Community and Regional Planning, Certificate of Adv Study - Continuing & Global Education


Department of Geography & City & Regional Planning

Michelle Calvarese, Chair
Science Building, Room 182

Degrees and Programs Offered

BA in Geography, B.A.
BS in City and Regional Planning, B.S.
CERT in Community and Regional Planning, Certificate of Adv Study - Continuing & Global Education
MN in Geography, Minor
MN in Meteorology, Minor
MN in City and Regional Planning, Minor

Courses Offered

The world of the 21st century is a place where there are very complex interactions between an increasingly fragile environment and the people who make up the many varied and diverse cultures on it. Geographers are uniquely trained to "see the big picture" so that they can more fully understand these complex interactions of the environment and the many cultures of humankind.

The Geography Department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in geography, a minor in geography, a minor in meteorology, and an interdisciplinary minor in urban studies. The geography course offerings support undergraduate preparation for careers in environmental study, teaching, weather, regional and urban planning, and preparation for graduate work.

Central to geographic inquiry is a concern with the human occupancy of the earth, the character of the human environment, and the interrelationships that link humans and the physical world. In sum, geography seeks to provide a broad understanding of the world, its people, and its problems. Geography seeks to provide applied specializations and technical skills that can address economic, social, and environmental problems at scales that range from local to global by employing a spatial framework for organizational purposes analogous to the chronological framework employed in history.

Geography integrates much information from the natural and social sciences and because of the diversity of subject matter from which it obtains data, offers a broad, liberal education applicable to many fields of employment.

The department offers a variety of courses that allow students to address different objectives. First, we provide, for both majors and non-majors alike, a greater understanding of the world as an element of a liberal education which has become an increasingly important component of a complete university education. Second, we provide courses that assure a depth of knowledge in subject matter and technique for majors and minors in geography. Third, we serve those students in related disciplines who wish to strengthen programs of study through a selection of courses in geography.

Although there are no options in the degree program, students may select courses that focus on various areas of study.

Examples of such focused study areas could include the following:

  • Geographic Studies: Coursework for the student interested in the world and its spatial patterns. Traditional study which may lead to graduate work and a career in higher education, or with local, state, and federal agencies utilizing geographic analysis, including the use of geographic information systems (GIS).
  • Environmental Studies: Coursework to develop competence in environmental techniques with particular emphasis on such topics as meteorology, pollution, environmental impact analysis, geographic information systems (GIS), and human-environment relationships may lead to graduate work in geography, or employment in various state and federal agencies dealing with environmental problems.
  • Urban and Regional Planning: Coursework for the student interested in the study of how to create communities that balance new development and essential services, environmental protection and innovative change and which may lead to graduate work and a career with local or state agencies. Courses could cover a wide range of subjects including planning, environmental studies, legal issues, and geographic information systems (GIS).

Students must regularly consult with their academic adviser. Such consultation will facilitate course selection and enable the student to develop a program consistent with individual interests and needs.


A laboratory facility is available for student use. The Urban Planning and Environmental Research Laboratory is a 32-station, state-of-the-art, computer laboratory used for instruction and research in urban planning, geographic information systems (GIS), environmental studies, remote sensing, and a variety of other applications.


Certificate in Advanced Studies in Community and Regional Planning

The Geography Department offers a Certificate of Advanced Study in Community and Regional Planning. This 15 graduate unit program consists of five courses. The Certificate Program is designed for various types of students. The targeted audience may include current graduate-level students who plan to obtain their master's degree in a land use planning-related field, such as Real Estate, Public Administration, Civil Engineering, Public Health, and Architecture. It also includes planning-related practicing professionals, such as architects, engineers, planners, elected and appointed public officials, and non-profit community service providers.

Admission Criteria. Interested candidates shall meet at least one of the following criteria for admission. Applicants must

  1. be currently enrolled in a master's degree program at an accredited institution of higher education, or

  2. have already earned a master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education, or

  3. have earned an undergraduate degree.

A GRE test is not required for admission. Students currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at Fresno State must submit an "Add or Change Graduate Degree or Advanced Certificate Objective" form to the Division of Research and Graduate Studies Office.

Admission Process. Students shall submit a program application to the Program Coordinator and Fresno State University. The application can be found on the Program website. Besides the application, students shall also submit three letters of recommendation to the Program Coordinator. Student must apply for admission to the university through CSU Mentor.

Computer Requirements and Support. Participants must have access to a computer. All students will need to activate a Fresno State email account. Software requirements can be accessed by clicking on the following link: Visit the Digital Campus website at to learn more about how to be successful with online learning. Students have access to online tutorials and frequently asked questions at the following website:

Exit from Program. The Certificate in Community and Regional Planning shall be issued upon completion of all coursework with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Program is cohort based. Students are expected to progress and graduate within their matriculated cohort. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with university policy and accreditation standards. To be awarded the certificate, students must first submit a Proposed Program for the Certificate of Advanced Studies, and then file Application for the Award of the Certificate of Advanced Study in the Division of Research and Graduate Studies Office within the first two weeks of the term in which all courses and requirements are expected to be completed.

A minimum of 9 program units must be used solely for certificate course requirements, and not toward any other degree or certificate program.

Program Length and Schedule. The five required courses are distributed in fall and spring semesters in each academic year. In each fall semester, courses GEOG 201, 202, and 203 are offered sequentially, with each course finished within 4-5 weeks. GEOG 204 and 205 are available in each spring semester sequentially with each finished within 6-7 weeks.

A full online delivery mode will be utilized to accommodate participants' work schedules

Required Graduate Courses
1. GEOG 201 Foundations in Urban Planning (3 units)
2. GEOG 202 Land Use Regulation, Law and Ethics (3 units)
3. GEOG 203 Community Planning (3 units)
4. GEOG 204 Environmental Planning (3 units)
5. GEOG 205 Transportation Planning (3 units)
Total (15 units)

Advising Notes

  1. Open to all post-baccalaureate students and professionals
  2. A grade of B or better must be earned in each course to receive the certificate.


Instruction at introductory and advanced levels is conducted by a faculty whose teaching and research interests are diverse. All major facets of the discipline are represented as are a number of specializations, which include medical geography, economic studies of China, urban revitalization, political ecology of natural resource management, environmental monitoring using remote sensing, urban air quality, urban and regional planning, environmental planning, and climate change and global governance.

For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.