and Stormwater Management
GEOS 5804G Advanced Groundwater Hydrology
FIW 5814 Stream Habitat Management

2. Watershed Analysis (choose 2 courses, 5-6 hours)
BIOL 5034 Ecosystem Dynamics
BSE 5244 GIS in Hydrologic Analysis
BSE 5354 Nonpoint Source Pollution Modeling
CEE 5204 GIS Applications in Civil and Environmental Engineering (NCR)
FREC 5254 Remote Sensing of Natural Resources
FREC 5264 GIS Applications in Natural Resources Management
LAR 5044 Land Analysis and Site Planning
CSES 5854 Advanced Wetland Soils

UAP UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM

Undergraduate Course Descriptions (UAP)

Introduces academic requirements for the Public and Urban Affairs (PUA) and Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP) majors. Assists students with academic planning and career exploration. Students develop an ePortfolio to document their personal and professional growth in the major. Course must be taken during the first semester in the PUA or EPP program. (1H,1C)
This class introduces some of the most vital concerns and issues challenging democratic capitalistic urban societies today. Topics addressed include different perspectives on the causes and portent of the urban underclass, the growing inequality between the educated and less well educated in the nation’s labor markets, the causes of the marked resegregation of many of the nation’s urban centers by race and income and the implications of privatization and interjurisdictional competition for the public policy behavior and outcomes of subnational governments. (3H,3C)
Introduction to real estate, including markets, land use planning and zoning, development, finance, construction, sales, marketing, management and property valuation. Examines the key actors and processes in each of these areas. Explores major public policies impacting real estate. (3H,3C)
Relationships between urbanization and economic development; role of cities in social, political, cultural, and economic development of societies; cities as settings for innovation and change. (3H,3C)
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.
An introduction to urban policy and urban planning. Includes analysis of the basic concepts and principles of urban policy, a review of urban policy in the United States, discussion of the development of urban planning and its role in shaping the urban environment, and an analysis of the relationship between public policy and planning and the organization and structure of the urban environment. Must complete prerequisite UAP 1024 with a B- grade or higher. Pre: 1024. (3H,3C)
Overview and application of various methods used to study, represent, understand communities in their urban and regional context. Data collection and analysis; population, land use, transportation and economic forecasting; selecting and applying an appropriate method; designing and presenting a community study. Restricted to majors and minors only. (3H,3C)
Systematic analysis of the field and practice of public policy implementation. Includes analysis of the structure and dynamics of the policy process as well as specific analytic approaches to understanding policy implementation. Includes analysis of intra-organizational, inter-organizational and intergovernmental implementation processes. Must complete prerequisites UAP 3014 (B- or higher) or 3354, and UAP 3024 (B- or higher). Pre: 3024, (3014 or 3354). (3H,3C)
Consideration of one particular issue of immediate importance to the contemporary urban environment. Topics emphasize major social or economic policy issues, and may change each year. Junior standing required. (3H,3C)
Critical examination of major global environmental problems (e.g., global warming, atmospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, tropical deforestation, toxic waste) with emphasis on their social, economic, political, ethical, and policy implications and solutions. Completion of Area 4 of University Core required. (3H,3C)
Introduction to the interdisciplinary principles of environmental policy, planning, economics, and ethics to address pollution abatement, resources conservation, habitat protection, and environmental restoration. The course will focus on practical means of identifying environmental problems and creatively solving them. (3H,3C)
The role and context of public administration in the contemporary United States, administrative organization and decision-making, public finance, human resources administration, and program implementation. Pre: PSCI 1014. (3H,3C)
The legal context of the exercise of discretion by public administrators in the United States. Adjudication and rule- making; access to administrative processes and information; legislative and judicial control of administration. Pre: PSCI 1014. (3H,3C)
The concept of community in Appalachia using an interdisciplinary approach and experiential learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, public policy, and human development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)
Description and analysis of the processes and institutions involved in the making and implementation of public policy in the United States, with a primary focus on domestic and economic policy. Empirical and normative models of the process of public policy making in the U.S. Pre: PSCI 1014. (3H,3C)
Methods and approaches used in the analysis and evaluation of public policy; strengths and limitations of various analytic tools; normative issues in the practice of policy analysis. Pre: PSCI 1014 or PSCI 1014H. (3H,3C)
Contemporary uses of Marxian concepts and theories to study the world economy, business structure, current social issues, modern ethical values, and alienation. Pre: PSCI 1014 or PSCI 1014H. (3H,3C)
Variable credit course.
Issues, concepts, and techniques of citizen participation in community development. Institutional frameworks and their historical precedents. Exercises developing group communications skills, public meeting facilitation, and design of community involvement programs. Pre: Senior standing required. (3H,3C)
Explores intersecting roles of gender, culture, and socio-economic status in people’s use of nature, management of environmental resources, and experiences of environmental change. Examines debates on environmental and development initiatives, environmental ethics, and environmental social movements from feminist perspectives. (3H,3C)
Issues in applied environmental ethics. Contributions of diverse religious and philosophical traditions to contemporary perspectives on the human-nature relationship. Examination of environmental policies from utilitarian economic, deep ecology, and ecofeminist perspectives. Junior, senior or graduate standing required. (3H,3C)
This course examines the legal principles and policy debates involved in the regulation and protection of critical environmental resources. Specific topics vary but will likely include wetlands law and policy, endangered species habitat, open space, forestland and farmland protection, coastal zone management, and floodplain regulation and policy. (3H,3C)
Interdisciplinary, experiential problem solving studio focusing on specific environmental problems. Working in groups, students interact with local officials, consultants, developers, environmental groups to explore the processes of environmental management, regulation and mitigation, applying techniques and skills frequently used by environmental planners and policy-makers. Senior status required and 9 credit hours, 3000-level or above, in the Environmental Policy and Planning major or minor; Pre: 3354, 3224. (2H,5L,4C)
Critical examination of the social, political, economic, legal, scientific, and technological contexts underlying processes of environmental change, problems, and solutions, as seen from various conceptual and disciplinary perspectives. Senior status required and 9 credit hours, 3000-level or above, in the Environmental Policy and Planning major or minor. Pre: 3354, 3224. (2H,2C)
Environmental factors involved in land use planning and development, including topography, soils, geologic hazards, flooding and stormwater management, ecological features, and visual quality. Techniques used in conducting environmental land inventories and land suitability analyses. Policies and programs to protect environmental quality in land use planning and development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)
Planning and policy aspects of managing residuals and environmental contaminants and their effects on human health and environmental quality. Technical and economic factors involved in management of water quality, air quality, solid and hazardous wastes, toxic substances, and noise. Implementation of pollution control legislation, policies, and programs at federal, state, and local levels. (3H,3C)
Practical design fundamentals for small scale renewable energy systems: solar building heating and cooling; solar domestic hot water; wind, photovoltaic, and hydroelectric systems; alcohol, methane and other biomass conversion systems. Developing plans, programs, and policies to stimulate development of renewable systems. Pre: (MATH 1016 or MATH 1025). (3H,3C)
This seminar is the integrative forum for the principal elements of the Washington Semester experience. The course explores both the role of political institutions in policy formation and implementation and the primary managerial and leadership challenges that arise for implementing organization managers in American democratic public policy-making. Pre: Junior standing or instructor consent and acceptance into the Washington Semester program. X-grade allowed. (3H,3C)
This course is part of the Washington Semester. Explores the relationship between the imperatives of democratic mobilization, policy choices and organizational choices through intensive study of the operating context of a selected public or nonprofit organization. Examines implications of policy-maker choices for implementing institution dynamics and challenges. Pre: Junior standing and acceptance into the Washington Semester program required. X-grade allowed. Pre: PSCI 3714. (3H,3C)
Examines the provision and financing of public goods and services in local governments. Analyzes associated policy issues. Reviews experience in Western Europe and developing countries, as well as in the United States. Must complete prerequisites UAP 3024 with B- grade or higher, and ECON 2005 and 2006 with C grade or higher. Pre: 3024, (ECON 2005 or ECON 2005H), (ECON 2006 or ECON 2006H). (3H,3C)
Examination of the legal context in which urban planning and public policy operate. Legal structure, role of law, powers of sovereign governments, constitutional limitations on government activities, and public-private conflict and their influence on planning and public policy are examined. Pre: Junior standing required. (3H,3C)
Examination of major development theories and contemporary issues and characteristics of low-income societies (industrialization, urbanization, migration, rural poverty, hunger, foreign trade, and debt) that establish contexts for development planning and policy-making. Junior standing required. (3H,3C)
Course examines the interdependences among the elements of the built environment of the city and those between the elements of the built environment and the policy/planning structure of the city. Considered are those elements associated with the primary urban activities (residential, commercial, industrial) as well as the urban form-giving infrastructure facilities that support those land uses (water supply, sewerage, solid waste disposal, transportation, education, recreation, health, and safety). Pre: 3224. (3H,3C)
This capstone seminar explores the central questions of the role of the citizen and the citizenry in democratic capitalistic urban societies as well as the nature of accountability in such regimes. Topics such as the processes by which representation occurs, alternate theories of democratic community and the relationship of the public, private and civil sectors in urban society are treated. Senior status in PUA required. PUA majors and minors must complete this course with a C grade or higher to graduate; otherwise course must be repeated. Pre: 3224, 4714, 4754. (3H,3C)

