Founded in 1946, the Department of City and Regional Planning is one of the largest, oldest, and best known programs for graduate planning education and research in North America. We are located in a historic building in the heart of the country’s oldest state university, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The state of North Carolina, the Research Triangle region, and the community of Chapel Hill are ideally suited to serve as the home base of a nationally ranked program in city and regional planning. We were the first planning department established with a base in the social sciences rather than in architecture or landscape design and have retained and strengthened that legacy through the multidisciplinary research and teaching programs of our faculty.

The concepts of sustainable development and social justice as goals of planning remain central to our mission. Whether the objectives are improved physical, social, economic, or environmental conditions, or more efficient and equitable policies, programs and environments, planning is a way of effectively marshalling resources to public development objectives. The professional planner combines an understanding of urban and regional theory grounded in a spatial context and a grasp of planning and management methods to guide development in the public interest.

Carolina Planning actively works toward increased diversity and inclusion of students, faculty, and ideas from marginalized communities, including but not limited to:

  • Providing funding support opportunities in the form of an Excellence in Diversity Fellowship
  • Fostering opportunities to learn from international contexts inside and outside the classroom
  • Curricula review on the basis of intellectual diversity as well as authorship representation
  • Regularly facilitated workshops and events promoting racial equity
  • The creation of Plan For All, a student-led group dedicated to issues of department equity, diversity, and inclusion

These department initiatives, supplemented by formal and informal organizing amongst students over matters of ethnicity, gender, environmental racism, and LGBTQ identity, lead to department-wide familiarity with issues spanning a diverse set of populations.

The Department of City and Regional Planning welcomes students, faculty, staff, and all visitors regardless of race, religion, gender identification, sexual orientation, age, or disability status. The more reflective of society’s diversity the department is, the better we are.


Our mission, vision and values:


Discover.  Educate. Inspire…to produce innovative, equitable, and transformative planning practice.


Solving complex urban and regional problems through innovative research, teaching, and engagement.


  • High-impact engaged social science
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Career-launching mentorship & teaching