Program details

Iowa State’s accredited Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Planning (BSCRP) is a professional degree where classroom and studio-based instruction combine to provide students with an understanding of the theory, methods and applications of planning practice. The College’s Department of Community and Regional Planning believes strongly in grounded education; studios and other classes often work with local communities or governments to explore genuine planning problems and solutions.

The BSCRP program provides the foundation for becoming a certified professional planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners, or for more specialized study through graduate study.

  • 93% graduates

    employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation


The BSCRP curriculum helps prepare students to address a broad range of planning challenges involved in managing the social, economic and physical change of neighborhoods, small towns, cities, suburbs, metropolitan areas, regions and states. The curriculum provides courses in principles of planning, planning methods, and related topics. Studios provide synthesizing experiences in a range of applications through practical, hands-on experience working with communities, or other organizations.

Incoming undergraduate students may enter directly into the professional BSCRP degree program without participating in the Core Design Program.

Undergraduate BSCRP majors can choose from five different areas of focus for your studies, or you can be a generalist. Focus areas include:

  • Community Development and Social Policy
  • Ecological and Environmental Planning
  • Regional and International Planning
  • Physical Planning and Urban Design
  • Transportation and Land Use
  • Student Working on GIS Lab computer.

    Geographic Information Science

    The Department of Community and Regional Planning offers both a minor in geographic information science (GIS) and a GIS graduate certificate. When combined with the BSCRP program, students have access to leading-edge GIS technology and gain skills that open new career and educational pathways.

Iowa State’s BSCRP is a professional degree accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.

The College of Design offers or participates in eight undergraduate minors that are available to all undergraduate design students. In addition, many minors throughout the university can be combined with a design degree program.

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Beyond meeting the minimum high school requirements for admission to Iowa State University and the College of Design, students intending to major in Community and Regional Planning may find the below classes very helpful in preparing for college coursework:

  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Political science or government
  • Environmental science

Because planners typically work with many (sometimes competing) groups and often make presentations to city councils or other decision-making bodies, courses in public speaking, debate, writing, and graphic communication are also recommended.

Recent student work

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Success in Design

Students graduate career-ready with internships, capstone projects, professional practice and portfolio classes integrated into the Design programs, and support from the Design Career Services Office. The college also hosts an annual Design Career Fair focused only on design majors. It attracts more than 125 firms recruiting for jobs and internships, with College of Design alumni making up more than half of the recruiters in attendance.

Possible career paths

We make it easy for students explore career opportunities. Some recent graduates of Iowa State’s community and regional planning program have pursued careers in the following:

  • Comprehensive planning
  • Economic development
  • Environmental planning
  • Historic preservation
  • Land-use planning
  • Neighborhood planning
  • Planning management
  • Urban revitalization
  • Zoning administration and coordination
  • Transportation planning/analyst
  • Conservation and economic recovery
  • 198

    different companies recruited our students since 2018.

Two design students working on a project and communicating their design on a whiteboard.

A Planner in the Making

Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.