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M.S. Urban Planning

The Master of Science in Urban Planning is a two-year accredited professional degree. Our program takes a comparative, global perspective to urban planning, centering social justice and critical practice. It connects the study of the urban built environment with grounded analysis of socioeconomic and political conditions to inform planning practice and praxis toward social, racial, and climate justice. We prepare students to confront and break down structures and practices of oppression rooted in class inequality, racism, and sexism. By studying the impact of global processes (such as immigration, climate change, and public health) on cities, neighborhoods, and communities—across the Global North and Global South—the program aims to foster new, creative planning and policy approaches that will improve processes and outcomes in cities around the world.
The program pays close attention to a range of methodological approaches bringing together urban analytics, grounded field research, and community engagement to address real-world planning issues. It builds on our record as one of the first planning programs in the United States to engage data science and visualization alongside spatial analysis to tackle today’s urban problems and inform planning solutions for the future. Our graduates work in critical and leading roles in government, private firms, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, multilateral institutions, and international NGOs.
IMPORTANT LINKS AND INFORMATION

For more information about the program, please email the Assistant Director: Kian Goldman.

Curriculum
The Master of Science in Urban Planning program offers four concentrations: Built Environment, Community and Economic Development, International Planning and Development, and Urban Analytics. At the core of the program are a team-based studio course, which takes place in the first year, and a thesis or professional capstone, which is carried out throughout the second year. The Urban Planning Studio is a way of modeling what it means to incorporate intellectual questions into practical proposals. The studio revolves around a real client with a real-world issue. Students work as a group under the direction of faculty, producing critical and innovative analysis of socioeconomic, environmental, and political conditions as well as stakeholder engagement. In many ways, the studio introduces, considers, and evaluates a range of scenarios in approaching complex problems.

Recently, the program has significantly updated the contents of its electives and core curriculum courses to introduce more knowledge related to the global dimensions of planning, more systematic understanding of racism and spatial inequality, and more critical assessment on the use of analytical tools. For electives, in particular, the program now offers new, knowledge- and skill-based courses on data analytics, machine learning, equitable climate action, adaptation to climate change, urban mobility and accessibility in a global context, inclusion and housing, and healthy global cities. Students can also take case-based practicums, grounded in a coherent conceptual framework, to better connect with modes of practice. In addition, a number of half-semester practicum courses are offered, including residential planning in a global context, urban public infrastructure, project management, affordable housing in high-demand cities, and mega projects in global cities.

The curriculum has shifted to further integrate studios and seminars—with seasoned practitioners teaming up with more academically-oriented faculty to better unite theory and practice. The program has also emphasized new collaborations with the design faculty to offer studios and courses that enable substantive collaboration between planning and design students.

Studios
In the Urban Planning studio, under faculty direction students work as a team with a client on a real-world project. The ensuing deliverables will reflect stakeholder engagement and analyses of socioeconomic, environmental, and political conditions. We encourage students to engage in critical thinking in order to challenge practices of oppression in planning and beyond. Recognizing the wide-ranging student interests, we offer a variety of projects each year, including community-focused issues that provide opportunities to build relations with clients and partners. Studio takes place in the Spring of the students’ first year and aims to integrate classroom learning with practical experience early in the students’ education.
Current Faculty
Jitendra Bajpai
Matthew Bauer
Melissa Bindra
Lisa Blake
Anthony Borelli
Calvin Brown
André Corrêa d'Almeida
Ubaldo Escalante
Adam Freed
Daniel Froehlich
Ebru Gencer
Maxine Griffith
Boyeong Hong
Jessica Katz
Gayatri Kawlra
Emily Kurtz
Anita Laremont
Javier Lopez
Peter Marcotullio
Jonathan Martin
Jessica Mathew
Kevin McQueen
Leah Meisterlin
Jon Meyers
Kristin Miller
Olivia Moss
Kaz Sakamoto
Jeffrey Shumaker
Howard Slatkin
Kurt Steinhouse
Charlie Stewart
Jonathan Stiles
Adam Tanaka
Jamie Torres-Springer
Graham Trelstad
Jose Luis Vallejo
Anthony Vanky
Rachel Weinberger
Kate Wittels
Douglas Woodward
Thomas Wright

