While the intellectual life of the Department is organized around particular program groups, and students are asked to select an area of specialization, there is a great deal of room for cross-over and flexibility in individual student programs. There are four areas of specialization (also called Program Groups), which reflect major types of planning practice:
- City Design and Development (CDD) 
- Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP) 
- Housing, Community, and Economic Development (HCED) 
- International Development Group (IDG) 
In each of these areas, an introductory course is offered for Master's students in the fall semester. This course provides an overview of the issues central to practice in the field as well as an historical perspective. Following this course, a sequence of advanced courses is recommended.
In addition, we have three "cross-cutting" areas that are of interest to many students and faculty in the Department. These are: Urban Information Systems (which is a specialization area at the PhD level only); Multi-Regional Planning Systems; and Transportation Systems Planning.