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Certificate Programs

The Graduate Certificate in Planning Studies allows students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in a related field to become acquainted with planning skills and activities. Students enrolled in graduate programs in architecture, economics, engineering, geography, political science, public health, social work, and sociology are among those eligible. Students are encouraged to use the certificate program to increase their competence in planning as it relates to their major area of study. The individual student’s program can be designed so as to build upon his/her educational background and professional interests.

Planning Studies certificate students are required to take five courses offered by the Department and complete the requirements for a master’s degree in their area of study. The three required courses are:

  1. PLAN 600 (Public Policy and Planning Theory)
  2. PLAN 601 (Planning Methods)
  3. PLAN 751 (Planning Practicum, 6 credits).

The remaining two courses are to be selected from among the following courses by the certificate student in consultation with the faculty member responsible for directing the Planning Studies Certificate Program:

  1. PLAN 603 (Economic Analysis for Urban and Regional Planning);
  2. PLAN 610 (Community Planning and Social Policy);
    * PLAN 620 (Environmental Policies and Programs);
    * PLAN 630 (Urban and Regional Planning in Asia);
    * or PLAN 640 (Land Use Policies and Programs);
  3. An elective planning course.

Successful completion of the program leads to a master’s or doctoral degree in the student’s chosen field and a Certificate in Planning Studies. The Certificate is awarded in the same semester in which the candidate receives his/her master’s or doctoral degree. If a student subsequently pursues the MURP degree, he/she will be requested to turn in the Certificate in Planning Studies at the time the MURP degree is awarded.

A student accepted in one of the affiliated or related master’s or doctoral degree programs and interested in admission to the certificate program should: (1) arrange for an interview with the faculty member responsible for directing the Planning Studies Certificate Program and (2) file an application for admission as soon as possible.

The Professional Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning is designed for planning practitioners and working professionals in public policy, economic development, environmental conservation and many other fields related to planning. It is open to those currently working in the public, private or voluntary sector who do not have a planning degree but are interested in formal education in urban and regional planning and any of its sub-fields. The program allows professionals to continue working full-time by offering a selection of evening as well as daytime courses. Certificate students may attend classes or make arrangements with the instructor to take courses through real-time distance learning when available.

The Professional Certificate requires completion of 5 courses (15 credits) comprised of one required (PLAN 600: Public Policy and Planning Theory) and four elective courses. Each course carries three credits. A public capstone presentation of a course project or paper is also required.

The electives are typically selected in consultation with the candidate’s faculty advisor. Below is a sample of electives courses:

PLAN 601: Planning Methods
PLAN 603: Urban Economics
PLAN 604: Qualitative Methods in Planning
PLAN 605: Planning Models
PLAN 616: Methods for Community Planning
PLAN 620: Environmental Planning & Policy
PLAN 625: Climate Change, Energy, and Food Security in Asia-Pacific Region
PLAN 627: Negotiation and Mediation in Planning
PLAN 632: Planning in Hawaii & Pacific Islands
PLAN 640: Land Use Policies and Programs
PLAN 641: Neighborhood & Community Land Use Planning
PLAN 642: Planning Urban Infrastructure
PLAN 645: Land Use Planning
PLAN 647: Planning for Sustainability
PLAN 648: Urban Transportation Policy and Planning
PLAN 661: Collaboration between Sectors
PLAN 670: Interdisciplinary Seminar in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance
PLAN 678: Site Planning

For a complete list of courses click here.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must have:

  1. An undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in any field
  2. Minimum two years of experience in planning, policy, or a related field such as environmental sustainability, transportation and urban infrastructure, historic preservation, conflict mediation, and economic and community development, among others.

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning’s Program on Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance grows out of our commitment to a multidisciplinary approach to planning education which recognizes the important contributions to planning that can be made by the social and natural sciences and by the architectural, public health, social work, and civil engineering professions and emphasizes extensive community involvement.

The DMHA certificate is a 15 credit plus 1 credit (capstone) certificate that provides an academic course of study aimed at building disaster risk reduction competence and professionalism. Combining existing courses across campus that provide disciplinary perspectives on hazards, disasters and risk reduction with focused coursework and seminars in core areas of disaster management and humanitarian assistance results in a rigorous and productive graduate level curriculum. Students graduating with recognized skills in disaster risk reduction will find career opportunities in the public and private sectors, from the local to the international arenas. Click here for frequently asked questions regarding the program. For more information, please email us at

For more detail on the application process, please visit the DMHA Admissions page.

DMHA courses

Pre-approved Elective DMHA courses:

In this video, USAID and NDPTC director Karl Kim document the collaborative disaster risk reduction training in Indonesia between the University of Hawai’i in association with the NDPTC, the Institute of Technology Bandung, Gadjah Mada University, and the Islamic University of Indonesia. One portion of the training was conducted over the summer of 2014, with the generous support of USAID.

National Disaster Preparedness Training Center

The mission of the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) is to develop and deliver disaster preparedness training to governmental, private, and non-profit entities, incorporating urban planning with an emphasis on community preparedness and at risk populations. For information on the training center, please visit the website at

Health Emergencies in Large Populations (HELP)

The HELP Course is a three week intensive graduate level training course, taught in conjunction with the Medical Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Through the facilitation of the Center for Excellence, the HELP Course has been taught for ten consecutive years at the East-West Center located on the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus in Honolulu, Hawaii. The HELP Course was created by the International Committee of the Red Cross with the participation of the University of Geneva and the World Health Organization to meet the public health needs of health professionals working in emergency situations. For more information about the course, please visit the website at H.E.L.P Course. For information about this course related to Health Emergencies in Large Populations, please visit the following website at

The Asia Pacific Initiative

A collaboration between ten education and research institutions in the Asia Pacific region. Graduate students and working professionals interested in disaster management and humanitarian assistance issues have the opportunity to learn from a diverse faculty from throughout the region as well as distinguished guest lecturers from regional and international organizations.

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