4964: FIELD STUDY: Variable credit course. X-grade allowed.

4964H: HONORS FIELD STUDY: Variable credit course.

4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY: Variable credit course. X-grade allowed.

4984: SPECIAL STUDY: Variable credit course.

4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH: Variable credit course.

UAP UNDERGRADUATE CONTACTS
Co-Chair: Tom Sanchez
University Distinguished Professor: P. Knox
Professors: J.O. Browder, S. Hirt, T. Sanchez, and M. Stephenson
Associate Professors: D. Bieri, R. Buehler, R. Hall, K. Wernstedt, D. Zahm, and Y. Zhang
Assistant Professors: M. Cowell, S. Misra, T. Schenk, and T. Skuzinski
Adjunct Professors: B. Anderson, S. Mastran, E. Morton, J. Provo, and M. E. Ridenour
UAP ACADEMICS

Undergraduate Degrees

The Bachelor of Arts in Public and Urban Affairs degree provides the planning and policy skills and insights in order to understand and affect the economic, environmental, social, and governmental consequences of urban growth and change. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector addressing complex problems in realms such as urban planning, environmental justice, economic development, food systems, and international development.
The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning degree provides students the opportunity to study environmental problems and their solutions from an interdisciplinary perspective involving humanities, natural and social sciences, planning, and public policy. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities. Graduates of the Environmental Planning and Policy degree program work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities.

Undergraduate Minors

The Environmental Policy and Planning Minor provides a critical interdisciplinary insight into modern environmental concerns.
A minor in Public and Urban Affairs requires completion of 18 credit hours:
UAP 1024: Public Issues in Urban Society
UAP 3014: Urban Policy and Planning
12 hours from approved list of UAP courses
The Real Estate Minor is a vital aspect of educating students for careers in real estate and in the real estate aspects of many facets of modern life. The instructional material is relevant to professionals in a wide range of real estate organizations and program graduates work in public sector agencies and in the private sector in such areas as economic development, urban planning and commercial/residential development.
The Watershed Management Minor provides an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy and decision-making. Alumni are prepared for careers in government, nonprofits and private sector organizations that focus on water resources.

Master’s Degrees

The Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree has a dual objective of training graduates for their first planning job, and more importantly instilling conceptual and critical thinking necessary for lifelong learning and career development. Graduates are able to assume professional responsibilities in a wide variety of positions in public service or in the private sector.
MURP’s Dual Masters degrees, also known as simultaneous degrees, exist between the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Natural Resources degrees (MNR). Dual degrees provide students with the opportunity to master core material in more than one field, allowing them to acquire the flexibility to engage in a wide range of activities within multiple fields and become bridge-builders between them; in fact, many rise to leadership positions because of their multi-disciplinary perspective. If you are interested in this program in Blacksburg, please contact uapvt@vt.edu. If you are interested in this program in Alexandria, please contact UAPAlexandria@vt.edu.

Doctoral Degree

The PhD in Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) draws insights from the social sciences and humanities into the multidimensional study of governance processes in all levels of society and international affairs. The faculty and students work jointly to cultivate their experience, knowledge, and skill with regard to the governance practices, political institutions, social dynamics, cultural values, workplace conditions, spatial formations, historical trends, and ethical conflicts that intersect in the workings of government, business, and not-for-profit organizations. Program graduates work in a range of nonprofit/NGO, public and private organizations at national and international levels.

Certificates

Urban and regional planners need to know how they can develop their economies. The challenge for policymakers, economic developers and urban planners nowadays is to design appropriate local and regional economic development policies and programs to respond to challenges resulting from globalization, technological development, demographic changes, urban decline, sprawl, and social inequities. Virginia Tech’s Graduate Certificate in Economic Development is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of urban and regional economic development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them.
Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) includes collection and analysis of remotely sensed data, digital spatial and attribute data used by geographic information systems (GIS), and the application of related technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Geographic Information Science is one of the leading careers in the United States today. As depth of knowledge is important to careers in the industry, this certificate requires 12 hours of geospatial coursework. Coursework is taken from three categories, beginning with introductory topics, and continuing through more advanced and specialized topics as best fits the student’s background and future goals.
The Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies builds on Virginia Tech’s internationally recognized, 30-year specialization in international development planning and an innovative partnership between faculty in programs such as Urban Affairs and Planning, Public Health, Geography, and Building Construction. The certificate seeks to prepare graduate students in multiple disciplines to engage in meaningful global professional leadership and academic positions to systematically tackle and resolve these global planning and development issues.
The Graduate Certificate in Metropolitan Studies is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of metropolitan development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. The certificate is part of the Urban Affairs and Planning program’s overall mission to teach students how to understand, analyze, and influence the forces that shape the metropolitan built environment.
Virginia Tech’s School certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management focuses on the most vital and urgent management challenges for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. The certificate is ideal for rising professionals across the globe navigating the complex fiscal, managerial and networked environments of nonprofits and NGOs during a time of significant change. Courses in the certificate also include a focus on leadership, complex management, program evaluation with an emphasis on accountability. All courses seamlessly integrate the domestic and international context.
The management of water resources is a critical issue facing governmental agencies, as well as the private/industrial sector and citizens. The Watershed Management Certificate provides an excellent opportunity for future water and land managers to develop the interdisciplinary skills necessary for meeting these challenges in the field of water resources. This certificate integrates existing programs and courses from five colleges and ten departments at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making.

