School of Urban and Public Affairs | 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog | The University of Texas at Arlington 

School of Urban and Public Affairs

 

Dean Barbara Becker

Web www.uta.edu/supa/   |   Email supa.graduate.advisor@uta.edu   |   Phone 817.272.3071   |   Fax 817.272.3415

511 University Hall   |   601 S Nedderman Dr   |   Box 19588, Arlington, Texas 76019, USA



Mission and Philosophy

History and Overview

Accreditation

Scholastic Activity and Research Interests of the Faculty

Programs

 

Mission and Philosophy

The mission of the School of Urban and Public Affairs is to conduct basic and applied research into urban problems and public policy, to provide services in support of public and nonprofit agencies, and to educate and train students for public service careers.

History and Overview

SUPA was established in 1967 as the Institute of Urban Studies by an act of the Texas Legislature. The institute's mandate was to offer Texas city and county governments and other public agencies high-caliber, university-based research, training and other technical services. In 1990, after significant expansion of its staff and programs, the organization became the School of Urban and Public Affairs. The institute continues to operate as a vital part of the school.

SUPA is the state's only university-based center for applied research and service in urban affairs. It is called upon routinely to study and recommend solutions for problems confronting government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private industry.

During its more than 40 years of existence, SUPA has conducted hundreds of studies on such topics as transportation, housing, local economic development, public safety, corrections, education, human services, child care and regional governance. Its reports are included in the collections of virtually every major library in Texas and have been adopted as texts at many colleges and universities.

Urban officials view SUPA as a primary source of information and advice in such matters as computer applications in urban management, home rule charters, redistricting, inter-local contracting, economic development, personnel management, revenue administration, land appraisal, zoning and land-use issues. SUPA is active in training local government officials and in consulting on service projects for governmental agencies worldwide. Urban professionals rely on SUPA for consultation and guidance in accomplishing such goals as urban revitalization, pollution control, conservation, and facility planning and siting.

Though much of its research is done in response to specific requests by particular entities, SUPA makes the results available through its publications to others who are confronting similar situations.

SUPA uses the most advanced computers, data collection and analysis techniques in conducting research, and its more than 20 faculty and staff draw upon their rich and diverse educational and cultural backgrounds. One distinguishing feature of SUPA is its location in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, a rich urban laboratory of more than 200 cities with a total population of approximately 6 million. This complex urban arena offers a wide array of opportunities for student projects, internships and employment. SUPA faculty, staff and students work on "real-life" urban and public affairs projects in cooperation with city governments, public agencies and nonprofit organizations through the school's institutes and centers.

The School of Urban and Public Affairs has nearly 1000 students of who approximately 280 are graduate students. Members of its diverse student body hold full- or part-time positions in government, private or nonprofit organizations. More than 1000 former students have earned graduate degrees at SUPA and contribute to the public and non-public sectors through their research, planning and policy implementation.

Accreditation

The School of Urban and Public Affairs is one of only approximately 20 in the country having both its Master's of Public Administration and its Master's of City and Regional Planning programs fully accredited by their respective accrediting agencies.

The Master's of City and Regional Planning is officially recognized and accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board that accredits North American planning programs on the basis of a strict and extensive set of criteria rooted in planning knowledge, skills, and values. Students enrolled in accredited programs are eligible for certain national scholarships, and graduates of accredited programs may qualify for certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners after fewer years of experience than graduates of nonaccredited programs. The Master's of Public Administration degree is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration that requires public administration programs to meet strict standards for faculty qualifications, curriculum content, admissions and program requirements, student composition and services, budget and facilities. Accreditation enhances the program's national reputation and opens doors and provides opportunities for students applying for Texas-based scholarships and nationwide positions.

SUPA was ranked as one of the best programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2008.

Scholastic Activity and Research Interests of the Faculty

SUPA faculty are actively engaged in research and community service projects that benefit local jurisdictions, public and nonprofit agencies with expertise that is beyond the normal scope of their particular services and resources. Typical projects include revitalization studies for inner-city neighborhoods, development plans for central business districts, economic development strategies for municipalities, inter-local contracting studies, and assessments of service delivery alternatives in communities and school districts.

The broad range of faculty research interests primarily focuses on local issues and provides support for local officials and urban professionals, but it also includes basic research into urban problems and public policy that is published in national journals and used in university texts. Research topics include such urban affairs issues as urban theory, development, management, politics, social welfare policy, social service administration and minority relations; such planning issues as urban design, land use analysis, environmental planning, economic development, community service and development, focus group research and group facilitation; and such public administration issues as public management, intergovernmental relations, entrepreneurship in government, education and economic development.

