The beginnings of the College of Spatial Planning and Applied Science were in 2007 when the Higher Institute of Planning was established on April 1st 2007 as a postgraduate institute in the multidisciplinary field of spatial planning. The mission was to supply the public and private sectors in the Kurdistan Region with integrated planners who comprehend and cater for the needs and conflicting interests of different aspects of the sectorial development plans. Postgraduate studies leading to higher diploma were commenced in October 2008. Postgraduate diploma studies continued till 2011. In a separate strand, M.Sc. study in spatial planning was started in 2010.
Collaboration with the Faculty of Spatial Planning at TU Dortmund, Germany constituted the cornerstone of the internationalization effort of the School of Planning in the UoD. There has been several DAAD supported grants for strengthening planning education in Iraq and drawing up a curriculum for a joint bachelor degree program between TU Dortmund and the UoD. Several other universities were invited to take part. The current joint bachelor program with TU Dortmund started in the College of Spatial Planning and Applied Science in 2011. German professors are playing active roles in the implementation of the agreed upon program in the way of teaching as well as capacity building for our academic staff. The senior undergraduate students of this program take one of their courses in TU Dortmund as well as in German institutions that deal with spatial planning.
Another arena of activity of the College of Spatial Planning and Applied Science is the Department of Applied Geosciences. The mission of this department is to graduate modern applied geoscientists who can work with the exploitation of natural resources in the Kurdistan Region both for the public and private sectors. An intrinsic part of the mission of the department is also in conducting research that can contribute to the understanding of the environment, natural hazards and natural resources (oil and gas, surface and groundwater, industrial rocks and minerals) in Kurdistan such that it facilitates the exploration, surveying and exploitation of these resources. The Applied Geosciences Department was opened in 2011. The first batch of undergraduates graduated in June 2015; many of these graduates have got employed as teaching assistants and in oil companies. The curricula in this department emphasize the applied aspects in geophysics, petroleum geology, hydrogeology and engineering geology.
The College of Spatial Planning and Applied Science has finalized plans to open a new department of biomedical technology in collaboration with the University of THM, Giessen in Germany.