Master of Urban Planning Transnational Planning Stream

Many planning programs in the U.S. maintain a subfield labeled "international planning" that is intended to serve a distinct professional career path. In contrast, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning recognizes that even students preparing to practice solely within the United States benefit from an understanding of the implications of growing international linkages among cities and regions. Moreover, those students that are seeking careers specifically in international development planning and related fields are best served by developing expertise within one or more substantive planning concentrations in addition to knowledge of international planning.

DURP's Transnational Planning Stream is a set of courses and learning opportunities supplementing the Department's concentrations. This is a unique aspect of the curriculum at Illinois: transnational planning education is designed to work with, rather than in lieu of, other planning subfields.

The Transnational Planning Stream promotes critical thinking and analytical skills related to the history of international development planning, globalization as an influence on the growth and development of foreign and domestic cities and regions, the ethics and politics of contemporary development, and international planning theory and practice. The stream stresses combining classroom learning with field-based experiences, study and research abroad, and internships with local and international organizations.

Career Paths and Preparation

  • In an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, exposure to transnational issues provides students with an increased range of professional and research opportunities. DURP students can combine their understanding of transnational processes with any of the concentration areas to develop the right skills for the career of their choice. The stream also provides opportunities for students who want to work domestically but are interested in opportunities abroad. In short, whether they wish to work abroad or within the U.S. upon graduation, students who combine their area of concentration with the TNP stream only widen their future career opportunities.
  • Students in the Transnational Planning stream are strongly encouraged to pursue practical experience in organizations that focus on transnational and international development work. An internship with an organization located in the U.S. or abroad addressing development planning issues is invaluable both to the students' education and to their career development and employment opportunities. Students can get internship Travel Grants to receive partial support for internship and research experience abroad.

Transnational Planning Faculty

  • Arnab Chakraborty: Developing locally-based theories and tools for urban planners in developing countries, especially in India; data development, modeling and measuring the impact of land use change on infrastructure demand and public services;
  • Marc Doussard: Low-wage work, community organizing, economic development policy, inclusive innovation, impacts of the military build-up in Guam;
  • Sean Kennedy: Energy and environmental planning in Indonesia;
  • Bumsoo Lee: Comparison of travel behavior in US and international cities;
  • Faranak Miraftab: Grassroots urban movements for housing and basic services in South Africa; immigration and transnational community development in Rustbelt US, Latin America, West and South Africa;
  • Ken Salo: Environmental justice and environmental racism in South Africa and Illinois;
  • Daniel Schneider: Community-based ecological management in Mexico and the US.

The Department's collective efforts to expand and improve its international and transnational curricula, programs, and offerings are led by the department's International Programs and Activities Coordinator, Professor Faranak Miraftab. For general questions about international and transnational offerings in the Department or on campus, contact Professor Miraftab at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 217-265-8238.

Recommended Courses




UP 423 Community Development in the Global South
UP 428 International Planning Workshop*
UP 521 International Planning Seminar**
Also, UP494 and UP594 Special Topics in Planning which are unique course offerings offered each semester.

*The field-based component of the workshop takes place over summer or winter break.
** Offered every other semester

Other TNP-Related Courses in the University

Students may also consider electives from among the vast range of offerings on campus. For example, in addition to the course offerings through the area studies centers and programs listed here, the Department of Sociology, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, Geography, and Economics regularly offer courses relevant to transnational planning.

Courses with specific language or regional focus Courses with international and global focus
Number Course Number Course Number Course
AAS 297 Asian Families in America ACE 411 Environment and Development LAW 657  International Human Rights Law 
AFRO 460 Slavery in the United States ACE 451 Agriculture in International Development  PS 380 International Cooperation
EALC 421 Soc-Econ Historic Modern China ACE 455 Intl. Trade in Food & Agriculture  PS 386 International Law
GEOG 455 Geog of Sub-Saharn Africa ANTH 504 Colonialism & Post Colonialism PS 389 International Communications
GER 401 Global Issues in German ECON 420  International Economics  PS 396  International Conflict 
HIST 472 Immigrant America ECON 450  Development Economics  PS 398  Strategic International Relations 
LLS 379 Latina/os and the City  EPS 530 Education and Globalization PS 587  Research Seminar in International Relations 
PS 418 Language & Minorities in Europe  GWS 575 Transnational Feminism SOC 562 Seminar in Transnational Studies
SOC 321 Gender and Latina/o Migration HIST 519 Colonialism & Postcolonialism    
UKR 113  Ukrainian Culture      

* This list is only illustrative; DURP can't guarantee that any will be offered while you are studying at the University of Illinois.

 Additional Information

<---Emergency Alert Notification Code--->