Some of the most significant faculty accomplishments are publication of an in-depth study of privatization in public schools which was presented to then Texas Governor George Bush and the Texas State Board of Education; supervision of a study of the Civic Center District in Dallas that will probably affect the development and future profile of that area; supervision of a study of a neighborhood in Dallas for the Dallas Neighborhood Renaissance Partnership program to ensure that the residents get the improvements they want and need; publication of a collection of essays on economic development strategies appropriate for Texas urban settings; a grant from the Economic Development Administration for a university center; completion of a study for Habitat for Humanity to be used in the revitalization of a Fort Worth inner-city neighborhood; preparation of two sets of manuals for the training of trainers of elected officials in Third World countries for the United Nations; supervision of an APA award-winning student project to help a local community with the development of a central business corridor; assistance to the Fort Worth City Council in reaching consensus on annual budget deliberations; assistance in recent federal voting rights cases in Tennessee, Texas, Georgia and New Mexico; research on the effect of displacement by Hurricane Katrina on school children; and research to assess the desire of former New Orleans public housing residents to return to New Orleans.

Programs

Degree Programs

SUPA currently offers five programs of graduate-level study:

Master's of Arts in Urban Affairs

Master's of City and Regional Planning

Master's of Public Administration

Ph.D. in Urban and Public Administration

Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Public Policy

SUPA participates in dual-degree programs with the schools of Architecture, Nursing and Social Work. It cooperates with the colleges of Engineering and Science in an interdisciplinary program leading to master's and doctoral degrees in environmental science and engineering.

Master's programs in Urban Affairs, City and Regional Planning, Public Administration
Admission and Fellowship Criteria

Factors considered for admission to SUPA Master's programs:

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score: Writing (Exceptions: Outstanding UT Arlington graduates may qualify for GRE waiver providing they meet certain requirements)
  • Undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA): The undergraduate GPA based on the last 60 hours of course work as calculated by the Graduate School from the official transcript.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores: Verbal and Quantitative (Exceptions: Outstanding UT Arlington graduates may qualify for GRE waiver providing they meet certain requirements)
  • Letters of Recommendation attesting to the applicant's potential to do master's-level work and complete the program. Letters for master's programs should be from professors or supervisors at work (download Letter of Recommendation form)
  • Essay by applicant approximately one double-spaced page in length (approximately 250 words). The Essay is considered both for its content and quality of writing. The Essay should address the following questions: 1. Why do you want to earn a master's degree in the program for which you are applying? 2. What relevant background and experience do you bring to the program? The essay can also include other concerns you'd like to bring to the attention of the Graduate Advisor or Master's Admissions Committee.
  • Non-native English speakers only: TOEFL or IELTS scores (Exceptions: An applicant holding either a bachelor's or a master's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university is not required to submit a TOEFL, TOEFL iBT, or IELTS score for admission purposes.)

Types of admission in Master's programs:

1. Unconditional Admission:

Applicants who meet all the following requirements will be considered for unconditional admission:

  1. Minimum Writing GRE score of 4.0
  2. Minimum Undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  3. Minimum Verbal GRE score of 450, and minimum Quantitative GRE of 450, and a minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 1,000
  4. Outstanding letters of recommendation
  5. Strong, well-written personal essay
  6. Non-native English speakers only: TOEFL scores of at least 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (iBT) with sectional scores that meet or exceed 22 Writing, 21 Speaking, 20 Reading, and 16 Listening; or, IELTS score of at least 6.5.

2. Probationary Admission:

Applicants who do not meet all requirements for Unconditional admission will be considered for Probationary admission on the basis of the strength of all the listed admission factors. Test scores will not constitute the sole or primary basis for ending consideration of an applicant. Under Probationary admission, special course requirements or other conditions may be imposed by the SUPA Master's Admissions Committee. Applicants who meet all the standards for Unconditional admission except for deficiency in Factor 1 will be considered for Probationary Admission conditional on completing an approved Writing course in their first semester.

