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SWF Center for Public & Social Policy

SWF Center for Public & Social Policy

Certificate in Planning


Consistent with FGCU’s emphasis on community involvement, the Certificate in Planning offers the first academic program in SW Florida focusing on preparing professional planners for employment in local and state agencies, private development firms, and professional consulting practices. The Planning Certificate offers a variety of courses to build the theory and practice of planning. To provide a strong, well rounded program, the certificate builds on the combined strengths of Florida Gulf Coast University faculty and distinguished local professionals. Classes are offered online with optional studio/lecture meetings, which can be scheduled at the student’s convenience. If admitted to the MPA program, Planning Certificate students may use the four core courses as part of their program. MPA students may also use the four core courses towards the Planning Certificate Program.

Theory and Application: The Planning Certificate provides the theoretical and practical dimensions of planning necessary to assist students and practitioners in planning careers in government, non-profit organizations, private sector engineering and planning consulting firms.

Admissions: Students interested in the Planning Certificate must hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

Students Must:

  1. Submit a Florida Gulf Coast University Post-Baccalaureate Non-Degree application to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  2. Submit an official transcript proving graduation from a regionally accredited college or university.
  3. Students already enrolled in the MPA program should consult with their advisor and fill out a form that indicates their desire to participate in the planning certificate program.

Academic Programs Core Courses: Core courses are intended to ensure that each student acquires a broad range of planning fundamentals and methods skills. Students must take the following four (three-credit hour) courses as part of their 18 credit curriculum:

  • PAD-5255 Community and Economic Development (3)
  • URP-5201 Methods and Planning Analysis (3)
  • URP-5312 Growth Management and Comprehensive Planning (3)
  • URP-5316 Land Use Planning (3) In addition, students are required to select 6 credit hours of electives from the description listed.

Workshops: The Planning Certificate workshops are designed to explore current issues in planning, expose students to significant planning problems or theory, and to introduce students to a wide variety of professionals. A minimum of three workshops are scheduled every year. These courses can be used for AICP continuing education credit.

Land Use Planning Workshops:

  • Urban Land Institute Annual Sustainability Conference
  • Introduction to GIS
  • Intermediate GIS
  • Advanced GIS
  • Dan Burden: Walkable Communities
  • Reconnecting Lee Transit Oriented Development: Our World Has Changed
  • Infill and Redevelopment Incentives
  • Desoto County Solar Tour
  • Transit Oriented Development Symposium: Where do we grow from here?
  • Seth Harry Transit Oriented Development
  • Dan Burden Walkable Communities in Naples
  • ULI Annual Sustainability Program
  • Media Skills for Planners
  • Transit Oriented Development Symposium: Back to the Future
  • Health, Planning, and the Built Environment
  • Plat-a-Palooza Workshop


Internships: Planning certificate faculty can assist students in arranging paid or unpaid internships. While internships are not required, they are suggested for students with little or no experience in the field.

Faculty and Staff: The faculty and staff of the Center welcome your inquires and encourage you to take advantage of the program.