Special Programs

The Combined B.A. Architecture/Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree provides students with the option of earning a professionally-accredited Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree along with the professionally accredited Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) degree. Graduates of the combined degree program are at the nexus of planning and architectural design, crafting solutions to community issues that respond to social, political, economic and spatial challenges.
Located in Old Town Alexandria, the Washington Semester is an eleven-week summer program that provides students the opportunity to acquire professional experience in a governmental agency or other relevant enterprise in the private or nonprofit sector.

UAP FACULTY & STAFF

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE OPTIONS

UAP’s degrees explore the intersections of planning, policy and practice at the metropolitan, community, and neighborhood scales and in the diverse contexts of rural and urban, poor and affluent, fast growing and declining communities. Our core curriculum includes theory, law, economics, methods, and project-based studios along with such topics as sustainability, real estate development, urban design, community engagement, technology and planning. Students have the flexibility to shape their degrees with special concentrations in environmental planning, international development, urban design, and others that can help them choose careers and market their skills to employers.

UAP faculty have earned national reputations as experts in sustainability, urban regeneration, international development, transportation, housing, disaster management, and community and economic development. UAP faculty in Blacksburg and Alexandria often collaborate with colleagues in the School of Public and International Affairs, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and several Virginia Tech research centers.

Our program is well connected throughout the region with many of our alumni working for local governments–thus, giving students an extensive network for launching careers in local public service. UAP has an excellent faculty-student ratio at each location, which means most of the classes are relatively small with excellent opportunities to interact with the faculty. Each semester UAP offers studios, in which student teams working for public, private and nonprofit clients tackle real world planning, policy, development or design problems—several studios have won awards from the Virginia American Planning Association.

Degree Requirements

The graduation requirements in effect at the time of graduation apply. When choosing the degree requirements information, always choose the year of your expected date of graduation. Requirements for graduation are referred to via university publications as “Checksheets”. The number of credit hours required for degree completion varies among curricula. Students must satisfactorily complete all requirements and university obligations for degree completion.

The university reserves the right to modify requirements in a degree program. However, the university will not alter degree requirements less than two years from the expected graduation year unless there is a transition plan for students already in the degree program.

Please visit the University Registrar website at http://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.html for degree requirements.

Satisfactory Progress

University policy requires that students who are making satisfactory progress toward a degree meet minimum criteria toward the General Education (Curriculum for Liberal Education) (see “Academics“) and toward the degree in Urban Affairs and Planning.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (ED)

During the next generation, more than $40 trillion will be spent reshaping America’s built environment. More half of all structures existing today will be demolished or reconfigured to serve different functions. New development will exceed in volume 75% of everything existing today. The magnitude of this change will challenge economic, social, governance, physical and environmental systems as never before. It is imperative that the broadest number of current and prospective professionals possible appreciate the dynamics underlying this change, and in some way learn how to manage it.

The Graduate Certificate in Economic Development is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of urban and regional economic development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. Urban and regional planners need to know how they can develop their economies. The challenge for policymakers, economic developers and urban planners nowadays is to design appropriate local and regional economic development policies and programs to respond to challenges resulting from globalization, technological development, demographic changes, urban decline, sprawl, and social inequities.

The target population includes current Virginia Tech and other graduate students in all fields, and others with undergraduate degrees who qualify for admission to the certificate program. As the nature and extent of future development will touch everyone, everyone qualified should have the opportunity to become familiar with the challenges and opportunities.

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time

    Contact Margaret Cowell, mmcowell@vt.edu

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Admission to the Certificate Program requires status as a graduate student in good standing at Virginia Tech, either as a current degree student or as a non-degree certificate student. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 based on the last 60 semester hours of coursework is needed for admission to the Graduate School. Non-degree students whose undergraduate GPA was above 2.75 but below 3.00 may apply for admission under Commonwealth Campus status. Official transcripts must be submitted. Once admitted to the VT Graduate School, please fill out the following graduate certificate application form and submit it to the Graduate School:

Certificate Application

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The Certificate requires the completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate course work. To receive the Certificate, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the courses taken. Students seeking the Certificate must complete at least six credit hours from among the following courses plus six credit hours in electives:

UAP 5234: Urban Economy & Public Policy

UAP 5104: Urban & Regional Development Theory

UAP 5784: Local Economic Development Planning

UAP 5774: Economic Development Studio

All credits for the Certificate must be 5000- or 6000-level courses and must be graded on an A-F basis unless they are only offered on a Pass/Fail basis. All courses must be taken from programs in Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs with at least nine in Urban Affairs and Planning. The Certificate is offered at both the Alexandria and the Blacksburg campuses.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (GIT)

Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) includes collection and analysis of remotely sensed data, digital spatial and attribute data used by geographic information systems (GIS), and the application of related technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Geographic Information Science is one of the leading careers in the United States today.

As depth of knowledge is important to careers in the industry, this certificate requires 12 hours of geospatial coursework. Coursework is taken from three categories, beginning with introductory topics, and continuing through more advanced and specialized topics as best fits the student’s background and future goals.

  • UAP
  • Blacksburg
  • Full Time/Part Time

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Virginia Tech students accepted in any graduate program category: PhD., MS, MA, Commonwealth Campus, or Non-Degree can be admitted into the GIT program by completing the Graduate Certificate Application, and completing a plan for taking courses required on the course checklist below. Students should meet with an academic adviser familiar with the classes on the list below and submit the application form to Dr. Bill Carstensen for Certificate Program Approval signature no fewer than six months prior to completion of coursework.

