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M.S. in Urban Planning: 27 points in required courses, and 33 points in a concentration (at least 12 points) and electives of students’ own choosing. Students may take courses offered in the Urban Planning Program; the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; or other departments and schools at Columbia to fulfill some or all of their elective requirements. Each student is required to complete a Master’s thesis or professional capstone during the second year of study.

View details of Dual Degrees between Urban Planning and other programs here.


Semester 1 — Fall
15-19 points
History and Theory of Planning (3 points)
Geographic Information Systems (3 points)
Planning Methods (3 points)
Electives/Concentration Courses (6+ points)
Semester 2 — Spring
15-19 points
Economics for Planners (3 points)
Planning Law (3 points)
Planning Studio (6 points)
Electives/Concentration Courses (3+ points)
Semester 3 — Fall
15-19 points
Thesis I or Professional Capstone I (3 points)
Electives/Concentration Courses (12+ points)
Semester 4 — Spring
15-19 points
Thesis II or Professional Capstone II (3 points)
Electives/Concentration Courses (9 points)


Built Environment
Planning of the built environment balances competing demands on the land and environment brought about by urban and rural growth. This concentration prepares students to work with stakeholders to guide public and private development processes in ways that ensure an adequate supply of land and resources to meet people’s present and future needs, while complying with environmental and fiscal requirements.
Community and Economic Development
Planning education promotes the redistribution of resources and social justice in cities as much as the creation of wealth. This concentration prepares students to undertake community and neighborhood planning and decision-making, local economic development, and/or housing and redevelopment activities. Students examine resource, institutional and socioeconomic issues at various spatial scales, paying particular attention to disadvantaged population and communities.
International Planning and Development
This concentration prepares students to work with governments, NGOs, consulting firms, and international development agencies around the world. Students receive multidisciplinary training to understand the impact of global flows as well as local conditions on cities and communities in various world regions and to think creatively about planning approaches in developing countries.
Urban Analytics
This concentration prepares students to engage and assess the increasing abundance and availability of data to address urban problems, collaborate on design projects for the built environment, and inform planning efforts within a variety of contexts and practices. Students acquire skills in data science and visualization, spatial and statistical analysis, and research design with stakeholder engagement, in addition to the planning skills taught in the core curriculum.