Requisitos PAB



Rio Piedras Campus


Planning Accreditation Board



Updated December 2020

The Planning Accreditation Board requires Planning Schools to provide Program information regarding:

·       Overall Student Achievement

·       The Average Annual Cost of Tuition for Regular Full-Time Students

·       Student Retention and Graduation Rates

·       AICP Exam Passing Rate 2013 to 2018

·       Employment Rate




Master in Planning




Period of 2010 to 2018

1.     The Planning program is focused on theoretical learning, social engagement, and application of state-of-the-art qualitative and quantitative techniques of analysis, synthesis, and prognosis. Techniques that professional planners use in connection with the design of plans, programs and projects related to environmental, urban, social and economic problems and issues, affecting Puerto Rico’s society as an integral part of the Caribbean archipelago.

2.     To develop planning as a discipline and a profession by updating the teaching of knowledge, skills and attitudes in relation to theoretical, methodological and institutional aspects and on the content of plans, policies, programs and instruments resulting from the practice.

3.     To advance the knowledge of planning theory and practice in order to address objectives and social and planning problems of Puerto Rico and Latin America through systematic research on the part of professors and students.

Learning Objectives established in the year 2020


For the Fall semester of the year 2020, the Master in Planning curriculum program has been reviewed and a new curriculum is being implemented.

The curriculum has established the following learning objectives grouped in three categories: General Planning Knowledge, Specific Planning Skills and Values and Ethics., which are detailed in the following table on Competence Profile. The results of this assessment will be available in May 2021.



Competence Profile
General Planning Knowledge
Mastery of diverse approaches and levels of abstraction
Familiarity with diverse bodies of knowledge or disciplines
Ability to recognize and manage diversity and/or plurality (socio-demographic, environmental, economic, etc.)
Capacity to handle diverse scales of analysis simultaneously (urban, regional, global, etc.)
Ability to design and create a variety of planning instruments (policies, plans, programs, projects, etc.)
Capacity to work in inter- and multidisciplinary teams and environment
Practical, hands-on experience
Specific Planning Skills
Capacity to design and conduct practice-based, intervention-oriented research, and disseminate results and contributions
Ability to communicate ideas effectively (written, verbal, graphic)
Mastery of technical writing applied to proposal writing the drafting of public policy documents, among other.
Ability to work with software programs for data processing and analysis as well as for programming and transmitting information (project management, statistics, CAD, simulation, etc.)
Ability to design and conduct spatial analysis processes / digital cartography / Geographic Information Systems
Orientation towards solving problems and implementing solutions
Aptitude for the evaluation of pertinence and adequacy of solutions
Mastery of techniques for scenario design and evaluation, prognosis, etc.
Mastery of core quantitative and qualitative methods, including:

∙         Descriptive and inferential statistics

∙         Cost-benefit analysis

∙         Questionnaire design

∙         Focus groups and interviews

∙         Field work plans

Entrepreneurial spirit
Values and Ethics
Commitment with sustainability
Sense of social responsibility and a commitment with equity
Awareness of the ethical boundaries of the planning practice
Ability to navigate through institutional/political process dynamics
Use of critical thought

A new rubric for assessment of students’ learning has been designed to measure student’s achievement in mastering the planning competence and skills. This assessment is to be undertaken with an on- line system (OLAS) that is to be applied in the Fall and Spring semesters of Academic Year 2020 to 2021. The results of this assessment will be available in May 2021.


In the past period of academic years 2012 to 2018 overall student learning achievement had been periodically subject to learning assessment.

This assessment of learning had been executed with a 70 items rubric which covers the relevant competencies of these three domains: Research, Planning and Communication skills. Its mastery is measured with these items and assigns an ordinal value in a scale of 0 to 2 points. These points correspond, in the same order, to unmet, partially met and met criteria.


  Rubric assessment results for the academic year 2017 to 2018 were as follows.



August 2017 to August 2018

   75 % of 8 students had satisfactory, and 67% excellent research skills.
   100% had satisfactory, and 80% excellent critical planning skills.
   100% had satisfactory and 77% excellent communication skills.


·       This assessment program was reported as a Noteworthy Practices Document of the PAB for its student assessment practices (2017).



Awards and Recognitions

In the period 2017 to 2020 three students had been granted a competitive scholarship by the Padilla Asencio Trust.

In 2020 One student was awarded a competitive fellowship grant by the Dean of Graduate Studies to complete an Action research project for the dissertation.

In 2018, a student, jointly with a team of professors submitted a proposal to the Big Ideas Challenge competition sponsored by the Hispanic Foundation and the Banco Popular Foundation for the development of an agroecological project in a poor neighborhood public school. The proposal was a finalist and was awarded a grant for its development. Also grants were obtained from other two foundations. This student leads the teachers in planning and developing this project.

Another student lead a community based organization in designing and developing alternatives  modes of transportation with bicycles. She is founder and president of a Cooperative of bicycles, Cultura Bicicleta.

A student is founder and serves as Director of the Institute for Research and Action on

AgroEcology. This institute is the first Certified Agroecological Incubator.

A professor is the Policy Researcher and Community–academic Liaison for  Healthy Kids’ Puerto Rico

Campaign: SNAP Expansion and Nutrition Incentives (Awarded 12/12/2020).

