About Us

The School of Planning, Design and Construction (SPDC) is jointly administered by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and the College of Social Science (CSS) at Michigan State University. It consists of four separately accredited programs: Construction Management, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Urban & Regional Planning, as well as the National Charrette Institute, a training, outreach and research unit. Under the leadership of director and Professor Ming-Han Li, faculty and staff strive for providing a quality educational experience for students in these fields related to the built environment, and encouraging the creativity and innovation that drive these industries.

School Vision

We collaborate to create sustainable and healthy built, natural, and virtual environments.

School Mission

We advance the knowledge, prepare innovative leaders, and support the practice of planning, design, and construction.  

Our Programs

Spartans Built to Lead

  • The only school in the U.S. to incorporate the built environment disciplines under one roof: Construction management, interior design, landscape architecture and urban & regional planning.
  • All four SPDC academic programs are accredited and produce career-ready graduates.
  • The Construction Management Program incorporates both the management and technological aspects of the construction industry. Students are provided real-world experiences through a well-established summer internship program and have access to a lab to gain hands-on experience using construction equipment and learn best practices. In 2013, the MSU Construction Management Residential Competition team earned first-place honors, out of 34 university teams, at the National Association of Home Builders Competition.
  • The Interior Design Program teaches students to combine knowledge, creativity, problem-solving skills and aesthetic vision to develop safe, functional, aesthetically-pleasing built interior environments that meet the needs of the client. Having been accredited since 1976, the program focuses on creativity, innovation, sustainability, historic integrity, ethics, critical thinking, human-centered approach and well-being, evidence-based problem solutions, and advanced skills in technology and presentation media. In 2012, students dominated the American Society of Interior Designers Competition, taking first, second and third place.
  • The Landscape Architecture Program merges ideology, design, technology and ecology toward creating a sustainable world. Graduates are required to master the design process across all scales in the integration of art, science and human interaction, applying these to diverse project types in practice and building new knowledge that advances the LA profession. Biennially, the program hosts the Graphic Workshop and Big Ten Design Charrette, a fun and creative design event that allows students to work with nationally-acclaimed designers to concept ideas for the future vision of the local community.
  • The Urban & Regional Planning Program teaches students about the design and regulation of the uses of space that focus on physical form, economic functions and social impacts of the urban environment, and on the location and flow of activities within it. The program outlines creative and systematic approaches to address and resolve the physical, economic and social problems of towns, cities and regions. The undergraduate program is designed to prepare students for the responsibilities encountered in entry-level professional planning practice. Highlights of the undergraduate and graduate experience include the Planning Practicum Capstone Course, where students have the opportunity to help tackle local planning-related issues, and a number of study abroad programs that reflect our commitment to planning as a global responsibility.
  • SPDC received first $1 million gift from Peter and Linda Riguardi to create the Peter G. and Lina Riguardi Experiential Learning Fund for Domestic and Internationals Site Evaluation Experiences. It is one of the largest gifts ever given to MSU from non-alumni parents of a current student. The fund will enable SPDC students to gain first-hand knowledge of major urban planning projects through site visits around the world.
  • Between 2012-2014, 90% of students in the School had jobs within one year of graduation.
  • SPDC faculty excels in mentoring and inspiring students, and have received numerous teaching awards.
  • The Land Policy Institute was created in July 2006, following two and a half years as the Land Policy Program within the MSU Department of Agricultural Economics. It seeks to make a positive difference in addressing current and future public and private land use challenges in Michigan, the Midwest and beyond, through three focus areas (Placemaking & Regional Prosperity, Land & Planning and Land-Based Resources). The Institute works in partnership with groups on campus and outside of the university on research, outreach and education initiatives that enrich community, economic and family life through the development of effective land use policies, strategies and best practices. Over the past 10 years, the LPI has established a strong reputation as a responsive, policy-oriented research and outreach program. 
  • In 2017, the National Charrette Institute (NCI) entered in a new partnership with the SPDC and MSU Extension. Fifteen years ago, NCI launched what has become the leading professional training in collaborative design and charrettes. Since then, they have trained thousands of public and private planners, and designers and community activists with their accredited certificate program. The NCI has worked directly with communities on projects across the country, helping them change the way they work together. The NCI program will evolve into a universal system for Collaboration by Design, bringing the power of charrettes and other tools to nontraditional audiences, such as agriculture, business and engineering.

Our MSU Partners

Our Campus

Community Information

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