The School of Spatial Planning and Social Sciences (SSPSS) evolved from the former School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP) in 2016. SURP was renamed after the approval of “Structural Organization of Ardhi University (ARU) Schools” through the Government Notice (GN) No. 266 of 2016 which was established in 2007 following the approval of the Charter that established Ardhi University (ARU) in 2007. The former school (SURP) consisted of three departments namely; the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Department of Housing and Infrastructure Planning and the Department of Regional Development Planning. The current school (SSPSS) has two departments of Urban and Regional Planning (URP) and Economics and Social Studies (ESS).
Initially, SURP was running three programmes until October 2009 when a Bachelor degree of Arts in Economics was established. The school expanded further by introducing another programme of Bachelor of Arts in Community and Development Studies in March 2011. In total, SSPSS has nine (9) programmes in its two departments. Of these, five (5) are undergraduate degree and the remaining four (4) are postgraduate programmes.
Apart from academic training, the School has been fully engaged in the other core functions of the University. This involves carrying research funded by local and international agencies and provision of public services. The School has been also engaged in important land related public services including participation in managing national disasters such as flooding, earthquakes; resolution of land use conflicts between and amongst pastoral and agricultural communities, land use planning for major infrastructure corridors of the Standard Gauge Railway line and the East African Oil Pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga in Tanzania.. These activities have provided important feedback to the planning education and its curricula in SSPSS, over the last ten years.