AICP Student Project Awards

The AICP Student Project Awards recognize outstanding class projects or papers by a student or group of students in Planning Accreditation Board-accredited planning programs that contribute to advances in the field of planning.

This awards program is intended to recognize exceptional work by the student(s). While it is appropriate to submit a project or paper on which a faculty member(s) has given guidance, the submission should be primarily the work of the students.

Submission Information

Deadline: December 12, 2013

Files must be submitted via CD and have active links to supporting materials that exist online.

Submit 3 copies of the CD, clearly marked with project name to:

AICP Student Project Award
Leadership Department
American Planning Association
205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60601

Award Categories

The AICP Student Project Award recognizes a student or group of students in a PAB-accredited planning program for an outstanding paper or class project in up to three categories:

  1. the project that best demonstrates the contribution of planning to contemporary issues
  2. the project best applying the planning process
  3. applied research


A project may receive this award one time. Members of the AICP Awards Jury, the AICP Commission, or the APA Board of Directors are not eligible during their terms of service. Members of APA staff also are not eligible.

  1. A nomination for this award may be submitted by either:
    • the Head of a PAB-accredited university planning program,
    • or the duly elected or appointed Planning Student Organization (PSO) Student Representative of a PAB-accredited program.
  2. Projects completed in the previous three years are eligible. For the 2014 program, eligibility dates are from December 2010 to December 2013.
  3. NOTE: A program may submit only one nomination for this award.


Innovative: Originality of concept or appreciable refinement of existing techniques or procedures

Transferable: Potential application to other locations, projects, or areas of planning interest

Quality: Excellence of thought, analysis, writing, graphics, and character of presentation

Implementation: Effectiveness of the work (proposals have been carried out, show promise of being carried out, or demonstrate an effective implementation technique)

Comprehensive: Planning principles have been observed, especially in considering a project's effects on other public objectives

Digital Images

APA adheres to all copyright laws. They apply to all images used in the award submission as well as the final project.

Digital images requirements

Submission Checklist

Please follow the checklist below. It will assist you in preparing your entry:

Document 1 — Entry Information (call this file: EntryInformation.doc)

Entry Name/Title — Complete Title of the Entry

School and academic level

Category — (a) contribution of planning to contemporary issues, (b) application of the planning process, or (c) applied research

Nominator (Required) — NOTE: Only the head of a PAB-accredited university planning program or the school's elected/appointed APA-PSO SRC Student Representative may nominate an entry.

Nominator's Contact Information — Name, title, mailing and e-mail addresses, and daytime phone number. Indicate whether the Nominator of this entry is the head of the planning program or the official APA-PSO Student Representative.

The month and year this project was completed.


Coordinator (Required) — Name, title, mailing and e-mail addresses, and daytime phone number of the person responsible for communicating with APA staff about the materials submitted and directly with project team members (details concerning the presentation and other recognition, if entry is selected). Unclaimed certificates, etc., will be shipped to the coordinator at the address entered here.

Project Contact (Required) — Staff may contact a student participant or project advisor with questions specific to the project or submitted materials.

Summary of Project (200-400 words) — Describe how this project meets the award criteria above.

Full names of all project team members, clearly indicating which are students, advisers, faculty, etc. This file will be used for award program, certificates, etc.

Document 2 — Project Description (call this file: NAR[short project name].doc)

Please describe the project more fully, including its outcomes. Make sure to include: (1) The source and amount of any financial support this project received; (2) filename references to specific supporting materials (see below), and active links to online resources (if any).

Document 3 — Letter(s) of Support (call these files: LTR[lastname].pdf)

All letters should be on the letterhead of the supporter's school, agency, or company and submitted in PDF format.

(Required) A letter of support from the school's Planning Program Head.

(Optional) Additional letters from agencies, organizations, or companies connected with the project.

Folder 1 — Image files (call this folder Images)

Include 5-6 separate image files that characterize this entry. Provide 1) a caption that provides context and shows the entry's positive results or intended results, and 2) photo credit details. All images must be digital, copyright-free images and conform to the digital image requirements appearing elsewhere on this webpage.

Final Project Report (if applicable)

Hard copy reports will not be accepted.

Web-based report — If the final report was created in a web format, include the URL for viewing by the AICP Awards Jury. The URL must be active between the submission date and April 2012. If an entry is selected for an award, a permanent link should be established for linking from the AICP Student Project Award recognition webpage.

Report on CD-ROM — If the final report is not web-based and will fit on a CD-ROM, please include it on the submission CD. If it does not fit on a CD, web pages containing the project must be created and the URL included. Include text and graphics files in these formats: .jpg, .gif, .ppt, .doc, .pdf, or .rtf.

Other Optional Files

Reviews of the implementation effort, analysis of the results, newspaper clippings, editorials, etc. (call this file: MIS[number].[filetype])

Promotional materials (call this file: MIS[number].[filetype])

Selection and Notification

Award winners will be notified as soon as they have been determined. A list of award winners will be sent to the contact at each school.


Please send your inquiries to Mike Welch at