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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 Program Manager: Emily Junker.

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, there is a real client with a real-world issue that will be analyzed by students working as a team under the direction of faculty. The resulting deliverables reflect critical analyses of socioeconomic, environmental, and political conditions as well as stakeholder engagement, and encourage students to consider innovative practices in planning and critical thinking. Studio takes place in the spring of the students’ first year, and is thus not a “capstone” project but a way of integrating classroom learning with practical experience early in the students’ education.
Current Faculty
Moshe Adler
Jitendra Bajpai
Andrea Batista Schlesinger
Clarisa Bencomo
Anthony Borelli
Clara Chung
Vin Cipolla
Charles Euchner
Peter Flamm
Flores A. Forbes
Ebru Gencer
Maxine Griffith
Boyeong Hong
Leon Hovsepian
Purnima Kapur
Rebecca Karp
Adam Lubinsky
Peter Marcotullio
Ariella Maron
Jonathan Martin
Victoria Mason-Ailey
Thomas Matarazzo
Brendan McLaughlin
Leah Meisterlin
Kate Owens
Andrea Rizvi
Carsten Rodin
Kaz Sakamoto
Kairos Shen
Howard Slatkin
Anna Stokes
Jamie Torres Springer
Graham Trelstad
Jose Luis Vallejo
Rachel Weinberger
Adam Weinstein
Kate Wittels
Douglas Woodward
Thomas Wright

Fall 2020 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
Pla4008‑1 Fall 2020
History and Theory of Planning
Hiba Bou Akar
Online
M 10 AM - 12 PM; 12 PM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11901
Pla4050‑1 Fall 2020
UP Elective Internship
Emily Junker
FULL SEMESTER
1.5 Points
11903
Pla4208‑1 Fall 2020
Planning Methods
Malo Hutson, Boyeong Hong
Online
W 9 AM -11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11904
Pla4209‑1 Fall 2020
Planning Methods Lab I
Online
M 4 PM - 6 PM
0 Points
11905
Pla4209‑2 Fall 2020
Planning Methods Lab II
Online
M 6 PM - 8 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
11906
Pla4209‑3 Fall 2020
Planning Methods Lab III
Online
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
11907
Pla4577‑1 Fall 2020
Geographic Information Systems
Leah Meisterlin
Online
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11759
Pla4578‑3 Fall 2020
GIS Lab for UD
Carsten Rodin
202 FAYERWEATHER
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
0 Points
11760
Pla4578‑1 Fall 2020
GIS Lab I
Kaz Sakamoto
UP COMPUTER LAB
F 11 AM - 1 PM
0 Points
11909
Pla4578‑2 Fall 2020
GIS Lab II
Anna Stokes
UP COMPUTER LAB
TH 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
0 Points
11911
Pla4578‑4 Fall 2020
GIS Lab for UD
Carsten Rodin
Online
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
22788
PLA6003‑1 Fall 2020
Genesis and Development of Zoning
Douglas Woodward, Purnima Kapur
Online
W 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11916
PLA6009‑1 Fall 2020
Environmental Data Analysis
Peter Marcotullio, Kaz Sakamoto
Online
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11918
Pla6088‑1 Fall 2020
Intro to International Planning
Kate Owens
Online
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11919
Pla6330‑1 Fall 2020
Site Planning & Support Systems
Graham Trelstad
Online
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11920
Pla6434‑1 Fall 2020
Introduction to Transportation Planning
Rachel Weinberger
Online
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11921
Pla6526‑1 Fall 2020
Chinese Urbanism in Global Context
Weiping Wu
Online
W 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11922
Pla6573‑1 Fall 2020
Community Development Planning
Lance Freeman
Online
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11923
PLA6612‑1 Fall 2020
Transformational Planning Frameworks for Equitable Climate Action
Ariella Maron
Online
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
15726
PLA6617‑1 Fall 2020
Resilient Urban Systems
Thaddeus Pawlowski
Online
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11925
PLA6619‑1 Fall 2020
Intro to Urban Data and Informatics
Boyeong Hong
Online
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11926
PLA6642‑1 Fall 2020
Metropolitan Planning
Thomas Wright
Online
TH 4 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11927
PLA6647‑1 Fall 2020
Project Management: From Idea to Execution
Rebecca Karp
Online
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
SES B
1.5 Points
12811
PLA6648‑1 Fall 2020
Delivering Urban Public Infrastructure: Practicum on Industrialized Cities
Jamie Torres Springer
Online
TH 6 PM - 8 PM
SES A
1.5 Points
12812
Pla6918‑1 Fall 2020
Thesis I Workshop
Weiping Wu
WARE LOUNGE, 209 FAYERWEATHER , 409 AVERY HALL
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11929
Pla6919‑1 Fall 2020
Urban Planning Thesis II
Weiping Wu
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
22789
Pla6930‑1 Fall 2020
Quantitative Methods
Lance Freeman
Online
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11930
A6767‑1 Fall 2020
Preservation Planning and Policy
Erica Avrami
Online
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11894
Pla6925 Fall 2020
Advanced Research I
Weiping Wu
NA
NA
FULL SEMESTER
2-3 Points
13066
A4861‑1 Fall 2020
Footprint: Carbon and Design
David Benjamin
Online
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
11772
A4892‑1 Fall 2020
Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
Jia Zhang
Online
F 9 AM -11 AM
FULL SEMSTER
3 Points
11269
A6883‑1 Fall 2020
Public Interest Technology: Cities, Design, Code, Reporting
Laura Kurgan
Online
F 11 AM- 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12925
A6944‑1 Fall 2020
Power and Preservation
Brent Leggs
Online
MTWRF 6 PM - 8 PM
10/12 - 10/23
1.5 Points
12808
Introduction to Columbia’s Urban Planning Program

Lectures in Planning Series (LiPS)

Fall 2020 Lectures in Planning Series
Joan Fitzgerald
September 22, 2020

Student Work

“Crisscrossing the Park” by Elaine Hsieh
Completed during the Spring 2020 Urban Informatics II course led by Anthony Vanky. Read more about the project here.
Recent 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