Professional Certificate

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

View full course descriptions and class availability.

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.

To apply to the Professional Certificate via the Graduate Division:

  1. Complete the application for “Urban and Regional Planning Graduate Certificate.” On the online application, select “Graduate Certificate.”
  2. Submit one transcript from each post-secondary institution attended. Applicants may submit unofficial copies of transcripts while applying for admission through the upload website linked below. However, admitted students are required to submit official transcripts in order to enroll at UHM. Official transcripts must be sent to the Graduate Student Services directly from the issuing institution(s), or in sealed institutional envelopes if submitted with the application. Note: Coursework completed at any University of Hawaii campus will be automatically obtained on behalf of applicants. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international students.
  3. Submit a copy of your resume that demonstrates a minimum of two years of planning-related work directly to the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (

Send to:
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
2424 Maile Way, Saunders Hall 107
Honolulu, HI 96822

For a list of application forms and deadlines, please refer to UHM’s Graduate Division page for the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

Application Deadlines

Applications should be submitted by September 1 for spring semester admission and by March 1 for fall semester admission. Contact us at 808-956-7381 or if applying for late admission. The Department’s Admissions Committee will review the application when it is complete.

Tuition and Registration

Registration and tuition is handled through Outreach College.

Note: Up to 6 credits (2 courses) taken through Outreach College before admission can be applied to Professional Certificate requirements upon admission. In addition, courses taken towards the Professional Certificate can be applied towards the Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree if admitted before receiving the Professional Certificate; courses cannot be double-counted towards both.