The program, which starts Aug. 23, is tailored for working adults who should be able to earn degrees after three years of taking courses part time, according to a UCF release. A dozen students will begin their studies this, fall and the program’s enrollment could increase to 80 students by fall 2012.

Graduates will be able to work for government agencies, private firms or nonprofit organizations at the local, state and federal levels, said Mary Ann Feldheim, chair of the Department of Public Administration. A master’s degree is needed for most planning jobs in the current market, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to UCF, Central Florida is ripe for such a program because of the region’s practices in handling rapid growth, urban innovations such as the planned communities of Celebration and Baldwin Park, and the new high-speed and commuter rail initiatives.

Feldheim, associate professor Jay Jurie and assistant professor Christopher Hawkins, all of the Department of Public Administration, led the development of the new program.

Faculty members from several departments are teaching in the program. The Central Florida planning community also helped to develop the courses.

Source: Orlando Business Journal, UCF launches master’s in urban planning .