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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, 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
Jitendra Bajpai
Matthew Bauer
Anthony Borelli
Calvin Brown
André Corrêa d'Almeida
Ubaldo Escalante
Adam Freed
Daniel Froehlich
Ebru Gencer
Maxine Griffith
Boyeong Hong
Rebecca Karp
Emily Kurtz
Anita Laremont
Javier Lopez
Peter Marcotullio
Ariella Maron
Jonathan Martin
Jessica Mathew
Kevin McQueen
Leah Meisterlin
Olivia Moss
Kaz Sakamoto
Jeffrey Shumaker
Howard Slatkin
Kurt Steinhouse
Adam Tanaka
Jamie Torres-Springer
Graham Trelstad
Jose Luis Vallejo
Anthony Vanky
Rachel Weinberger
Kate Wittels
Douglas Woodward
Thomas Wright

Fall 2022 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
Pla4008‑1 Fall 2022
History and Theory of Planning
Hiba Bou Akar
209 FAYERWEATHER; 504 + 505 AVERY
TH 10 AM - 12 PM; 12 PM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12505
Pla4022‑1 Fall 2022
Fundamentals of Urban Digital Design
Sybil Wa
202 FAYERWEATHER
TH 3 PM - 5 PM
SES A
1.5 Points
13946
Pla4050‑1 Fall 2022
UP Elective Internship
Douglas Woodward
1.5 Points
12506
Pla4208‑1 Fall 2022
Planning Methods
Hugo Sarmiento
209 FAYERWEATHER
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12507
Pla4209‑1 Fall 2022
Planning Methods Lab
202 FAYERWEATHER
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
12508
Pla4209‑2 Fall 2022
Planning Methods Lab
202 FAYERWEATHER
W 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
12509
Pla4209‑3 Fall 2022
Planning Methods Lab
202 FAYERWEATHER
W 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
12510
Pla4320‑1 Fall 2022
Urban Design For Planners
Jeffrey Shumaker
409 AVERY
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12511
PLA6003‑1 Fall 2022
Genesis and Development of Zoning
Douglas Woodward, Anita Laremont
300 BUELL SOUTH
M 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12515
Pla6088‑1 Fall 2022
Intro to International Planning
Ebru Gencer
204 FAYERWEATHER
M 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12517
Pla6434‑1 Fall 2022
Introduction to Transportation Planning
Rachel Weinberger
300 BUELL SOUTH
TH 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12519
PLA6612‑1 Fall 2022
Planning for Justice in a Low Carbon Future
Ariella Maron, Javier Lopez
408 AVERY
M 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12520
PLA6617‑1 Fall 2022
Climate Justice in Our Own Backyard
Thaddeus Pawlowski
300 BUELL SOUTH
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12521
Pla6621‑1 Fall 2022
Local Government Authority + Big City Planning
Howard Slatkin
WARE LOUNGE
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12523
PLA6642‑1 Fall 2022
Metropolitan Planning
Thomas Wright
204 FAYERWEATHER
W 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12524
PLA6646‑1 Fall 2022
Affordable Housing
Amy Boyle, Emily Kurtz
204 FAYERWEATHER
TH 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12525
PLA6648‑1 Fall 2022
Delivering Urban Public Infrastructure: Practicum on Industrialized Cities
Jamie Torres-Springer, Jessica Mathew
300 BUELL SOUTH
M 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12526
Pla6918‑1 Fall 2022
Thesis/Capstone I Workshop
209 FAYERWEATHER
W 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12527
Pla6919‑1 Fall 2022
Thesis II/Capstone
Weiping Wu 12528
PLA6939‑1 Fall 2022
Sustainable Urban Planning and Design
Jonathan Martin
115 AVERY
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12529
PLA6941‑1 Fall 2022
Urban Analytics and Human-Centered Decision Making
André Corrêa d'Almeida
115 AVERY
M 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12531
PLA6942‑1 Fall 2022
Community Development Finance Practicum
Kevin McQueen
204 FAYERWEATHER
M 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12532
A6510‑1 Fall 2022
Neighborhood Preservation and Zoning
Carol Clark
300 BUELL NORTH
TU 6 PM - 8 PM
SES B
1.5 Points
12494
A6767‑1 Fall 2022
Preservation Planning and Policy
Erica Avrami
408 AVERY
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMSTER
3 Points
12498
PLA6009‑1 Fall 2022
Environmental Data Analysis
Peter Marcotullio, Kaz Sakamoto
300 BUELL SOUTH
M 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12516
PLA6103‑1 Fall 2022
Future Mobility Workshop
Anthony Vanky
408 AVERY
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
16096
Pla6330‑1 Fall 2022
Site Planning & Support Systems
Graham Trelstad
WARE LOUNGE
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12518
PLA6619‑1 Fall 2022
Intro to Urban Data and Informatics
Boyeong Hong
202 FAYERWEATHER
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12522
Pla6909‑1 Fall 2022
Advanced Studio III - Joint Historic Preservation/Urban Planning Studio
Erica Avrami
300 BUELL NORTH
TU 1 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
12504
Pla6925‑1 Fall 2022
Advanced Research I
Weiping Wu
FULL SEMESTER
2 or 3 Points
12530
A4164‑1 Fall 2022
Design Intelligence
Danil Nagy
115 AVERY
W 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12412
Pla4577‑1 Fall 2022
Geographic Information Systems
Leah Meisterlin
113 AVERY
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12404
Pla4578‑3 Fall 2022
GIS Lab for Arch & UD
Mario Giampieri
114 AVERY
TH 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
12406
Pla4578‑1 Fall 2022
GIS Lab I
Alanna Browdy
202 FAYERWEATHER
W 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
12512
Pla4578‑2 Fall 2022
GIS Lab II
Daniel Froehlich
202 FAYERWEATHER
TH 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
12513
A6897‑1 Fall 2022
Principles and Praxis of Spatial Justice
Ifeoma Ebo
412 AVERY
TU 3 PM - 5PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12239
A4892‑1 Fall 2022
Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
Jia Zhang
409 AVERY
F 9 AM -11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
12257
A4341‑1 Fall 2022
Traditional American Architecture
Andrew Dolkart
WARE
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10720
A6830‑1 Fall 2022
Difference and Design
Justin Moore
412 AVERY/ONLINE
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10721
Pla6272‑1 Fall 2022
New York Rising: How Real Estate Shapes the 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