Community and Environmental Planning Major (B.S.)

The Community and Environmental Planning (CEP) program is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to become effective community planners in the public or private sector. There are 16 courses required for the major. All of the courses are designed to give the student a diverse skill-set in planning for the sustainability of communities. CEP students are provided a solid planning background with planning courses covering local, state and regional planning topics and methods. CEP students also take foundational courses in natural resources, geographic information systems, economics, and statistics, as well as a political science course, and a social issues course. The internship requirement (CEP 794) allows the planning student to apply their knowledge in the real world for instrumental hands-on experience. Semester in the City is also an option for the internship experience. CEP students are encouraged to focus their remaining hours on skills that can enhance their CEP major such as a dual major, a minor, or study abroad.

Expected CEP Student Outcomes:

  • The foundational education in planning, natural resources, economics and sustainability.
  • The fundamental values of diversity, equity, justice, and protection of community and the environment.
  • The ability to assess, discuss, and engage others in the problems and potential solutions associated with impacts of land use changes.
  • The ability to work with community members and professionals in the design and implementation of community improvements in building and transportation while protecting natural and built resources.

Students may go on to work in the community development or community planning departments in local communities. They may also choose to work in regional planning agencies, or with a state or federal office. Other options include the private sector, such as architectural or development companies, or the non-profit sector, such as with community development corporations or conservation groups. The American Planning Association provides a certification process for the planning profession (American Institute of Certified Planners) after several years of planning experience. Students may also choose to go on to graduate studies in Community and Environmental Planning, Natural Resources Management, Public Administration, or a related field.

Courses with the prefix CEP must be completed with a C- or above (6 courses total). In addition to the CEP degree requirements (below), students must complete the University Discovery Program and the University Writing Requirements. 

Planning Courses:
CEP 415Community Development Perspectives (Discovery Course)4
or TOUR 510 Tourism and Global Understanding
CEP 508Applied Community Development4
CEP 614Fundamentals of Planning4
CEP 673Green Real Estate4
or CEP 672 Fundamentals of Real Estate
CEP 794Community and Environmental Planning Internship 14-12
or INCO 505I Semester in the City: Boston and SITC @ UNH Internship
CEP 777Topics in Community Planning (Capstone for the major)4
Natural Resources Courses:
NR 435Contemporary Conservation Issues and Environmental Awareness4
or NR 502 Forest Ecosystems and Environmental Change
or NR 507 Introduction to our Energy System and Sustainable Energy
NR 602Natural Resources and Environmental Policy4
NR 658Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
or FORT 581 Applied Geospatial Techniques
NR 785Systems Thinking for Sustainable Solutions4
or NR 784 Sustainable Living - Global Perspectives
TOUR 767Social Impact Assessment4
or NR 724 Resolving Environmental Conflicts
Economics and Statistics Courses:
EREC 411Environmental and Resource Economics Perspectives4
EREC 525Statistical Methods and Applications4
or BIOL 528 Applied Biostatistics I
EREC 627Community Economics4
Political Science Course:
POLT 502State and Local Government4
or POLT 500 American Public Policy
or POLT 523 American Political Thought
or POLT 595 Smart Politics
Social Issues Course:
SOC 450Contemporary Social Problems4
or INCO 505B Social Innovator's Toolbox
or SOC 565 Environment and Society
Total Credits64-72

INCO 505I Semester in the City: Boston and SITC @ UNH Internship and INCO 505A Semester in the City Becoming a Problem Solver are taken as a 12-credit internship along with INCO 505B Social Innovator's Toolbox, which fulfills the Social Issues course requirement.

CEP students are encouraged to have a study away/abroad experience, a dual degree, a minor, or focused area of study which add value to the CEP degree. Consider the following to complete the minimum of 128 credits:

  • Semester in the City (if you have not done this in the CEP major)
  • EcoQuest New Zealand (16 credits in electives - must qualify with EcoQuest)
  • Study Away
  • Study Abroad
  • Minor as approved by the minor program
  • Courses to round out a focus area. It is recommended that you choose upper level courses in NR and EREC.

Sample Course Sequence for Community and Environmental Planning

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
CEP 415
Community Development Perspectives (Also counts as Discovery Social Science)
or Tourism and Global Understanding
NR 435
Contemporary Conservation Issues and Environmental Awareness
or Forest Ecosystems and Environmental Change
or Introduction to our Energy System and Sustainable Energy
EREC 411 Environmental and Resource Economics Perspectives 4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing (Counts as Discovery Writing) 4
Choose any Discovery courses. Here are some suggestions:
Discovery Biological Science with Lab (Consider BIOL 430 or NR 433) 4
Discovery Historical Perspectives (Consider ARTS 574) 4
Discovery Humanities (Consider PHIL 430) 4
Inquiry Course (Choose any) 4
Second Year
EREC 525 Statistical Methods and Applications (Also counts as Discovery Quantitative) 4
POLT 502
State and Local Government
or American Public Policy
or American Political Thought
or Smart Politics
Choose any Discovery course. Here are some suggestions: 4
Discovery Physical Science (Consider ESCI 409, ESCI 405, or NR 504)
Discovery Fine and Performing Arts (Choose any) 4
CEP 508 Applied Community Development 4
SOC 450
Contemporary Social Problems
or Environment and Society
or Social Innovator's Toolbox
NR 602 Natural Resources and Environmental Policy 4
Discovery World Cultures (Choose any) 4
Third Year
CEP 614 Fundamentals of Planning 4
CEP 673
Green Real Estate
or Fundamentals of Real Estate
EREC 627 Community Economics 4
TOUR 767 Social Impact Assessment (Or NR 724 in Spring) 4
May consider CEP 794, Semester in the City, study away, or courses toward a minor.
NR 658
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
or Applied Geospatial Techniques
NR 724 Resolving Environmental Conflicts (or TOUR 767 in the fall) 4
Elective 4
Elective 4
May consider CEP 794, Semester in the City, study away, or courses toward a minor.
Fourth Year
Elective 4
Elective 4
Elective 4
Elective 4
May consider CEP 794, Semester in the City, study away, or courses toward a minor.
CEP 777 Topics in Community Planning 4
NR 785
Systems Thinking for Sustainable Solutions
or Sustainable Living - Global Perspectives
CEP 794 Community and Environmental Planning Internship 4-12
Elective 4
 Total Credits128-136
  • Functional fluency in the use of traditional and contemporary planning tools, methods, projects, programs, and regulatory tools.
  • Analysis and articulation of social and environmental problems through the use of reliable and valid sources.
  • Inventory, assessment, and documentation techniques of existing resources in the built and natural environment.
  • Assessment methods of the consequences of proposed changes to the landscape at different scales, from local to regional.
  • Communication strategies for a diverse population regarding social and environmental issues related to community planning and development.
  • Engagement strategies for various stakeholders in the planning process through a variety of public engagement techniques.
  • Development of the comprehensive master planning process and documentation with lay and professional planners.
  • Skilled writing and public speaking in order to engage all stakeholders in the planning process.
  • Creative thinking and scenario design development and use regarding possible futures.
  • Networking with a variety of stakeholders for building a strong social network within and between communities and organizations.
  • Ability to work with the various scales of planning – federal, state, regional, local, neighborhood, and site levels.
  • Awareness of the opportunities for planning work in government, non-government, non-profit, Cooperative Extension, and the private sector in planning, environmental conservation, architecture, construction, and others.
  • Advocacy focus for all residents, businesses, organizations and visitors regardless of income, gender, race, ethnicity, religion or other stratifications within society.
  • Applied application of planning education and tangible experience through a community planning internship.