View Text Only Version

Geography and Planning


Contact Geography and Planning  

Geography and Planning

West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Department of Geography and Planning
College of Business and Public Management
Fifth Floor
Business and Public Management Center
50 Sharpless Street
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2343

Name: Dr. Dottie Ives Dewey
Position: Department Chair

Name: Heather MacQueen
Position: Department Secretary

West Chester University GIS - Sharing Data to Create Smarter Communities

Welcome to West Chester University's Open GIS Data provided by the Department of Geography and Planning. If you are looking for geospatial data on the University, our work with surrounding municipalities, or Chester County as a whole, you've come to the right place. This Open Data site is dedicated to providing users with GIS data to energize research, planning, and future development in our communities.

ESRI User Conference 2019 - Special Achievement in GIS

West Chester University’s Geography & Planning Department was named the winner of The 2019 Special Achievement in GIS award at the ESRI User Conference this past July in San Diego. We were one of 90 organizations recognized (1/20th of 1% of ESRI users) who received this award and was presented by ESRI’s founder/owner Jack Dangerman.


November 2018 First Friday Video


In 2017 the Geography & Planning Department unveiled a new graduate degree: a Master of Urban and Regional Planning (click here  for advising sheet).

The Master of Urban and Regional Planning program is designed to prepare students to work as professional planners, economic development specialists, geographic information systems (GIS) analysts and in related fields. Building on the core technology strengths of the department and College, the program will ensure students are trained with cutting-edge geospatial technologies for advanced planning and design applications related to land use and economic development. The Master of Urban and Regional Planning is a 48-credit program that has been designed to accommodate full- or part-time students. The program has been designed to meet all the standards for accreditation by the Planning Accreditation Board. The program includes a 24-credit core that focuses on the history and theory of planning as a profession field, analytical methods and plan implementation. Students choose 21 elective credits based on their interests and desired skills and knowledge for career preparation. All students completed a capstone project.

Graduates of the program will be prepared to work in the public and not-for-profit sectors. For more information, please contact Dorothy Ives Dewey, Ph.D., AICP, PP, Chair of the Geography & Planning Department, Professor of Planning,, 610-436-2746.


Our very own Professor Gary Coutu and our students' work featured on CBS Philly. Click here  to view footage.


  • Former grad student, Jacob Siegel, will spend 27 months in Madagascar volunteering for the Peace Corps. Read article..
  • Congratulations to Chloe Doman and Arlene Beltran who are the 2018 George Fasic Planning Scholarship recipients!


In 2016 the Geography & Planning Department launched a new undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Science (BS) in Urban and Environmental Planning (click here  for advising sheet).

The BS Urban and Environmental Planning program is designed to prepare graduates to work as professional planners, geographic information systems (GIS) analysts, and environmental specialists and in related fields. The program will ensure students are trained with cutting-edge geospatial technologies and with a deep knowledge of local and regional sustainability concerns.

The program is unique due to the full integration of geospatial technologies and sustainability throughout the curriculum. Geospatial technologies have been rapidly expanding and evolving in recent years. An abundance of spatially-oriented information is emerging from aerial photography, satellite remote sensing, image processing, global positioning systems (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Geospatial technologies permeate all layers of society with GPS-enabled smartphones, to real-time traffic maps, to increasingly more sophisticated data availability from satellites and other remote sensing sources.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently identified the geospatial technology sector as one of the three technology areas that would create the greatest number of new jobs over the next decade.

The focus on sustainability will result in a curriculum that incorporates more solutions to some of our greatest contemporary challenges, such as uncovering solutions and adaptations to global climate change. Considering the multiple components of sustainability, the program offers the integration of economic development, environmental protection, social priorities and place-based problem solving.

Graduates of the program will be prepared to work in the public, not-for-profit, and public sectors. Whether planners, environmental specialists or GIS analysts, the program provides future practitioners with the knowledge, technical skills, and values to enable them to become effective professionals.

For more information, please contact Dorothy Ives Dewey, Ph.D., AICP, PP, Chair of the Geography & Planning Department, Professor of Planning,, 610-436-2746.

Man on mountain top

Geodetic Benchmark on mountaintop

Eric, a Geography & Planning student in the accelerated program, poses next to the geodetic benchmark that he found in Zion National Park in October 2018.
PARK(ing) Day 2019Play video
Planning Studio students in the Geography & Planning programs complete a 3D model of WCU campus, which includes the new Science CenterPlay video

Alumni Spotlight

Katelyn Thompson

News and Upcoming Events

Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program.

Back to top of page.