Ecological Planning, Certificate

Interest in ecological planning has been increasing in recent years along with the growing awareness of the impacts of climate change on the world’s ecosystems, wildlife, and human settlements. The availability of water and the management of storm water and wastewater have become critical issues in planning for the future of human settlements. Of paramount importance is for students to understand the role of natural cycles (hydrologic, carbon, nitrogen, etc.) and the varying carrying capacity of different landscapes to support human settlements. Jobs in sustainability are becoming popular both in the public sector (e.g., Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability) and in the private sector (e.g, environmental compliance officers and consulting firms). The Certificate in Ecological Planning draws on courses within the Weitzman School of Design, the Environmental Studies Program, and other Schools to offer students an interdisciplinary approach to Ecological Planning.


A total of 5 course units are required to complete the Certificate program.

Students in the MCP program with a Land Use and Environmental Planning concentration must, in addition to the four courses taken to meet the LUEP Concentration requirements, take a Science Course Elective and two additional courses from the Other Elective Courses list. The Science Course and Other Elective Courses may not double-count for the LUEP concentration and Ecological Planning Certificate.

Required Courses 1
Foundation Courses
CPLN 5310Sustainability and Environmental Planning1
CPLN 7020Planning Studio 22
Science Course Elective
Select one of the following:1
Other Elective 3
Select one of the following:1
Ecological Architecture - Contemporary Practices
Ecology, Technology, and Design
Risk Analysis and Environmental Management
Planning for Land Conservation
Water Policy
Land Use and Environmental Modeling
Sustainable Cities
Topics in Ecological Design
Urban Ecology
Environmental Law
Total Course Units5

Substitutions to required courses must be approved in writing by the director of the certificate program and submitted to the Weitzman School of Design Office of Student Services.


MLA students could take the CPLN 7020 Ecological Systems studio or propose to have one of the available LARP 7000-level studios substitute for the CPLN studio, with approval of program directors.


Alternative elective courses must be approved in writing by the director of the certificate program and submitted to the Weitzman School of Design Office of Student Services.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.