Master of Urban and Regional Planning


/ Recent Taubman Graduate

Vaidehi Shah

“Ann Arbor is the perfect college town! There’s a good mix of great food places, bars, nature trails and parks. It is very walkable and public transport is very robust..”

Ahmedabad, India

Degree Program(s)

Expected Graduation Date
May 2024

Academic Areas of Interest
Climate Risk Mitigation and Adaptation, Community Development, Collaborative Planning

Hobbies or interests outside of academia
Cycling, Nature Hikes, Sports

Why did you choose Taubman College as the right program for you?
I really wanted to understand the intersectionality of planning challenges by learning different methods and theories to look at any planning problem. Taubman’s curriculum gave me the flexibility to choose courses within and across campus which fit my goal.

What is special or excites you about the Taubman community?
Taubman has a very diverse and strong alumni network, which is becoming especially helpful as I am connecting with alumni across the country for jobs. Also, having planning, urban design, and architecture programs situated within the same school makes cross-disciplinary interactions on different approaches to understanding the built environment and communities a lot more accessible.

If applicable, tell us about studio culture – what is inspiring or innovative or unique?
Though the planning program doesn’t offer studios, the curriculum includes courses like URP 507 Fundamentals of Planning Practice, some electives, and Capstone/Professional thesis options that provide great experiences working on client-based, professional projects.

Describe your experience with faculty and professional staff during your time at Taubman?
Faculty and staff at Taubman are very helpful and approachable. When I had a question I could just go and talk to anyone.

How has Taubman’s career and professional development support prepared you for a successful career in your chosen field?
Taubman’s career team is excellent. I was supported in preparing my resume and portfolio, interviews and also job offer negotiations. They organize networking trips called Career Treks in the Spring semester where a city is picked (Chicago, Washington DC, and Boston were some last few), and students go and visit different firms where alums are working in the city which has been very helpful in building connections.

What benefits have you experienced being part of the University of Michigan?
It’s a beautiful campus, I enjoyed working at different libraries at the University. There are also many strong student organizations on campus, so there are a lot of opportunities for extra-curriculum collaborations and activities!

What do you like most about being part of the Ann Arbor community?
Ann Arbor is the perfect college town! There’s a good mix of great food places, bars, nature trails and parks. It is very walkable and public transport is very robust. The Ann Arbor District Library is also a huge resource – you can rent art pieces, puzzles, sports equipment and they host a lot of fun art and craft activities!

What advice would you give prospective students as they consider Taubman College?
Don’t be shy! Connect with people to ask questions. Look at courses offered in other departments—a lot of things connected to planning in surprising ways!

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to work with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority on a long-range plan project that looks at mobility futures for the Embarcadero in the face of sea-level rise and frequent seismic activities in the Bay area!

Additional advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective students?
It’s ok to come to grad school without a clear concentration idea. You’ll get space for a lot of self-discovery and experimentation in your program Taubman!