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The Jennings & Rebecca Jones Chair of Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning

The COE-URP Scholars Program

Do you want research experience? Do you want networking experience? Do you want to help your community? Some of the most impactful academic experiences are ones that can walk students through the research process and help them build connections with the people and world around them. That is exactly what the Scholars Program aims to do. Throughout this program students are tasked with identifying and researching a problem in the Middle Tennessee region, while meeting with and learning from faculty members and community stakeholders along the way.

What is the Scholars Program?

The Chair of Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning Scholars Program is a 9-month research and engagement program for undergraduate students designed to bring students, faculty, and community members together to address ongoing urban and regional challenges through academic research. 

The undergraduate students in the program will develop and apply skills in academic research techniques within a structured, faculty-mentored curriculum, much like a typical university course. The students are tasked with researching a complex urban and regional issue relevant to the middle Tennessee region. Throughout their research, they work their way to possible solutions, culminating in a comprehensive research paper, which they will present at the end of the program. This is all done under the guidance of an individual faculty member, who has experience in both research and the field of the student’s chosen topic, alongside lectures that walk the students through the general research process.

Why participate in the Scholars Program?

The Scholars Program provides undergraduate students with not only resources relating to urban and regional planning in Middle Tennessee, but also valuable research skills, possibilities to engage with their community, networking opportunities, chances to present their work at and attend conferences, and a stipend.

What is the timeline of the Scholars Program?

The Scholars Program lasts nine months – an entire academic year – and meets once a month for faculty-led sessions sponsored by various urban and regional planning organizations. Each session explains a different step in the research process, and the students work closely with their faculty mentor to implement these steps in their own research.

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1301 E. Main, Box 102

Middle Tennessee State University

Murfreesboro, TN 37132