Why RCPL at OU? - Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture

Why RCPL at OU?


About the Division of Regional + City Planning

• Are you interested in positive social, economic, and environmental change?

• What about the growth and development of urban area?

• Do you want to work with people from wide backgrounds to develop a better community?

• Are you challenged by complex problems and excited about finding solutions?

• Do you think about the future and what could be rather than what is?

Regional and City Planning

The Graduate Program in Regional and City Planning at the University of Oklahoma offers close contact with experienced faculty; a curriculum that emphasizes skill development, with training in the latest technologies; a well-equipped lab with an extensive library of GIS and transportation modeling software; many opportunities to gain experience by working with local agencies; flexibility to design a curriculum suited to a student’s interests; concentrations that are in high demand in the modern planning discipline; and Dual Degree options with other disciplines such as Public Administration and Law.

Regional and City Planning education at the University of Oklahoma emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches to land use planning. The Division of Regional and City Planning trains students to integrate concepts from Architecture, the social and environmental sciences, engineering and business into comprehensive development plans. A variety of concentrations prepare students for exciting careers in the public and private sectors, and in large and small communities.

Regional + City Planning Mission

The mission of the Division of Regional and City Planning (RCPL) is to advance the art and practice of planning through educating students for lifelong professional practice and through expanding the knowledge on which practice is based. Critical features that distinguish and shape RCPL’s approach to planning education, research, and service to Oklahoma and society include the program’s singular focus on the professional masters degree; a well-established reputation, dating to its founding in 1947; alumni, many of whom have achieved national prominence; small size, which allows close working relationships among students and faculty; curricular flexibility, which accommodates individual student and faculty interests; a multi-disciplinary perspective, fostered by its location within the College of Architecture and by its connections to the social sciences and engineering; and commitment to applying planning theory, principles and practice to address urban and regional issues in Oklahoma and environs.

Information Worth Noting

The quality of OU’s graduates is measured annually through a survey of employers. The majority of those employers surveyed found OU graduates to be well prepared for careers in the profession. More than 80% of our students are employed in planning or affiliated professions within 6 months of graduation. The cost of education in Oklahoma is competitive. Students pay approximately $8000 per year in tuition and fees. AICP passage rates are on par with the State average.

• Three past Presidents of the American Planning Association are graduates of the University of Oklahoma Regional & City Planning program.
• Our city planning graduates have received prestigious appointments such as U.S. Presidential Management Interns.
• Founded in 1947, the Regional and City Planning program at the University of Oklahoma is one of the oldest in the U.S.
• Program faculty have Ph.D.s from institutions such as the University of Washington, the Ohio State University, Florida State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Texas A&M University. RCPL faculty are committed to preparing their students for careers as leaders in planning.
• Alumni Joseph Lee Rodgers, Jr. (1949), James Duncan (1963), Ron Short (1967), Bruce McClendon (1972), Jack Crowley (1972), and Cynthia Hoyle (1981) have been inducted as Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP).
• Alumni have held important positions in national and regional planning organizations, such as Mike Southard as Southern (Region III) AICP commissioner.
• RCPL alumni have served as planning directors in some of the nation’s most important cities including Austin, Boulder, Fort Worth, Las Vegas, San Jose, Oklahoma City, and Phoenix, and regional entities in Palm Beach, Albuquerque, Tulsa, and Chicago.
• Alumni have been appointed to significant academic positions such as Dean of Environmental Design at the University of Georgia.
• RCPL regularly invites prominent practitioners to meet with students and share their expertise and experiences. Over the last few years speakers include Carol Barrett, FAICP, Planning Manager at San Gabriel, CA; Jonathan Barnett, FAICP, Principle of Wallace, Roberts, Todd, LLC; V. Gail Easley, FAICP, President, The Gail Easley Company; and Mike McAnelly, FAICP, Carter-Burgess (now Jacobs, Inc) and former member (2005-2009) of the APA Board of Directors.
Last Updated- Summer 2018
• RCPL continues to have a strong presence in working with Oklahoma’s communities recently completing Comprehensive Plans for cities such as Enid, Mustang, Tuttle, Geary, Noble, Perkings, and Newcastle.
• RCPL faculty have generated over $1,600,000 and grant work in the last three years with partners such as Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) providing applied learning opportunities and financial assistance for students.
• RCPL has a long tradition of integrating education and practice by involving practitioners in teaching and other activities. Currently, Fernando Costa, FAICP, Assistant City Manager of Ft. Worth and current Chairperson of the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) is RCPL’s Professor of the Practice and teaches courses in Planning Management.
• Alumni have won national planning awards. Most recently Vicki Dugger of the Oregon Downtown Development Association earned the American Planning Association National Outstanding Planning Award for a Project/Program/Tool: Main Street…when a highway runs through it: A Handbook for Oregon Communities

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All undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Architecture may apply for scholarships through the Centralized Academic Scholarship Hub (CASH) at ou.edu/scholarships. Graduate scholarship applications are due April 1st. Additional information about the scholarships available to students through CASH can be found below. For questions, please contact the GCA Scholarship Coordinator at coascholarships@ou.edu.

