Most municipalities with a population over 10,000 hire urban planners. The field of urban planning is expected to grow in the next decade, and much of this growth may be met by the private and nonprofit sectors. As a major mid-continent center of architecture, engineering, and planning consulting firms, Kansas City provides many job opportunities for enterprising graduates. Beyond Kansas City, graduates of the UMKC program are working in urban planning and design careers in St. Louis, Chicago, Portland, Boston, New York, Charleston, New Orleans, and Anchorage. Finally, several enterprising graduates have applied the skills from their Urban Planning + Design education and started their own firms.

We work with students to prepare them for the job market in urban planning. Students practice interviewing and resume writing, and they are required to produce a writing sample and portfolio of their work. We also work with the local American Planning Association to provide internship opportunities for planning students. Our location makes it convenient for students to contact and to get to know local employers.


Urban planners work in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Planners working for governments review development proposals and develop long-range plans for neighborhoods, districts, communities, and municipalities. Planners also work in the fields of sustainability, environmental management, transportation, economic development, housing, historic preservation, community organizing, and community development.


Urban Planning + Design students have interned at various municipal, county, and regional government agencies, private firms, and community organizations. A professional career in planning often starts with an internship while pursuing a planning degree. Internships provide students with opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world settings. Students also develop professional networks and receive on-the-job-training through internships. Successful internships often lead to professional positions and help students figure out the direction they want to take in the professional field of urban planning and design. For these reasons, a meaningful internship experience is an important asset for students when applying for full-time planning positions.

Our students have interned at the following institutions and organizations in recent years:

Municipal, County, and Regional AgenciesCity of Belton, MO
City of Blue Springs, MO
City of Gladstone, MO
City of Independence, MO
City of Kansas City, MO
City of Lee’s Summit, MO
City of Liberty, MO
City of Leawood, KS
City of Overland Park, KS
City of Norristown, PA
Jackson County, MO
Kansas City Public School District, MO
Port Authority of Kansas City, MO
Private IndustryHNTB, Kansas City, MO
The Louis Berger Group, Kansas City, MO
TranSystems, Kansas City, MO
Wilson and Company, Kansas City, MO
Community and Nonprofit OrganizationsBike Walk Kansas City, Kansas City, MO
Bridging The Gap, Kansas City, MO
Building Blocks, Kansas City, MO
Community Capital Fund, Kansas City, MO
Cultivate Kansas City, Kansas City, MO
Greater Kansas City LISC, Kansas City, MO
Historic Kansas City, Kansas City, MO
Human Development Corp. of Metro St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, Kansas City, MO
Kansas City Equity Network, Kansas City, MO
KCMO Community Development CID, Kansas City, MO
MainCor Corridor Development Corp., Kansas City, MO
Missouri Coalition for the Environment, St. Louis, MO
Southtown Council, Kansas City, MO
Westside Housing Organization, Kansas City, MO

The Urban Planning + Design program assists students in finding their internship. Local agencies frequently contact the Department to advertise available internships. The Kansas City Section of the American Planning Association (KC-APA) sponsors a speed networking and internship fair in the spring each year.

Speed Networking Event in Katz Hall
Speed Networking Event in Katz Hall

At the annual Speed Networking event during the first week of March, Urban Planning + Design students have an opportunity to present their resumes and portfolios to professional planners in the Kansas City metro region and to get feedback. Students also have mock interviews with the professionals. This Speed Networking event is a great opportunity for our students to interact with professional planners and learn how to prepare for their internships and careers.

Internship Fair Sponsored by KC-APA in Katz Hall
Internship Fair Sponsored by KC-APA in Katz Hall

Over the years, the Urban Planning + Design Program has hosted an internship fair sponsored by the KC-APA on the first Friday in April. Planning students from the University of Kansas and Kansas State University have joined the internship fair. Public, private, and nonprofit agencies participate in order to recruit interns and full-time employees, and the event has been a great venue for our students to find internships and full-time employment.