3. Other types of admission pertaining to Master's applicants:

a. Deferred: Applicants who are unable to supply required application materials, or who must complete additional preparatory work before their admissibility can be determined, may be deferred until records are complete.

b. Provisional: Applicants who are unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admission deadline but who otherwise appear to meet admission requirements may be granted Provisional admission pending submission of complete and satisfactory credentials before the end of the semester in which they have registered in a Provisional status.

c. Denied: Applicants who fail to meet more than one of the admission requirements and for whom the SUPA Master's Admission Committee finds there is insufficient basis to justify any other kind of admission will be Denied admission. As the admission process is competitive, applicants meeting basic admission requirements who are less well qualified than other applicants may also be denied admission.

Scholarship/Fellowship Criteria

  • Graduate students with a GPA of 3.0 or better who are enrolled in six hours or more are eligible to apply for competitive scholarships and fellowships.
  • Scholarships and fellowships for master's and doctoral students will be competitively awarded based on consideration of the all admission criteria assessed by their admitting programs.

Certificate Programs

SUPA offers certificate programs (as listed below) designed to provide skills and proficiency in highly specialized areas. Students enrolled in graduate degree programs at UT Arlington as well as students not enrolled in graduate degree programs are eligible to apply for these certificate programs. Those desiring to enroll in a certificate program but who are not currently enrolled in a graduate program may do so by applying to UT Arlington as a non-degree seeking special student. Upon completion of all requirements, a certificate of completion is awarded by the University. Information on all certificate programs can be found below.

Certificate in Development Review

Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

Certificate in Law and Public Policy

Certificate in Public Budgeting and Financial Management

Certificate in Urban Journalism

Certificate in Urban Non-profit Management

Certified Public Management Program

Graduate Certificates

Certificate in Development Review

Certificate Director: Enid Arvidson; enid@uta.edu

The Certificate in Development Review provides training in zoning, subdivision plat review, site design, communication skills, and urban development, while keeping in mind the interests of citizens and the spirit of places. These skills are essential for planners who want to understand proposed development activity, ensure that proposed development is consistent with a city's vision, and facilitate review of development proposals. The program is geared for both entry-level planners/planning technicians, and for professionals in allied fields such as architecture, landscape architecture, law, engineering, and real estate.

The certificate requires completion of 15 hours of graduate-level coursework. All students must take CIRP 5304 Plan and Policy Implementation. Two courses in land use and development are selected from: CIRP 5305 Land Use Planning, Management and Development; CIRP 5306 Urban Revitalization; CIRP 5311 Urban Design; CIRP 5316 Land Use Law; CIRP 5322 Economic Development; or CIRP 5345 Planning and Real Estate Development. One course in communication is selected from: CIRP 5308 Metropolitan Sustainability and Ethics; CIRP 5363 Communication Skills in Planning and Management; or URPA 5341 Professional Report Writing. Lastly, one course in agencies and policies is selected from: CIRP 5313 Urban Growth Policies; CIRP 5315 Transportation Policies; CIRP 5319 Agencies of Planning and Administration; or CIRP 5328/URPA 5326 Public Budgeting.

Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

Certificate Coordinator: Jianling Li; jili@uta.edu

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) certificate program provides education, skills, applications, and training for graphic displays of neighborhood, city, regional, and small-scale areas. GIS is a powerful computer-based software tool having capabilities to store, manipulate, analyze, and display spatially referenced information. GIS is used at all levels of government at increasing rates and is an effective tool for business, industry, and institutions.

Upon completion, students will be proficient in selecting, using, and applying appropriate computer hardware and software to display graphic information about their subjects of studywhether their field is business, earth & environmental sciences, biology, social work, architecture, landscape architecture, or any other discipline.

The certificate requires completion of CIRP 5356 (Introduction to GIS), CIRP 5357 (Intermediate GIS), and CIRP 5331 (GIS Workshop) as well as one or two additional courses to be selected by the student with approval of the GIS Certificate Program advisor. Examples of courses that would be approved include ARCH 5329, CIRP 5320 and 5340, CSE 5330 and 5356, GEOL 5303, and INSY 5310 and 5335.

Certificate in Law and Public Policy

Certificate Director: Edith Barrett; ebarrett@uta.edu

The Certificate in Law and Public Policy provides a basic grounding in the legal policy aspects of such areas as the environment, health, education, economics, social work, and urban and social policy.

Many fields of private and public service today are affected by the legal system and the maze of complex laws and regulations which govern the conduct of public agencies and private entities. An understanding of these legal dimensions and their impacts can be a valuable asset in the modern employment environment.

Additionally, students with an interest in entering law school can obtain a basic overview of the many dimensions of society affected by the law, and acquire a valuable head start in their pursuit of a law degree.