Eddie Carol Smith Scholarship

Application Deadline: February 15

The Eddie Carol Smith Scholarship was established to honor the contributions of Dr. Eddie Carol Smith who served as Graduate Dean from 1993 until 1999, and Vice President of Research from 1995 until 1999. The Scholarship encourages research and creative activity among graduate students, and recognizes the significant contributions of these graduate students to our society. The Eddie Carol Smith Scholarship is a one-year award that will go to a graduate student whose research or capstone project either opens a new area of scholarly endeavor or significantly expands an existing area of scholarly endeavor. Applicants must be near the end of their degree requirements, as it is expected that the academic year during which the student serves as the Eddie Carol Smith Scholar is also the academic year in which the student will complete the degree.


• $2,000 in professional development funds. These funds may be used to assist with the research project (i.e., archival research, data-collection, supplies & equipment, etc); to assist with the preparation of the final dissertation, thesis, or capstone project; or for travel to either present the research/project or to conduct research for the project.

• A full tuition waiver for both the fall and spring semesters of the award year


Any department offering a graduate degree on the Norman Campus may submit nominations for the Eddie Carol Smith Scholarship. To be eligible for nomination an applicant must:

• Be a graduate student on the Norman campus

• Carry at least a 3.60 grade point average in all coursework for the degree

• Be approaching the “last” year of the graduate degree

• Be engaged in either a doctoral dissertation, master’s thesis, or master’s capstone project

• Be recommended for the Award by the major professor

• Have the endorsement and support of the department and the budget college dean

Please note: the recipient need not hold a graduate assistantship during the year of the award


Nomination materials must include:

• A copy of the student’s completed Admission to Candidacy Form for master’s applicants or a copy of the student’s completed Advisory Conference Report for doctoral applicants

• A current copy of the applicant’s Curriculum Vitae

• A Research Statement prepared by the applicant. This statement should include a detailed description of the research / project. The statement must be readable by an interdisciplinary audience. It should be written in a grant proposal format rather than as an abstract of a work already completed. It should clearly identify the scholarly issues being addressed in the research / project. It should outline the tasks that will be performed to complete the research/project. If applicable, it should include any early conclusions or preliminary findings.

• A brief budget/financial statement indicating the proposed use of the professional development funds in conjunction to the research/project.

• A Reference Letter prepared by the applicant’s major professor. This letter should speak to the ability of the student to complete the proposed research/project and the current status of the research/project (i.e., prospectus completed, conducting research, etc.). It should also describe the scholarly significance and potential impact of the proposed research/project, as well as the expected time-frame for the applicant to complete the degree.

• An Endorsement Signature of the applicant’s graduate liaison or department chair

• An Endorsement Signature of the applicant’s budget college dean or designated representative


An ad hoc committee selected from members of the Graduate Council will review the nominations immediately following the deadline and recommend a recipient to the Graduate Dean. The scholarship will begin the following fall semester.

Application Deadline: February 15

Architecture Board of Visitors Scholarship

Number given: Varies

Amount: Varies

Type: Merit/Need

Eligibility: Provides scholarships in the College of Architecture; academic performance and financial exigency will be considered in selecting recipients.

Available to: Undergraduate/Graduate

Christopher C. Gibbs Endowed Scholarship

Number given: Varies

Amount: $4,000

Type: Recruiting/Retention; Merit/Need

Eligibility: Full-time, regularly-enrolled student in CoA; Minimum 2.5 overall GPA; Demonstrated financial need. For those who meet the criteria, priority selection will be given to recruiting or retaining the highest quality, deserving student.

Deadline: February 1 UG/April 1 Grad

Available to: Undergraduate/Graduate

Flex-Ability Concepts Scholarship

Number given: Varies

Amount: Varies

Type: Merit

Eligibility: Full-time, regularly enrolled students in the College of Architecture; must maintain at least a 3.0 overall GPA; and design worthy of recognition shall be deemed to be those the selection committee agrees uses Flex-Ability Concepts products in an innovative way.

Available: Graduate

Joe and Hane Buskuhl Scholarship

Number given: Varies

Amount: Varies

Type: Merit/Need

Eligibility: An endowed fund established in the names of Joe and Jayne Buskuhl to provide scholarships in the College of Architecture.

Available to: Undergraduate/Graduate

Joseph Lee Rodgers Scholarship

Number given: Varies

Amount: Varies

Type: Merit

Eligibility: Provides scholarship support to an outstanding Regional and City Planning student in honor of Joseph Lee Rodgers for his contributions to the OU Regional and City Planning program.

Available to: Undergraduate/Graduate

Charles Robert Goins Award for Outsanding Achievements by a Planning Student

Number given: Varies

Amount: Varies

Type: Merit

Eligibility: This annual award is presented to a student planner for outstanding achievement during the respective nominee’s academic career in planning. Nominees must be in their final year of an APA-accredited undergraduate or graduate planning program in the State of Oklahoma or will graduate from such a program during the year of their nomination for this award.

Available to: Graduate

Additional Scholarships for RCPL Students

The following are additional scholarships that are also available to RCPL students. They have varying application deadlines and must be submitted to the appropriate organizations. We have tried to provide links when available. However, you will be notified of new scholarship opportunities; if you know of any additional scholarships, please let the Scholarship Coordinator know so that we can post them in this section of our website.

Judith McManus Price Scholarship

Deadline: April 30, every year

Academic Standing: Undergraduate or graduate planning students

Women and minority (African American, Hispanic American, or Native American) students enrolled in an approved Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) planning program who are citizens of the United States, intend to pursue careers as practicing planners in the public sector, and are able to demonstrate a genuine financial need are eligible to apply for this scholarship which will range between $2,000 to $4,000.

Read more about this scholarship from the American Planning Association (APA) and others on the APA website