Voices for Healthy Kids’ Strategic Campaign Fund: American Heart Association. Lead Organizations:

Youth Development Institute and Center for Community Outreach for Health Across the Lifespan at

University of Puerto Rico, Medical Campus.

A professor and various students participate in the Collaborative project between the “Centro de

Desarrollo Social y Comunitario” of Graduate School of Planning and the “Centro de Microempresas y

Tecnologías Agrícolas Sustentables Yauco” Inc.  (CMTAS). Support provided by a Fundación Serralles


Publications by students

In the years 2018 to 2020, eight students have participated in research projects on the erosion of coastal sea areas. They are joint authors of three papers published or accepted for publication in two peer review journals of the USA. In one of them, four students and one professor published. It is titled A Coastal Vulnerability Framework to Guide Natural Infrastructure Funds Allocation in Compressed Time Luis Santiago, Maritza Barreto, Alfredo Montañez-Acuña, Thomas Flecha, Nahir Cabrera, Valeria Bonano, Loderay Bracero Marrero, et al. Environmental Management in November 2020.

One student published an article in the review El Sol, a publication of the professional Association of Teachers in Puerto Rico. The article describes the agroecological project she promoted and developed at a public school, which was the subject of her master’s thesis.

Another student published a book chapter with a professor about children´s mobility in the city. The book is Urban Mobility and Social Equity in Latin America: Evidence, Concepts, Methods, Transport and Sustainability, Volume 12, 165–186, Copyright © 2021 by Emerald Publishing Limited

Publication of a book chapter #8 between Dr. Jenniffer Santos Hernández and student Ashley Méndez.  The book is:  U.S. Emergency Management in the 21st Century, From Disaster to Catastrophy-Hurricane María in Puerto Rico-Preexisting Vulnerabilities and Catastrophic Outcomes, page 183. Routledge, edited by Claire B. Rubin and Susan L. Cutter.

Impact on local and U.S.A. federal policy.

·        Our graduates and faculty are part of local and federal policy-making policies on disaster recovery programs. The graduates are employed as planners in local and federal agencies as well as private and community organizations, among them FEMA, Enterprise Community, Rand Corporation, Hispanic Federation, Puerto Rico Department of Housing, Centro para la Reconstrucción del Habitat (Center for Habitat Reconstruction), Foundation for Puerto Rico, municipalities, and Community based development organizations among others.

·       In the past years (2018 to 2020) GSP graduates have comprised the core planning staff of FEMA-Disaster Recovery programs in the aftermath of the 4 to 5 level hurricane Maria. This caused massive devastation.

·       This spurred the creation of a post-graduate certification program on Planning for Disaster Recovery, currently under final approval by UPR´s Vice President of Academic Affairs.

·       During the period of 2012 to 2016 graduates served as Secretary of the Departments of Labor and of Environmental and Natural Resources   and advisors of different legislators.

·       One of our graduates received the internationally prestigious Goldman Award 2016 for outstanding environmental policy impact and activism.

·       In 2018 a graduate was appointed Director of EPA Caribbean Region.

Assessment by employers

In the year 2015, focus groups with employers of city government and community-based organizations shared their assessments of employability and performance of program graduates as well as student interns.  According to participants, our students and graduates have a high sense of social responsibility and professional ethics; are able to effectively work in interdisciplinary teams; and can design and implement adequate methods and techniques to problems at hand.

Other recognitions of the student’s achievements during the years 2012 to 2020:


Follow-up Ph. D. Studies


In the past 4 years (2016 to 2020):

·        Three graduates have completed the course requirements for the Ph.D. programs in planning in the universities in the USA, (Southern California, Florida State University and University of Illinois).

·       One graduate has completed all requirements but dissertation (ABD) in a Ph.D. program of Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas in Austin.

·       One graduate of 2016 had been admitted to Environmental Studies in the University of Vermont.

·       Six other graduates have been pursuing Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences at the University of Puerto Rico, sponsored by IGERT program of the NSF

Three others in Ph.D. programs in the UPR Río Piedras Campus:

o   Social Policy

o   History

o   Education

o   In this year (2020) a student was admitted and enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Urban and Regional Planning at the SUNY at Buffalo.

2020-2021 Tuition and Fees

In State Residents, per full-time academic year $8,440
Out of State Residents, per full-time academic year $14,480

Student Retention Rate

Percentage of students who began studies in fall 2019 and continued into fall 2020 59%

Student Graduation Rate

Percentage of students graduating within 4 years, entering class of 2016 7%
Percentage of students graduating within 6 years, entering class of 2014 (for accredited undergrad) N/A

Number of Degrees Awarded

Number of degrees awarded for 2019-2020 Academic Year 9

AICP Certification

Percentage of master’s graduates taking the AICP exam within 5 years who pass, graduating class of 2015 NA

Professional Planner License

Percentage of master’s graduates taking the Puerto Rico Professional Planner License exam who passed, graduating class 2018 (7 students took the exam) 43%



Percentage of full-time graduates obtaining professional planning, planning-related, or other positions within 12 months of graduation, graduating class of 2019 91%

Mentorship/Advising Program

To support students’ progress and achievement since the year 2013 the Program has a Mentorship program for all students beginning in their first year in the graduate program.  They are assigned formally to a professor that will provide individual advising and mentorship.  A yearly survey will provide information on the students’ progress, developing interests and needs that can be attended by the academic mentor or be referred to another professor.