Students and Emerging Professionals

What is Planning and What Do Planners Do?

Planning, also called urban planning or city and regional planning, is a dynamic profession that works to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthful, efficient, and attractive places for present and future generations.

Professional planners help create a broad vision for the community. They also research, design, and develop programs; lead public processes; effect social change; perform technical analyses; manage; and educate. Some planners focus on just some of these roles, such as transportation planning, but most will work at many kinds of planning throughout their careers.

Click here for more information about the Planning field.

Student Engagement
APA membership fosters connections among planning's emerging professionals: students, recent graduates, and others just starting their planning careers.

APA-registered Planning Student Organizations strengthen students' connection to their local chapter and foster relationships among planning students on campus. In Oklahoma, the University of Oklahoma in Norman has a student organization.

Scholarships and Awards

APA awards two scholarships to student members each year: the Charles Abrams Scholarship and the Judith McManus Price Scholarship. The application deadline for both is April 30.

Many of APA's special-interest divisions also offer scholarships, fellowships, writing competitions, or grants to their student members. Oklahoma APA offers grants through the Student Planning Association at the University of Oklahoma to attend the National Planning Conference.

Every year, APA's professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, honors AICP Outstanding Students and recognizes outstanding student projects or papers with AICP Student Project Awards.

National Planning Conference

APA holds the annual National Planning Conference each spring and is a must-attend event for many emerging professionals. In addition to student-focused workshops, sessions, and social activities at the conference, student members look forward to nonstop networking, mentor meetups, career guidance from veteran planners, a Resume Clinic, and more.

Students also have opportunities to showcase their work through poster or capstone presentations and to take part in a timed case competition.

Fo more information and resources on Emerging Professional and New Professional Opportunites go to