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Master’s in Urban Ecology and Sustainable Planning

Master of Professional Science

Next start date is June 7. No GRE needed and applying is free!!

Build better, greener cities

Bridge human and environmental needs. Bring nature back to urban communities. Make cities more livable and more sustainable.

Unity College’s online Master of Professional Science in Urban Ecology and Sustainable Planning prepares you to do just that. You’ll study planning principles and policy, culture and communication, and other insights that help you advance or change your career.

Take the first step—apply online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Career Outlook

Earn your degree.

Unlock new opportunities.


Number of urban and regional planner jobs in the U.S., 2018. 


Median pay for urban and regional planners, 2018. 


Estimated growth for urban and regional planner jobs in the U.S., through 2028. 

 Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unity College cannot guarantee employment. Salary data represents averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience.

What is urban ecology and sustainable planning?

Urban ecology and sustainable planning is the study of how humans interact with their surroundings in urban areas. For example, urban ecologists may look at how cities affect local animal habitats, how to limit deforestation in development, and how to mitigate the effects of pollution.

You don’t need a bachelor’s degree in urban ecology or planning to earn your master’s. Our program is designed for:

  • New graduates
  • Career changers
  • Current engineers and architects
  • Anyone with a job in the environmental field
  • Anyone interested in pursuing a sustainability role

With a master’s in urban ecology and sustainable planning, you can advance in your current role or seek a position as a city planner, urban transportation planner, operational analyst, environmental planner, or environmental compliance specialist.

Ready to improve sustainability in your city? Apply online.

What to expect in an urban ecology and sustainable planning degree program

Learn how to use data to make well-informed decisions. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of urban ecology and planning solutions. Apply sustainable design principles to urban landscapes.

As a Unity student, you’ll benefit from:

  • Personalized attention. Online classes average 10 students, meaning you’ll receive ample attention from your professors.
  • Quick time to completion. Take classes full-time and you can finish your master’s in as little as 12 months.
  • Begin your degree on one of five start dates. All classes are offered online, so you can earn your degree from anywhere in the world.  
  • Professional resources. From world-class faculty to free access to GIS software, you’ll be prepped for success.
  • No test scores. No GRE or GMAT required for application. That’s one less thing on your plate. 
  • Recognized expertise. Unity College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, meaning your courses meet an academic standard.

To learn more, contact a distance education concierge at

Careers and Outcomes

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Faculty Profiles

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Urban ecology and sustainable planning master’s degree requirements and courses

Your master’s degree is 30 credits and 100% online. You’ll need to maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher to graduate.

Courses include a professional skills core and an urban ecology and sustainable planning core. Both build your skills in management, communication, business, design, and planning.

For a more comprehensive look into the program download the program sheet or view our full course catalog.  

Urban ecology and sustainable planning sample courses

  • UESP 505 Sustainable Design: Green Spaces and Urban Nature

    This course introduces students to principles of sustainable design with an emphasis on green spaces in urban environments. It will provide students with a framework to move beyond superficial greening efforts to create plans that highlight people, planet, profit, and purpose. Upon completion, students will have a critical vocabulary about the complexity, cost, and scale of the challenges in designing green spaces in urban environments.

  • UESP 605 Sustainable Design: Creating Sustainable Buildings

    This course will focus on design thinking and design principles with an emphasis on the built environment in urban settings. Students will learn ways to reenvision the built environment as “living” and as an active community member that contributes to the urban ecological landscape. Students will learn about building infrastructure to help design buildings that contribute to its urban ecosystem(s). This course will emphasize design thinking, teach students strategies for managing the complexities when designing new buildings or redesigning existing ones, and explore the role of economics and human beings in this process.

  • UESP 615 Planning for Human-Wildlife Interactions in Urban Environments

    This course is an introduction to both the issues surrounding human-wildlife interactions in urban environments and an exploration into meaningful plans to support productive ecological coexistence. After providing a historical context and background on current conservation efforts, students will learn innovative strategies to support areas which are valuable to both humans and wildlife. Topics covered will include multi-level policy development, ecological economics of wildlife in urban spaces, zoonotic disease transmission and prevention, global encroachment trends, hunting in relation to wildlife abundance, and even tourism practices in urban environments. Students will additionally be exposed to the principles of wildlife forensics, and learn how to design and implement culturally appropriate and  community-led solutions to human-wildlife challenges.

Distance Education Concierge