Established in 1961, the Department of City and Regional Planning is one of the oldest and largest schools of planning in Turkey. With more than 2,000 graduates and not less than 400 undergraduate and graduate students today, the Department of City and Regional Planning has played a key role not only in planning education but also in the development of urban research in Turkey.
Department’s undergraduate and graduate curricula have been designed with the understanding that the challenges facing urban planners have multiplied especially in the last two decades and the scope of tasks that planners are expected to undertake has considerably widened. As far as planning education is considered, this means that planners need to be equipped not only with conventional skills but also with the skills required to cope with the new challenges. Planners must now be capable of formulating questions in the light of the inputs of a variety of disciplines and synthesizing these inputs without falling into the dilemma between comprehensiveness and partiality. The aim of the undergraduate program is to train planners who can perceive holistic relationships, develop alternative views (utopian/realist) on how to transform these relationships and produce creative designs for the future and who possess the ability of investigating in depth without falling into partiality. Planners need, therefore, to be equipped with a variety of skills ranging from quantitative analysis techniques to social and economic analyses required to understand how the urban system works.
In addition to the undergraduate program in City Planning, the Department offers graduate degrees. There are three Masters programs carried out by the Department: City Planning, Regional Planning and Urban Design. The Department also offers a PhD degree in City and Regional Planning. In addition to the graduate programs run by the Department, there are interdisciplinary graduate programs carried out jointly with other departments in METU: Masters and PhD programs in Urban Policy Planning and Local Governments, Masters and PhD programs in Geodetic and Geographic Information Technologies, and Masters and PhD programs in Settlement Archeology. While the graduate programs in City Planning, Regional Planning and Urban Design are conducted according to the "Academic Regulations" of the Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, those of the Settlement Archeology and Urban Policy Planning and Local Governments are conducted according to the "Academic Regulations" of the Graduate School of Social Sciences.
The Department offers a 4-year undergraduate degree in City and Regional Planning in the last two years of which, students are oriented to one of four modules according to their areas of interest. There are three Masters Programs carried out by the Department: Masters Program (MSc) in City Planning, Masters Program in Regional Planning, and Masters Program in Urban Design. There are also four other Interdisciplinary Masters Programs, and two Phd Programs that the Department of City and Regional Planning carries out jointly with other departments in METU: Masters and Phd Programs in Urban Policy Planning and Local Governments run jointly with the Department of Political Sciences and Public Administration; Masters Program in Geodetic and Geographic Information Technologies run jointly with the Departments of Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Geological Engineering; Masters and Phd Programs in Settlement Archeology run jointly with the Department of Architecture and Archeometry Graduate Program; and Master Program in Earthquake Studies run jointly with the Departments of Civil Engineering, Mine Engineering, and Geological Engineering. The Department of City and Regional Planning also offers a Ph.D. degree in City and Regional Planning. In recent years, the Department of City and Regional Planning started taking place actively in ERASMUS student and staff exchange programs. The Department is also a full member of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) and Association of Turkish Schools of Planning (TUPOB).