Over the past 75 years Cornell’s planning students, alumni, and faculty have worked to transform planning. In doing this they have bridged social concerns and physical design, local and global scales, methods, critique, and ethics. Theirs is a pragmatic idealism emerging from both studying the world and efforts to change it. The Department of City and Regional Planning (CRP) at Cornell celebrates this progressive, international, and analytic tradition.
While planning topics were the subject of courses starting in 1918, it was only in 1935 that a three-year grant from the Carnegie Corporation enabled Cornell to establish an interdisciplinary suite of planning courses under the leadership of Gilmore D. Clarke ‘13. The first regional planning master’s degree was awarded in 1943, though the first full class of eight students graduated after the war in 1947–48. Professor Emeritus John Reps was a member of that class.
Since that time Cornell has gone on to expand its offerings to include an undergraduate program, a doctoral program, and other joint programs with architecture, law, landscape architecture, public administration, and real estate. In 2010 the department housed more than 120 undergraduate urban and regional studies majors; 96 masters students; and 27 Ph.D. students in planning and regional science. Over the years CRP has graduated 1,250 M.R.P.s; 260 Ph.D.s; and hundreds of B.A.s of urban and regional studies. There have also been almost 200 M.A.s in historic preservation; 70 M.A.s and 60 Ph.D.s in regional science; and a number of masters of professional studies. These graduates have gone on to promising careers around the world.