About the Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning

The Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning is the nation's oldest continuously operating instructional program in urban studies.

Our Mission

Our mission is to assist in the development of healthy communities through an interdisciplinary program of teaching, research and public service. Faculty and students engage the intellectual, policy and practice aspects of urban studies and planning from the local to the international levels and actively participate in the analysis, development and dissemination of the innovations for which Portland and the Pacific Northwest are known.

See our bylaws, amended November 2018.

Our School

The School's degree programs focus on understanding metropolitan regions and their problems, and analyzing policies to shape their evolution and overcome obstacles. Beginning with an undergraduate certificate in 1959, the School now offers graduate certificates in transportation, real estate development, and urban design, and six degrees:

Faculty have a tradition of engaging with the city through both research and practice, focusing on research topics including the political and technical aspects of transport policy and planning, the globalization of American cities, the dynamics of combining work and family, and social support networks among the elderly.

The School's programs are structured to allow students living and working in the Portland metropolitan area to take advantage of the broad range of resources available at Portland State University and in the community. Our school's graduate students may take courses in any of the University's graduate programs. All our programs are strengthened by the ability to draw on the resources of other units in the College: the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government, the School of Community Health, as well as the Institute on Aging, the Center for Urban Studies, the Population Research Center, and the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies. A number of public and professional leaders also serve as adjunct faculty.

The Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning is a member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. For more information about undergraduate and graduate education in urban and regional planning, please see the ACSP's online version of their latest guide.