Specific steps in the process are:

  1. Meet with or discuss the choice of acceptable courses with an adviser knowledgeable of the GIT coursework on campus (suggestions are below in additional information),
  2. Fill out and bring the certificate application form to Dr. Bill Carstensen for signature.
  3. Submit the signed form to the Graduate School no fewer than six months prior to completion of course requirements,
  4. Complete 12 hours from the course requirements list below, and
  5. Submit the completed course check sheet and an unofficial copy of the transcript along with the Application for Degree or Certificate Conferral form  to Dr. Bill Carstensen, chair of the Oversight Committee, for a signature, and then take Application for Certificate Conferral Form to the Graduate School.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

A.  Introductory Courses:  (0 – 6 credits to cover prerequisites for courses below)
Conceptual, technical, and operational aspects of geographic information systems as a tool for storage, analysis, and presentation of spatial information. Focus on engineering applications in resource management, site selection, and network analysis. Laboratory work required. Graduate standing required.
Examination of data structures used in geographic information systems. Map projections and coordinate systems used in mapping. Database creation, maintenance, and integrity. Applications of GIS methods for solving civil engineering problems in land management and related areas.
Course will introduce students to the theory and applications of database management systems (DBMS) and geographic information systems (GIS). Uses, challenges, and limitations of these technologies in natural resource management application will be discussed.
Philosophy and rationale of remote sensing as a part of the resource management process; comparisons of analogic and digital sensors; sensor selection and proper use; accuracy assessment; signature development; and identification of factors which affect the quality of remotely sensed information.
Foundations and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS); geographic coordinate systems, Cartesian map projections, spatial data sources, efficient GIS data structures, map representations, and spatial applications of GIS. Pre: Graduate Standing.
Theory and methods of remote sensing. Practical exercises in interpretation of aerial photography, satellite, radar, and thermal infrared imagery. Digital analysis, image classification, and evaluation. Applications in earth sciences, hydrology, plant sciences, and land use studies. Field project and report. Review of current research literature. Graduate standing required.
Introduction to the concepts and methods of ecological resource survey and analysis at regional and site scales. Approaches to environmental problem solving with an emphasis on data collection, evaluation, and synthesis using applicable technologies such as geographic information systems. Interpretation of landscape resource data for the purpose of physical planning and design.
An examination of a wide range of computer-based techniques that are of value in analyzing urban and regional planning and management problems. Techniques include linear programming, goal programming; modeling of complex systems; and decision modeling. May be repeated with different content for a maximum of 12 credits.
B.  Advanced Courses:  (6 -12 credit hours)
This project based course deals with both vector and raster Geographic Information Systems (GIS), network analysis, tracking applications, hydrologic applications, spatial analysis, web databases, and linking GIS to models with programming, specifically in the civil and environmental engneering arena. Pre: Any introductory GIS course, including CEE 5204, GEOG 4084, or BSE 4344. Pre: Graduate standing.
Advanced GIS course focusing on raster analysis with particular application to the issues associated with hydrologic analysis. Application and evaluation of algorithms for terrain analysis, watershed characterization, and hydrologic analysis and modeling as implemented in GIS. Digital elevation data sources and error assessment. Approaches to GIS/model integration and application. Pre:Graduate standing.
This course treats a specific advanced topic of current research interest in the area of data and information. Papers from the current literature or research monographs are likely to be used instead of a textbook. Student participation in a seminar style format may be expected. Prerequisite(s): CS 5604 (UG) OR CS 5614 (UG) OR CS 5604 OR CS 5614.
Interdisciplinary seminar devoted to current research in the fields of remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems, and related topics. Seminars, workshops, and presentations conducted by students, faculty, and visitors. Pre: Graduate standing.
Theory of spectroscopy and spectrometry from portable spectroradiometers to airborne and spaceborne hyperspectral sensors as relevant to natural resource applications, including vegetation species indentification and vegetative health, soil and peat properties, mineral and geothermal characteristics, and water applications. Practical investigation of research tools and techniques used to analyze hyperspectral data. Pre-requisite: Graduate Standing Required.
Acquiring and using publicly available natural resources data sources. Methods and algorithms for terrain modeling and landscape metrics. Evaluation of the impacts of data errors and variability on analysis results, including sensitivity analysis of GIS-based resource assessments. Special issues related to temporal data and the management of natural resources information systems.
Theoretical underpinning of established and emerging research using light detection and ranging (lidar) technology for forestry applications including detailed terrain mapping and digital elevation models, canopy height modeling, prediction of forest biophysical parameters, forest physiology and the canopy light regime, watershed mapping and stream modeling, ecological modeling, landsca[pe classifications, and wildlife habitat. Advanced research tools and techniques used to analyze lidar data for different applications. Graduate standing required.
Methods of describing and analyzing spatial distributions, including spatial autocorrelation, quadrat analysis, trend surface analysis, and methods of map comparison. Applications to student research problems.
Use of automated systems for geographic data collection, diditization, storage, display, modeling and analysis. Basic data flow in GIS modeling applications. Development of proficiency in the use of current GIS software. Pre: Graduate Standing.
Principles, history, and methods of aerial photographic interpretation. Introduction to photographic systems and application to aerial photography. Human dimension to photo interpretation. Applications to varied fields of knowledge such as land-use mapping, earth sciences, forestry, agriculture, history and archaeology, and military and strategic studies.
Geographical analysis of water as a hazard upon human (infrastructure, economy) and natural (rivers, groundwater) systems in the form of hydrometeorological events, water- and vector-borne disease, climate change, dams, and eutrophication. Development of proficiency in demonstrating the multi-dimensionality of water resources. Pre: Graduate Standing.
Analysis of the spatio-temporal patters of land use and Land Cover Change (LULCC) as observed in satellite images. Tropical deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural intensification. Rates and patterns of LULCC linked to biophysical and socio-economic drivers. Impacts of land change with respect to local climate, biodiversity, water yield and quality, and ecosystem services.
This course focuses on the analysis of the spatio-temporal of the vegetated land surface as observed in satellite images. Phenological events, such as the first openings of leaf and flower buds, are good indicators of the impact of local and global climate change. The focus of this course will beon satellite image time series used in the derivation of land surface phenology, the appearance and development of phenology other global regions, and the methods developed for the monitoring of phenology with satellite imagery. A major theme will be causes of spatio-temporal changes of phenological events and the effect of global climate change. Pre-requisite: Graduate Standing required.
Computational methods of map analysis with the ArcGIS Geographic Information System. Scripting and Visual Basic.NET programming using Environmentatl Systems Research Institute’s ArcObjects library for customization of GIS software to meet research and analytical needs for both the desktop and the web. Pre: 5084G and computer programing experience.
Use of web mapping technologies for geographic data collection, storage, analysis, and display. Web mapping topics include history and context, spatial data infrastructures, hardware and software architectures, Open Geospatial Consortium standards, mapping API’s, virtual globes, user-centric design, web cartography. Pre: Graduate standing.
In-depth coverage of advanced topics in the field of remote sensing selected to cover emerging techniques and technologies. Examples of topics, which will differ each semester, include field data in support of remote sensing, accuracy assessment, and hyperspectral remote sensing. Critical assessment of the ways in which remotely sensed data and information are employed in varied scientific disciplines and by society.
Spatial data structures: geostatistical data, lattices and point patterns. Stationary and isotropic random fields. Autocorrelated data structures. Semivariogram estimation and spatial prediction for geostatistical data. Mapped and sampled point patterns. Regular, completely random and clustered point processes. Spatial regression and neighborhood analyses for data on lattices.