Fall 2023 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
P4050‑1 Fall 2023
UP Elective Internship
Douglas Woodward
FULL SEMESTER
1.5 Points
10144
Pla4008‑1 Fall 2023
History and Theory of Planning
Hiba Bou Akar
209 FAYERWEATHER (12 - 1: 504 + 505)
TH 10 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10132
Pla4022‑1 Fall 2023
Fundamentals of Urban Digital Design
Sybil Wa
UP COMPUTER LAB
TH 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10142
Pla4208‑1 Fall 2023
Planning Methods
Hugo Sarmiento
209 FAYERWEATHER
W 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10147
Pla4320‑1 Fall 2023
Urban Design For Planners
Jeffrey Shumaker
409 AVERY
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10153
Pla6088‑1 Fall 2023
Introduction to International Planning
Ebru Gencer
UP 204 FAY
M 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10167
Pla6434‑1 Fall 2023
Introduction to Transportation Planning
Rachel Weinberger
209 FAYERWEATHER
TH 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10173
PLA6612‑1 Fall 2023
Planning for Justice in a Low Carbon Future
Javier Lopez
408 AVERY
M 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10175
PLA6617‑1 Fall 2023
Climate Justice in Our Own Backyard
Thaddeus Pawlowski
300 BUELL SOUTH
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10176
Pla6621‑1 Fall 2023
From NIMBY to YIMBY to Mayor Quimby: Local Government Authority + Big-City Planning
Howard Slatkin
WARE LOUNGE - 600 AVERY
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10179
PLA6642‑1 Fall 2023
Metropolitan Planning
Thomas Wright
UP 204 FAY
W 5 PM - 7 PM
SES A
1.5 Points
10182
PLA6646‑1 Fall 2023
Affordable Housing Development in NYC
Emily Kurtz, Kristin Miller
300 BUELL SOUTH
W 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10185
PLA6648‑1 Fall 2023
Delivering Urban Public Infrastructure
Jamie Torres-Springer, Jessica Mathew
300 BUELL SOUTH
M 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10281
Pla6918‑1 Fall 2023
Thesis / Capstone I Workshop
Tom Slater
209 FAYERWEATHER (W 11 AM - 1 PM in 200 BUELL, 300 BUELL N, 204 FAY, 203 FAY; W 3 - 5 PM IN 412 AVERY)
W 11 AM - 1PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10192
Pla6919‑1 Fall 2023
Urban Planning Thesis II
Weiping Wu
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10804
PLA6939‑1 Fall 2023
Sustainable Urban Planning and Design
Jonathan Martin
115 AVERY
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10194
PLA6941‑1 Fall 2023
Urban Analytics for Transparency in Decision Making
André Corrêa d'Almeida
115 AVERY
M 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10195
PLA6942‑1 Fall 2023
Community Development Finance Practicum
Kevin McQueen
204 FAY
M 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10196
Pla6946‑1 Fall 2023
Housing the Unhoused: A Practicum
Jessica Katz
412 AVERY
W 5 PM - 7 PM
SES B
1.5 Points
16231
A6510‑1 Fall 2023
Neighborhood Preservation and Zoning
Carol Clark
203 FAYERWEATHER
TU 11AM- 1PM
SES B
1.5 Points
10112
A6767‑1 Fall 2023
Preservation Planning and Policy
Erica Avrami
408 AVERY
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10095
PLA6009‑1 Fall 2023
Environmental Data Analysis
Peter Marcotullio, Kaz Sakamoto
202 FAYERWEATHER
M 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10162
PLA6619‑1 Fall 2023
Intro to Urban Data and Informatics
Gayatri Kawlra
UP PLANNING LAB
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10178
Pla6909‑1 Fall 2023
Advanced Studio III - Joint Historic Preservation/Urban Planning Studio
Erica Avrami, Shreya Ghoshal
323M FAYERWEATHER
TH 2 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
10111
Pla6925‑1 Fall 2023
Advanced Research I
Weiping Wu
FULL SEMESTER
2 or 3 Points
10193
A4164‑1 Fall 2023
Design Intelligence
Danil Nagy
WARE LOUNGE - 600 AVERY
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10075
A6886‑1 Fall 2023
Building the Engine: Industry + the African Urban Agenda
Fatou Dieye
323M FAYERWEATHER
TH 9 AM - 1 PM
SES A
3 Points
10081
A6961‑1 Fall 2023
ADV V STUDIO - CLINIC
Marina Otero Verzier, Farah Alkhoury
WARE LOUNGE - 600 AVERY
M 2 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
13712
Pla4577‑1 Fall 2023
Geographic Information Systems
Jonathan Stiles
UP COMPUTER LAB + 204 FAYERWEATHER
TU 10 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10157
Pla4577‑2 Fall 2023
Geographic Information Systems
Jonathan Stiles
UP COMPUTER LAB + 204 FAYERWEATHER
TH 5 PM - 8 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10160
A4892‑1 Fall 2023
Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
Jia Zhang
409 AVERY
F 9 AM -11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10070
A4341‑1 Fall 2023
Traditional American Architecture
Andrew Dolkart
209 FAYERWEATHER
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10091
A6830‑1 Fall 2023
Difference and Design
Justin Moore
412 AVERY / ONLINE
T 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10004
A6922‑1 Fall 2023
Ways of Experiencing
Karen Wong
209 FAYERWEATHER
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10352
A6927‑1 Fall 2023
Science + Technology Studies
Albena Yaneva Counts for AAD Vis/Tech Elective
323M FAYERWEATHER
M 11 AM - 1PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10303
A6929‑1 Fall 2023
The Reimagining of Lower Manhattan Post-Sandy
Michael Kimmelman
408 AVERY
W 9AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10304
Pla4444‑1 Fall 2023
The Future City: Transforming Urban Infrastructure
Kate Ascher
113 AVERY
TU 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
18443
Pla6272‑1 Fall 2023
New York Rising: How Real Estate Shapes a City
Kate Ascher
114 AVERY
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
13183

Introduction to Columbia’s Urban Planning Program

Lectures in Planning Series (LiPS)

Spring 2022 Lectures in Planning Series
Inés Sánchez de Madariaga
March 22, 2022

Student Work

Rio de Janeiro Data Transparency Dashboard
Video produced by as part of the Fall 2021 Urban Analytics and Human-Centered Decision Making course led by André Corrêa d'Almeida.

News

Dual Degree Programs

M.S. in Urban Planning and Master of Architecture

M.S. in Urban Planning and M.S. in Historic Preservation

M.S. in Urban Planning and M.S. in Real Estate Development

M.S. in Urban Planning and Business

M.S. in Urban Planning and International Affairs

M.S. in Urban Planning and Law

M.S. in Urban Planning and Social Work

M.S. in Urban Planning and Public Health