Students already enrolled in a graduate program at UT Arlington need only declare their intent to enroll in the Certificate Program by submitting the appropriate application form to the Law and Public Policy Graduate Advisor. Students who wish only to enroll in the Law and Public Policy program, but NOT in a graduate degree program may apply for admission to UT Arlington as a special student, or "non-degree seeking" student. An undergraduate degree and grade point average of 2.8 in the last 60 credit hours of baccalaureate studies are required.

Students must complete 15 credit hours, consisting of two required core courses and nine elective hours (3 courses) from an approved list with permission of the program advisor.

Core Courses (Required)

URPA 5325. Urban and Administrative Law

URPA 5363. Civil Rights and Urban Minorities

College of Business Administration

BA 5330. Legal Environment of Business

BA 5331. Law of International Business

BA 5324. Real Property Law

ECON 5305. Environmental Law and Policy

MANA 5327. Human Resource Law

Education

EDAD 5381. Political and Legal Aspects of Education

Political Science

POLS 5355. Topics in Public Laws and Jurisprudence

Nursing

NURS 5386. Health Law
NURS 5387. The Law of Healthcare Malpractice

Social Work

SOCW 6329. Social Work, Law, and the Family Code

Urban and Public Affairs

CIRP 5353. Environmental Law

CIRP 5316. Land Use Law

Certificate in Public Budgeting and Financial Management

Certificate Director: Alejandro Rodriguez; aro@uta.edu

Sound fiscal management at all levels of government is essential for meeting the demands of an increasingly expensive and complex service-delivery system. The purpose of this graduate certificate is provide students interested in public sector affairs and local government officials (budgeters, planners, finance analysts, and elected officials) with the skills to enable them to effectively support local government financial decision-making. Participants should expect to attain a comprehensive understanding of public budgeting and financial management practices and theories including knowledge of the various government revenue sources, major expenditures, and borrowing mechanisms used to finance long-life capital assets.

Students wishing to enroll only in the Graduate Certificate in Public Budgeting and Financial Management (certificate) but NOT to a graduate degree program may apply for admission to UT Arlington as a non-degree seeking student. A bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.8 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework is required for admission through the Graduate School. Students with GPAs lower than 2.8 may be recommended for admission by Alejandro Rodriguez, Ph.D., the Certificate Advisor, based on the following admission enhancing factors: (1) the applicant's work experience and level of responsibility; (2) undergraduate degree in economics, financial management, accounting, or other closely related field; and (3) two letters of recommendation.

Students already enrolled in a master's degree program at UT Arlington may enroll by submitting the appropriate application form to the program manager and his or her academic graduate advisor. Students who have completed a master's degree may apply for admission to UT Arlington as a non-degree seeking student. In either case, a minimum GPA of 3.0 in master's degree work is required.

Participants must satisfactorily complete three required core courses and two elective courses from an approved list of elective courses, or by permission of the program advisor. Students shall be awarded the Graduate Certificate for Public Budgeting and Financial Management by the School of Urban and Public Affairs and the Graduate School upon satisfactory completion of the certificate requirements and a grade point average of 3.0.

Core Courses (Required)

URPA 5326. Public Budgeting*

URPA 5332. Public Capital Budgeting and Planning*

URPA 5329. Financial Management in the Public and Non-Profit Sectors

Elective Courses - Students must take two of the following:

SUPA 5302. Fundamentals of Urban Research and Analysis*

URPA 5345. Evaluation Research*

URPA 5310. Urban Policy and the Law*

URPA 5312. Economic Policy*

URPA 5324. Urban Public Finance

URPA 5306. The Urban Economy

URPA 5333. Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting

* Courses also offered online

Students who later seek graduate degrees at UT Arlington may apply 12 hours of certificate coursework within six years of completion and award of the certificate, with approval of the appropriate Graduate Studies Committee and the Dean of the Graduate School. Non-degree seeking students in the certificate program desiring to seek a degree must meet all admission requirements of the degree program.

Certificate in Urban Journalism

Certificate Director: Edith Barrett; ebarrett@uta.edu

The Certificate in Urban Journalism program provides journalists and others who communicate with the public an in-depth understanding of the urban community, including the dynamics, processes and problems of urban America, especially in Texas.