Potential Advisors and Departments

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN GLOBAL PLANNING & INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (GPID)

The world is facing enormous challenges in the next century including climate change, water scarcity, world hunger, poverty, rapid urbanization, unemployment, natural habitat loss, resource degradation, and fiscal and institutional mismanagement. To face these challenges, we need thoughtful, ethically informed, and future-oriented solution builders who are thinking at a global scale.

The Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies builds on Virginia Tech’s internationally recognized, 30-year specialization in international development planning and an innovative partnership between faculty in programs such as Urban Affairs and Planning, Public Health, Geography, and Building Construction. The certificate seeks to prepare graduate students in multiple disciplines to engage in meaningful global professional leadership and academic positions to systematically tackle and resolve these global planning and development issues. The certificate may be taken in conjunction with most of Virginia Tech’s masters and doctoral degree programs. This certificate is only available on the Blacksburg campus at this time.

The certificate may be taken in conjunction with most of Virginia Tech’s masters and doctoral degree programs.

Contact: Ralph Hall, rphall@vt.edu

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

The certificate is open to all graduate students pursuing masters or doctoral degrees at Virginia Tech. Interested non-degree students may be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis. Prospective certificate applicants should confer with their respective graduate degree program academic advisors to ensure that pursuit of the certificate will productively complement their primary graduate degree objectives.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The core of this graduate certificate focuses on global planning issues and development project design, implementation, and evaluation. Following the required two-course, six-credit core sequence, students may select an additional six credit hours in three specializations:

  • Non-profit and Non-governmental Organization Management and Development
  • Sustainable Infrastructure Development
  • Public and Environmental Health and Global Development

Additional graduate courses of study in environmental planning and policy, women and gender in international development, natural resources management, homeland and global security, agricultural and rural development, and international business management are also offered at Virginia Tech and may be taken in addition to the three areas of specialization.

Required Core Courses (6 to 9 credit hours)*

1. UAP 5764G International Development Policy and Planning (3H)
2. UAP 5764 International Development Planning Studio (3H)

*Note: UAP/AAE 6314 Applied Development Economics (or equivalent) may be required of students not having adequate development economics background (to be determined by certificate coordinator in consultation with student’s department faculty advisor).

Elective Courses (6 credit hours)*

Non-profit and Nongovernmental Organization Management and Development

– UAP 5364 Nongovernmental Organizations in International Development
– UAP 5454 Nonprofit Organization and Management
– UAP 5534 Nonprofit Leadership and Governance
– UAP 5544 Public and Nonprofit Financial Management

Sustainable Infrastructure Development

– UAP 5324 Topics in Infrastructure Planning in Developing Countries
– UAP 5864 Topics in Transportation Policy and Planning
– BC 5144 Sustainable Infrastructure Systems
– UAP 5424 Urban Planning in Europe (1 H)

Public and Environmental Health and Global Development

– PHS 5004 Fundamentals of Public Health
– PHS 5014 Environmental Health
– PHS 5224 Comparative Health Systems
– GEOG 5214 Health and the Global Environment

*Note: The two required elective courses can be selected from two different areas of specialization.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN METROPOLITAN STUDIES (MS)

During the next generation, more than $40 trillion will be spent reshaping America’s built environment. More half of all structures existing today will be demolished or reconfigured to serve different functions. New development will exceed in volume 75% of everything existing today. The magnitude of this change will challenge economic, social, governance, physical and environmental systems as never before. It is imperative that the broadest number of current and prospective professionals possible appreciate the dynamics underlying this change, and in some way learn how to manage it.

The Graduate Certificate in Metropolitan Studies is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of metropolitan development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. The certificate is part of the Urban Affairs and Planning program’s overall mission to teach students how to understand, analyze, and influence the forces that shape the metropolitan built environment.

The target population includes current Virginia Tech and other graduate students in all fields, and others with undergraduate degrees who qualify for admission to the certificate program. As the nature and extent of future development will touch everyone, everyone qualified should have the opportunity to become familiar with the challenges and opportunities.

  • Blacksburg
  • National Capital Region
  • Full Time/Part Time

Contact: Kris Wernstedt, krisw@vt.edu

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Admission to the Certificate Program requires status as a current graduate student in good standing in Virginia Tech. If not currently such a student, then application as a non-degree certificate student is necessary. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 for this category is needed. Exceptions include achieving this minimum based on the last 60 semester hours of coursework or Commonwealth Campus admission if the GPA is above 2.75 but below 3.00. Official transcripts must be submitted. Application requirements are posted on Virginia Tech’s Graduate School web site.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The Certificate requires the completion of a minimum of 12 credit hours of graduate course work. To receive the Certificate, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for the courses taken.

Students seeking the Certificate who are *not *enrolled in the MURP degree program must complete at least six credit hours from among the following core certificate courses plus six credit hours in electives.

Core: Six credit hours from among:

UAP 5104: Urban & Regional Development Theory
UAP 5174: Theory & Practice of Urban & Regional Planning
UAP 5194: Urban Growth Management
UAP 5234: Urban Economy & Public Policy
Electives: Six credit hours from among other UAP courses including those not used for the core noted above, as approved by the faculty.

Students seeking the Certificate who *are *enrolled in the MURP degree program must complete the following two core certificate courses plus six credit hours in electives.

Core: Six core credit hours from:

UAP 5104: Urban & Regional Development Theory
UAP 5194: Urban Growth Management

Electives: Six credit hours from among other UAP courses not used for the core noted above and not appearing on the MURP plan of study, as approved by the faculty.

All courses used for the Certificate must be graded on an A-F basis. All courses also must be taken from Virginia Tech’s Urban Affairs and Planning Program.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT (NM)

Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs offers an exciting certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management. We are expanding the reach of the certificate by moving all courses to an online format and focusing the core material on the most vital and urgent management challenges for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. The certificate is ideal for rising professionals across the globe navigating the complex fiscal, managerial and networked environments of nonprofits and NGOs during a time of significant change. Courses in the certificate also include a focus on leadership, complex management, program evaluation with an emphasis on accountability, and all courses seamlessly integrate the domestic and international context.

The School of Public and International Affair’s graduate certificate in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management serves graduate students in NCR and Blacksburg and working professionals in both nonprofits/NGOs and the public sector. The certificate fosters the development of students by offering a streamlined curriculum focusing on the seamlessness between international and domestic environments, engaged pedagogy, reflexivity, and collaborative learning.

For more information, please contact: Anne Khademian khademi@vt.edu and/or Anna Erwin erwinae@vt.edu

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Admission and award requirements for the Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management certificate program are equivalent to the requirements for the Graduate School and the participating SPIA programs.