Journalism today faces a serious dilemma: speed versus analysis. Speed is, in many cases, the objective of the media. But, except for the most mundane events, it fails to educate the listener or reader. Universities are at the opposite end of the spectrum. Speed is generally unimportant, but analysis is essential. Yet the university's communication with the general public is limited. The Certificate in Urban Journalism program seeks to bridge the gap. In order for a democratic society to work, the public must not only have information, but perspective. Perspective does not mean opinion or ideology. Perspective places today's events in a comparative and historical context. This certificate program is a step in that direction.

Students are required to complete 15 hours, composed of the following courses: SUPA 5300: Foundations of Urban Planning and Sociology; SUPA 5301: Foundations of Urban Politics and Economics; SUPA 5302: Foundations of Urban Research and Analysis; URPA 5303: The Metroplex; and URPA 5391: Topics in Urban Policy: Urban Journalism.

Applicants should apply to UT Arlington as special students. Certificate students who decide later to pursue one of the graduate programs in SUPA may have the certificate coursework applied toward a graduate degree, with approval by the appropriate graduate advisor.

Certificate in Urban Non-profit Management

Certificate Director: Edith Barrett; ebarrett@uta.edu

The Urban Nonprofit Management Certificate provides in-depth management training to nonprofit managers, staff, board members and volunteers to strengthen their management skills, administrative systems, and service delivery programs.

Students from any department or discipline may elect to complete the certificate program. Upon completion, students will be prepared to assume key roles in any nonprofit institution.

The certificate requires completion of URPA 5354 (Management of Nonprofit Organizations) and URPA 5355 (Nonprofit Institutions) as well as three additional courses to be selected by the student with approval of the Urban Nonprofit Management certificate program advisor. Examples of courses that would be approved include: URPA 5303 The Metroplex; URPA 5329 Financial Management in the Public and Nonprofit Sector; URPA 5351 Personnel and Human Resources in the Public Sector; URPA 5392 Entrepreneurial Management; CIRP 5319 Agencies of Planning and Administration or CIRP 5312 Strategic Planning and Performance Management; CIRP 5324 Community Development or CIRP 5306 Urban Development; SOCW 5307 Introduction to Human Services Administration; SOCW 5303 Foundations of Social Policy and Services; MARK 5311 Marketing; MARK 5345 Creative Problem Solving.

Students who are already enrolled in a graduate degree program at U.T. Arlington need only declare their intent to enroll by submitting the appropriate application form to Dr. Edith Barrett, the Urban Nonprofit Management Certificate Advisor. No prerequisites are required for these students.

Students who desire only to enroll in the Urban Nonprofit Management Certificate program but NOT in a graduate degree program may apply for admission to UT Arlington as a special student or "non-degree seeking" student. An undergraduate degree and grade point average of 3.0 shall be required. A GRE (graduate record examination) score and letters of recommendation are not necessary for admission to the Urban Nonprofit Management Certificate program. Any student that later seeks a graduate degree in a UT Arlington college or school may apply nine hours of coursework toward that degree within six years of completion and award of the Urban Nonprofit Management Certificate and by petition to the Graduate School through her or his prospective academic department. The acceptance or waiver of the remaining six hours taken as part of the requirements for the award of the Urban Nonprofit Management Certificate is at the discretion of each department.

Graduate students in any degree program at UT Arlington may register for Urban Nonprofit Management courses using standard registration procedures. It should be noted that class slots in the two core courses would be reserved for all of those Urban Nonprofit Management Certificate program participants who are accepted. Urban Nonprofit Management program students who are enrolled in other academic schools or colleges must obtain written course approval from their respective graduate advisors.

Professionals who desire to enroll in any or both of the core courses for continuing education hours may do so as special students. If at a later date these students decide to apply for the Urban Nonprofit Management Certificate program, the hours already taken as continuing education will be applied (within six years of completion of the courses) to the certificate program requirements.

Professional Certificates

Certified Public Management Program

Certificate Director: David Tees; tees@uta.edu

The Certified Public Management (CPM) Program is a nationally accredited program of six courses offered over a 12-month period and a capstone research project. Each of the six courses consists of four training days, two days in one month and two days in the following month. Courses cover such topics as personnel administration, quality management, organizational communication, public finance and budgeting, productivity, and information systems. The program has been endorsed by the American Society for Public Administration and has been approved for continuing education credit by the County Commissioners Education Committee, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education, and the Texas State Board of Accountancy. Students completing the program may apply to have up to 6 hours of transfer credit applied to the Master of Public Administration.