For persons not already enrolled in a Virginia Tech master’s or doctoral program:

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Graduate School application (Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management)
  • Application Fee (see Graduate School for amount)
  • Transcripts – undergraduate and other graduate degrees, if applicable.
  • GRE scores are not required.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter describing your substantive interests and possible area of specialization
  • International Students – also include TOEFL examination scores

For master’s and doctoral students:

  • be accepted as a graduate student in an established academic department
  • have at least one faculty member from the School with experience in NPOs/NGOs on your graduate committee
  • have your application signed by your major professor
  • provide evidence of how you will integrate this certificate program into your overall plan of study

Certificate Award

In order to earn the graduate certificate in Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organization Management, students must complete all certificate courses with a grade of “C-” or better and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 across the certificate courses

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Students are required to take four out five of the following courses:

  • SPIA 5514 – Nongovernmental Organizations in International Development (offered on Blacksburg campus and online) Roles of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGO) in international development. NGO interactions with local governments, community organizations, international governmental organizations, and private businesses. Tensions and collaborations between NGOs and other development actors.
  • SPIA 5544 – Public and Nonprofit Financial Management (offered only online) Role of finance in the management of complex public, nonprofit, and nongovernmental organizations. Functions of financial management, including planning and budgeting, reporting, resource acquisition, and internal controls in the nonprofit context.
  • SPIA 5574 – Nonprofit Organization and Management (offered on Blacksburg campus and online) Internal management for nonprofit and nongovernmental organization managers with emphasis on unique cultural, social, political, and economic challenges facing nonprofit managers. Key management knowledge, processes, and systems skills for managers in nonprofit organizations and NGOs and the role of internal collaboration. Challenges facing domestic nonprofits compared to those found in nongovernmental organizations across the globe.
  • SPIA 5534 – Nonprofit Organization Leadership (offered on Blacksburg campus and online) Methods of devising and implementing leadership strategies in the complex economic, cultural, social, and political contexts in which nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations operate. Theories, models, and tools for success, focusing on leadership accountability, ethos, and performance.
  • SPIA 5524 – Nonprofit Accountability and Evaluation (offered only online) Societal role of the nonprofit sector. Why nonprofit organizations are held accountable, to whom they are accountable, and how organizations can satisfy accountability demands. Evaluation tools for accountability.

UAP GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN WATERSHED MANAGEMENT (WM)

In the 21st century, challenges that relate to watershed management and the need to protect water quantity and water quality will be intensified in Virginia and the nation, owing to increased water demand, changes in land-use, and other competing interests. Management of water resources is a critical issue facing governmental agencies, as well as the private/industrial sector and citizens. Universities and colleges have a major responsibility to prepare future water and land managers to meet these challenges. Future water managers and decision makers need knowledge and training in natural science, technical assessment, economics, planning, and policy. In recent years, it has been recognized that the most effective approach to management of water resources is at the watershed scale with input from various stakeholders. Furthermore, there have been significant advances in understanding watershed science both in the natural and social sciences, and there is a national trend to integrate various facets of watershed studies in interdisciplinary programs.

The Watershed Management Certificate (WSMC) program at the graduate level integrates existing programs and courses from five colleges and ten departments at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making. The program provides excellent opportunities for students from many disciplines to study watershed management and develop interdisciplinary skills necessary for effective professional work in this emerging field.

The Watershed Management Certificate requires the completion of 11 credit hours. Students must complete the core class “Land Use and Environment: Planning and Policy” and chose three other courses in Watershed Science and/or Watershed Analysis.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Virginia Tech students accepted in any graduate program category: PhD, MS, MA, Commonwealth Campus, or Non-Degree can be admitted into the WSMC program by completing the Graduate Certificate Application, and completing a plan for taking courses required on the course checklist below. Students should meet with an academic adviser familiar with the classes on the list below and submit the application form to Dr. Kevin McGuire for the Certificate Program Approval signature no less than six months prior to completion of coursework.

After completing the 11-12 hours of courses required, take the course requirements checksheet (available on the WSMC webpage: http://www.vwrrc.vt.edu/watershed-management-graduate-certificate) to Dr. McGuire for signature. Students should bring a copy of their transcript for verification purposes.  Submit the signed course requirements checksheet to Dr. McGuire no less than six months prior to completion of course requirements, or as soon as possible to meet the Graduate School deadlines. Transfer credits are not permitted.

Upon successful completion of certificate requirements, an Application For Certificate Conferral must be signed by the department and submitted by the Application for Degree deadline in the term in which the certificate will be awarded.  The Graduate School will then check to see that courses listed on the Certificate Application form were satisfactorily taken (i.e., grades for certificate courses must be “C” or higher and the overall certificate GPA must be 3.0 or higher).

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

A. Required Core Course: Watershed Management (3 credit hours):

Choose one of the courses below:

UAP 5134G Land Use and Environment: Planning and Policy

UAP/NR 5414 Natural Resources Planning (NCR)

B. Additional Courses (8-9 credit hours):

1. Watershed Science (choose 1 course, 3 hours)
BSE 5404 Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution
FREC 5354G Advanced Forest Soils and Hydrology
LAR 5304G Topics: Advanced Landscape Architecture Technology – Hydrology
FIW 5534G Advanced Wetland Ecology and Management
NR 5884 Watershed Science, Education & Leadership (NCR)
CEE 5324 Advanced Hydrology (NCR)
CEE 5734 Urban Hydrology and Stormwater Management
GEOS 5804G Advanced Groundwater Hydrology
FIW 5814 Stream Habitat Management

2. Watershed Analysis (choose 2 courses, 5-6 hours)
BIOL 5034 Ecosystem Dynamics
BSE 5244 GIS in Hydrologic Analysis
BSE 5354 Nonpoint Source Pollution Modeling
CEE 5204 GIS Applications in Civil and Environmental Engineering (NCR)
FREC 5254 Remote Sensing of Natural Resources
FREC 5264 GIS Applications in Natural Resources Management
LAR 5044 Land Analysis and Site Planning
CSES 5854 Advanced Wetland Soils

UAP UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM

Undergraduate Course Descriptions (UAP)

Introduces academic requirements for the Public and Urban Affairs (PUA) and Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP) majors. Assists students with academic planning and career exploration. Students develop an ePortfolio to document their personal and professional growth in the major. Course must be taken during the first semester in the PUA or EPP program. (1H,1C)
This class introduces some of the most vital concerns and issues challenging democratic capitalistic urban societies today. Topics addressed include different perspectives on the causes and portent of the urban underclass, the growing inequality between the educated and less well educated in the nation’s labor markets, the causes of the marked resegregation of many of the nation’s urban centers by race and income and the implications of privatization and interjurisdictional competition for the public policy behavior and outcomes of subnational governments. (3H,3C)
Introduction to real estate, including markets, land use planning and zoning, development, finance, construction, sales, marketing, management and property valuation. Examines the key actors and processes in each of these areas. Explores major public policies impacting real estate. (3H,3C)
Relationships between urbanization and economic development; role of cities in social, political, cultural, and economic development of societies; cities as settings for innovation and change. (3H,3C)
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.
An introduction to urban policy and urban planning. Includes analysis of the basic concepts and principles of urban policy, a review of urban policy in the United States, discussion of the development of urban planning and its role in shaping the urban environment, and an analysis of the relationship between public policy and planning and the organization and structure of the urban environment. Must complete prerequisite UAP 1024 with a B- grade or higher. Pre: 1024. (3H,3C)
Overview and application of various methods used to study, represent, understand communities in their urban and regional context. Data collection and analysis; population, land use, transportation and economic forecasting; selecting and applying an appropriate method; designing and presenting a community study. Restricted to majors and minors only. (3H,3C)
Systematic analysis of the field and practice of public policy implementation. Includes analysis of the structure and dynamics of the policy process as well as specific analytic approaches to understanding policy implementation. Includes analysis of intra-organizational, inter-organizational and intergovernmental implementation processes. Must complete prerequisites UAP 3014 (B- or higher) or 3354, and UAP 3024 (B- or higher). Pre: 3024, (3014 or 3354). (3H,3C)
Consideration of one particular issue of immediate importance to the contemporary urban environment. Topics emphasize major social or economic policy issues, and may change each year. Junior standing required. (3H,3C)
Critical examination of major global environmental problems (e.g., global warming, atmospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, tropical deforestation, toxic waste) with emphasis on their social, economic, political, ethical, and policy implications and solutions. Completion of Area 4 of University Core required. (3H,3C)
Introduction to the interdisciplinary principles of environmental policy, planning, economics, and ethics to address pollution abatement, resources conservation, habitat protection, and environmental restoration. The course will focus on practical means of identifying environmental problems and creatively solving them. (3H,3C)
The role and context of public administration in the contemporary United States, administrative organization and decision-making, public finance, human resources administration, and program implementation. Pre: PSCI 1014. (3H,3C)
The legal context of the exercise of discretion by public administrators in the United States. Adjudication and rule- making; access to administrative processes and information; legislative and judicial control of administration. Pre: PSCI 1014. (3H,3C)
The concept of community in Appalachia using an interdisciplinary approach and experiential learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, public policy, and human development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)
Description and analysis of the processes and institutions involved in the making and implementation of public policy in the United States, with a primary focus on domestic and economic policy. Empirical and normative models of the process of public policy making in the U.S. Pre: PSCI 1014. (3H,3C)
Methods and approaches used in the analysis and evaluation of public policy; strengths and limitations of various analytic tools; normative issues in the practice of policy analysis. Pre: PSCI 1014 or PSCI 1014H. (3H,3C)
Contemporary uses of Marxian concepts and theories to study the world economy, business structure, current social issues, modern ethical values, and alienation. Pre: PSCI 1014 or PSCI 1014H. (3H,3C)
Variable credit course.
Issues, concepts, and techniques of citizen participation in community development. Institutional frameworks and their historical precedents. Exercises developing group communications skills, public meeting facilitation, and design of community involvement programs. Pre: Senior standing required. (3H,3C)
Explores intersecting roles of gender, culture, and socio-economic status in people’s use of nature, management of environmental resources, and experiences of environmental change. Examines debates on environmental and development initiatives, environmental ethics, and environmental social movements from feminist perspectives. (3H,3C)
Issues in applied environmental ethics. Contributions of diverse religious and philosophical traditions to contemporary perspectives on the human-nature relationship. Examination of environmental policies from utilitarian economic, deep ecology, and ecofeminist perspectives. Junior, senior or graduate standing required. (3H,3C)
This course examines the legal principles and policy debates involved in the regulation and protection of critical environmental resources. Specific topics vary but will likely include wetlands law and policy, endangered species habitat, open space, forestland and farmland protection, coastal zone management, and floodplain regulation and policy. (3H,3C)
Interdisciplinary, experiential problem solving studio focusing on specific environmental problems. Working in groups, students interact with local officials, consultants, developers, environmental groups to explore the processes of environmental management, regulation and mitigation, applying techniques and skills frequently used by environmental planners and policy-makers. Senior status required and 9 credit hours, 3000-level or above, in the Environmental Policy and Planning major or minor; Pre: 3354, 3224. (2H,5L,4C)
Critical examination of the social, political, economic, legal, scientific, and technological contexts underlying processes of environmental change, problems, and solutions, as seen from various conceptual and disciplinary perspectives. Senior status required and 9 credit hours, 3000-level or above, in the Environmental Policy and Planning major or minor. Pre: 3354, 3224. (2H,2C)
Environmental factors involved in land use planning and development, including topography, soils, geologic hazards, flooding and stormwater management, ecological features, and visual quality. Techniques used in conducting environmental land inventories and land suitability analyses. Policies and programs to protect environmental quality in land use planning and development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)
Planning and policy aspects of managing residuals and environmental contaminants and their effects on human health and environmental quality. Technical and economic factors involved in management of water quality, air quality, solid and hazardous wastes, toxic substances, and noise. Implementation of pollution control legislation, policies, and programs at federal, state, and local levels. (3H,3C)
Practical design fundamentals for small scale renewable energy systems: solar building heating and cooling; solar domestic hot water; wind, photovoltaic, and hydroelectric systems; alcohol, methane and other biomass conversion systems. Developing plans, programs, and policies to stimulate development of renewable systems. Pre: (MATH 1016 or MATH 1025). (3H,3C)
This seminar is the integrative forum for the principal elements of the Washington Semester experience. The course explores both the role of political institutions in policy formation and implementation and the primary managerial and leadership challenges that arise for implementing organization managers in American democratic public policy-making. Pre: Junior standing or instructor consent and acceptance into the Washington Semester program. X-grade allowed. (3H,3C)
This course is part of the Washington Semester. Explores the relationship between the imperatives of democratic mobilization, policy choices and organizational choices through intensive study of the operating context of a selected public or nonprofit organization. Examines implications of policy-maker choices for implementing institution dynamics and challenges. Pre: Junior standing and acceptance into the Washington Semester program required. X-grade allowed. Pre: PSCI 3714. (3H,3C)
Examines the provision and financing of public goods and services in local governments. Analyzes associated policy issues. Reviews experience in Western Europe and developing countries, as well as in the United States. Must complete prerequisites UAP 3024 with B- grade or higher, and ECON 2005 and 2006 with C grade or higher. Pre: 3024, (ECON 2005 or ECON 2005H), (ECON 2006 or ECON 2006H). (3H,3C)
Examination of the legal context in which urban planning and public policy operate. Legal structure, role of law, powers of sovereign governments, constitutional limitations on government activities, and public-private conflict and their influence on planning and public policy are examined. Pre: Junior standing required. (3H,3C)
Examination of major development theories and contemporary issues and characteristics of low-income societies (industrialization, urbanization, migration, rural poverty, hunger, foreign trade, and debt) that establish contexts for development planning and policy-making. Junior standing required. (3H,3C)
Course examines the interdependences among the elements of the built environment of the city and those between the elements of the built environment and the policy/planning structure of the city. Considered are those elements associated with the primary urban activities (residential, commercial, industrial) as well as the urban form-giving infrastructure facilities that support those land uses (water supply, sewerage, solid waste disposal, transportation, education, recreation, health, and safety). Pre: 3224. (3H,3C)
This capstone seminar explores the central questions of the role of the citizen and the citizenry in democratic capitalistic urban societies as well as the nature of accountability in such regimes. Topics such as the processes by which representation occurs, alternate theories of democratic community and the relationship of the public, private and civil sectors in urban society are treated. Senior status in PUA required. PUA majors and minors must complete this course with a C grade or higher to graduate; otherwise course must be repeated. Pre: 3224, 4714, 4754. (3H,3C)

4964: FIELD STUDY: Variable credit course. X-grade allowed.

4964H: HONORS FIELD STUDY: Variable credit course.

4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY: Variable credit course. X-grade allowed.

4984: SPECIAL STUDY: Variable credit course.

4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH: Variable credit course.

UAP UNDERGRADUATE CONTACTS

Co-Chair: Tom Sanchez
University Distinguished Professor: P. Knox
Professors: J.O. Browder, S. Hirt, T. Sanchez, and M. Stephenson
Associate Professors: D. Bieri, R. Buehler, R. Hall, K. Wernstedt, D. Zahm, and Y. Zhang
Assistant Professors: M. Cowell, S. Misra, T. Schenk, and T. Skuzinski
Adjunct Professors: B. Anderson, S. Mastran, E. Morton, J. Provo, and M. E. Ridenour

UAP ACADEMICS

Undergraduate Degrees

The Bachelor of Arts in Public and Urban Affairs degree provides the planning and policy skills and insights in order to understand and affect the economic, environmental, social, and governmental consequences of urban growth and change. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector addressing complex problems in realms such as urban planning, environmental justice, economic development, food systems, and international development.
The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning degree provides students the opportunity to study environmental problems and their solutions from an interdisciplinary perspective involving humanities, natural and social sciences, planning, and public policy. Graduates work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities. Graduates of the Environmental Planning and Policy degree program work in government agencies, nonprofits and the private sector, focusing on planning issues and challenges that affect local, regional, national and international communities.

Undergraduate Minors

The Environmental Policy and Planning Minor provides a critical interdisciplinary insight into modern environmental concerns.
A minor in Public and Urban Affairs requires completion of 18 credit hours:
UAP 1024: Public Issues in Urban Society
UAP 3014: Urban Policy and Planning
12 hours from approved list of UAP courses
The Real Estate Minor is a vital aspect of educating students for careers in real estate and in the real estate aspects of many facets of modern life. The instructional material is relevant to professionals in a wide range of real estate organizations and program graduates work in public sector agencies and in the private sector in such areas as economic development, urban planning and commercial/residential development.
The Watershed Management Minor provides an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy and decision-making. Alumni are prepared for careers in government, nonprofits and private sector organizations that focus on water resources.

Master’s Degrees

The Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree has a dual objective of training graduates for their first planning job, and more importantly instilling conceptual and critical thinking necessary for lifelong learning and career development. Graduates are able to assume professional responsibilities in a wide variety of positions in public service or in the private sector.
MURP’s Dual Masters degrees, also known as simultaneous degrees, exist between the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Natural Resources degrees (MNR). Dual degrees provide students with the opportunity to master core material in more than one field, allowing them to acquire the flexibility to engage in a wide range of activities within multiple fields and become bridge-builders between them; in fact, many rise to leadership positions because of their multi-disciplinary perspective. If you are interested in this program in Blacksburg, please contact uapvt@vt.edu. If you are interested in this program in Alexandria, please contact UAPAlexandria@vt.edu.

Doctoral Degree

The PhD in Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) draws insights from the social sciences and humanities into the multidimensional study of governance processes in all levels of society and international affairs. The faculty and students work jointly to cultivate their experience, knowledge, and skill with regard to the governance practices, political institutions, social dynamics, cultural values, workplace conditions, spatial formations, historical trends, and ethical conflicts that intersect in the workings of government, business, and not-for-profit organizations. Program graduates work in a range of nonprofit/NGO, public and private organizations at national and international levels.

Certificates

Urban and regional planners need to know how they can develop their economies. The challenge for policymakers, economic developers and urban planners nowadays is to design appropriate local and regional economic development policies and programs to respond to challenges resulting from globalization, technological development, demographic changes, urban decline, sprawl, and social inequities. Virginia Tech’s Graduate Certificate in Economic Development is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of urban and regional economic development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them.
Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) includes collection and analysis of remotely sensed data, digital spatial and attribute data used by geographic information systems (GIS), and the application of related technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS). Geographic Information Science is one of the leading careers in the United States today. As depth of knowledge is important to careers in the industry, this certificate requires 12 hours of geospatial coursework. Coursework is taken from three categories, beginning with introductory topics, and continuing through more advanced and specialized topics as best fits the student’s background and future goals.
The Graduate Certificate in Global Planning and International Development Studies builds on Virginia Tech’s internationally recognized, 30-year specialization in international development planning and an innovative partnership between faculty in programs such as Urban Affairs and Planning, Public Health, Geography, and Building Construction. The certificate seeks to prepare graduate students in multiple disciplines to engage in meaningful global professional leadership and academic positions to systematically tackle and resolve these global planning and development issues.
The Graduate Certificate in Metropolitan Studies is designed for those who are interested in acquiring a basic understanding of metropolitan development dynamics and the role of policy in influencing them. The certificate is part of the Urban Affairs and Planning program’s overall mission to teach students how to understand, analyze, and influence the forces that shape the metropolitan built environment.
Virginia Tech’s School certificate in Nonprofit and NGO Management focuses on the most vital and urgent management challenges for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. The certificate is ideal for rising professionals across the globe navigating the complex fiscal, managerial and networked environments of nonprofits and NGOs during a time of significant change. Courses in the certificate also include a focus on leadership, complex management, program evaluation with an emphasis on accountability. All courses seamlessly integrate the domestic and international context.
The management of water resources is a critical issue facing governmental agencies, as well as the private/industrial sector and citizens. The Watershed Management Certificate provides an excellent opportunity for future water and land managers to develop the interdisciplinary skills necessary for meeting these challenges in the field of water resources. This certificate integrates existing programs and courses from five colleges and ten departments at Virginia Tech to provide an interdisciplinary and substantive understanding of watershed science, policy, and decision-making.

Special Programs

The Combined B.A. Architecture/Masters in Urban and Regional Planning degree provides students with the option of earning a professionally-accredited Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree along with the professionally accredited Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) degree. Graduates of the combined degree program are at the nexus of planning and architectural design, crafting solutions to community issues that respond to social, political, economic and spatial challenges.
Located in Old Town Alexandria, the Washington Semester is an eleven-week summer program that provides students the opportunity to acquire professional experience in a governmental agency or other relevant enterprise in the private or nonprofit sector.

UAP FACULTY & STAFF

A REGIONAL COMMUNITY  ADDRESSING GLOBAL CHALLENGES

A REGIONAL COMMUNITY  ADDRESSING GLOBAL CHALLENGES

A REGIONAL COMMUNITY  ADDRESSING GLOBAL CHALLENGES

BLACKSBURG

WASHINGTON, DC

RICHMOND

BLACKSBURG

WASHINGTON, DC

RICHMOND

BLACKSBURG

WASHINGTON, DC

RICHMOND