M.S. Urban Planning

The Columbia University Master of Science in Urban Planning is an accredited two-year program of professional education. Actively engaged in practice, our curriculum connects the study of the urban built environment with grounded analysis of socioeconomic and political conditions. We explore the tensions between market forces, civil society, and the goals of planning, paying special attention to the role of urban analytics and the quest for social justice. Students learn to evaluate and shape efforts to develop and enhance cities and their communities in ways that foster healthy and sustainable living.

Located in New York City, our program promotes a global outlook. We look to planning issues locally and internationally for studio projects, classroom case studies, and thesis research. By studying the impact of global linked processes (e.g. immigration and climate change) as well as local conditions on cities and communities, we think creatively about planning and policy approaches to improve processes and outcomes in cities around the world.

Planning education promotes the redistribution of resources and social justice in cities as much as the creation of wealth. Our students connect challenges of urban development, sustainability and equity with the political and socioeconomic conditions that define them. They learn to engage and assess the increasing abundance and availability of data to address urban problems and inform planning efforts. Throughout the curriculum, the emphasis is on real-world problems and how planners can act to improve the lives of urban residents.

Being part of GSAPP, our program connects with design, preservation, and real estate faculty and professionals to add to ideas and techniques developed by planners and social activists. We also offer a range of curriculum and dual-degree options within and beyond GSAPP for students interested in additional content expertise and skills. Our graduates work in critical and leading roles in government, private firms, nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, multilateral institutions, and international NGOs.

Curriculum

The faculty shares a core pedagogic belief that the best professional education takes place in an environment of learning by doing, reinforced by classroom work and group projects. Planners must have a thorough understanding of the economic, social, political, legal, and physical forces that shape the built environment.

Curriculum offerings equip students with familiarity with the range of analytic and research techniques used by planners, practical skills through a semester-long studio project and other class projects, and competency in both general and specialized knowledge of planning. Students are required to choose at least one concentration area among four options: Built Environment, Community and Economic Development, International Planning and Development, and Urban Analytics. Students take a minimum of four courses and 12 points in a concentration.

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 deliverables that results will reflect critical analysis of socioeconomic, environmental, and political conditions as well as stakeholder engagement, and encourage students to consider “best practices” in planning and innovative 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
Jennifer Chang
Clara Chung
Ryan Devlin
Charles Euchner
Flores A. Forbes
Maria Garces Marques
Ebru Gencer
Maxine Griffith
Leon Hovsepian
Purnima Kapur
David Karnovsky
Rebecca Karp
Adam Lubinsky
Peter Marcotullio
Jonathan Martin
Victoria Mason-Ailey
Andrew McGee
Brendan McLaughlin
Leah Meisterlin
Lee Miller
Andrea Rizvi
Kaz Sakamoto
Ethel Sheffer
Kairos Shen
Howard Slatkin
Valerie Stahl
Jamie Torres Springer
Graham Trelstad
Jose Luis Vallejo
Anthony Vanky
Rachel Weinberger
Adam Weinstein
Kate Wittels
Douglas Woodward
Thomas Wright

Fall 2019 Courses

Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
Pla4008‑1 Fall 2019
History and Theory of Planning
Ryan Devlin REQUIRED 1ST YEAR
114 AVERY HALL; 203 FAY, 204 FAY , 320M FAY,
M 10 AM - 12 PM ; 12 PM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41356
Pla4022‑1 Fall 2019
Fundamentals of Urban Digital Design
Jennifer Chang, Andrew McGee
204 FAYERWEATHER; UP COMPUTER LAB
F 2 PM - 4 PM; LAB F 4 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41512
Pla4050‑1 Fall 2019
UP Elective Internship
with approval only-via application
FULL SEMESTER
1.5 Points
41513
Pla4208‑1 Fall 2019
Planning Methods
Malo Hutson, Valerie Stahl REQUIRED 1ST YEAR
209 FAYERWEATHER
W 9 AM -11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41413
Pla4209‑1 Fall 2019
Planning Methods Lab
UP COMPUTER LAB
M 2 PM - 4 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
41357
Pla4209‑2 Fall 2019
Planning Methods Lab
UP COMPUTER LAB
M 4 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
41358
Pla4209‑3 Fall 2019
Planning Methods Lab
UP COMPUTER LAB
TH 4 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
41359
Pla4577‑1 Fall 2019
Geographic Information Systems
Leah Meisterlin REQUIRED 1ST YEAR
113 AVERY
TU 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41514
Pla4578‑1 Fall 2019
GIS Lab I
Kaz Sakamoto REQUIRED 1ST YR
UP COMPUTER LAB
TU 7 PM - 9 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
41360
Pla4578‑2 Fall 2019
GIS Lab II
Clara Chung REQUIRED 1ST YR
UP COMPUTER LAB
TH 6 PM - 8 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
41361
Pla4578‑3 Fall 2019
GIS Lab for Architecture and Urban Design
CAP 20
202 FAYERWEATHER
F 1 PM - 3 PM
FULL SEMESTER
0 Points
41362
PLA6009‑1 Fall 2019
Introduction to Environmental Analysis
Peter Marcotullio
UP COMPUTER LAB
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41521
Pla6014‑1 Fall 2019
Public Space in the Private Realm
Ethel Sheffer
300 BUELL SOUTH
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
10315
Pla6088‑1 Fall 2019
Introduction to International Development
Ryan Devlin, Clarisa Bencomo
204 FAYERWEATHER
TU 5 PM - 7 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41417
Pla6217‑1 Fall 2019
Techniques of Project Evaluation
Moshe Adler
204 FAYERWEATHER
TH 2 PM - 4 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41533
Pla6330‑1 Fall 2019
Site Planning & Support Systems
Graham Trelstad
204 FAYERWEATHER
F 9 AM - 11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41367
Pla6434‑1 Fall 2019
Introduction to Transportation Planning
Rachel Weinberger
115 AVERY HALL
TU 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41423
Pla6526‑1 Fall 2019
Chinese Urbanism in Global Context
Weiping Wu
300 BUELL SOUTH
W 3 PM - 5 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41528
Pla6586‑1 Fall 2019
Writing the City
Charles Euchner
204 FAYERWEATHER
M 4 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41535
PLA6617‑1 Fall 2019
Resilient Planning Practicum: A Green New Deal for Appalachia
Thaddeus Pawlowski
204 FAYERWEATHER
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41426
PLA6619‑1 Fall 2019
Urban Informatics I
Anthony Vanky
204 FAYERWEATHER
TU 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41371
Pla6641‑1 Fall 2019
Practicum: Global Practices in Risk Reduction & Resilience
Ebru Gencer
204 FAYERWEATHER
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
SESSION B
1.5 Points
41551
PLA6642‑1 Fall 2019
Metropolitan Planning
Thomas Wright
209 FAYERWEATHER
TH 4 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41552
PLA6643‑1 Fall 2019
Community Outreach & Engagement: A Harlem Practicum
Maxine Griffith, Victoria Mason-Ailey, Flores A. Forbes
209 FAYERWEATHER
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41553
PLA6645‑1 Fall 2019
Prototyping for Urban Policy & Decision-Making
Clara Chung, Kaz Sakamoto
UP COMPUTER LAB
M 6 PM - 8 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41554
PLA6646‑1 Fall 2019
Affordable Housing in High Demand Cities
Purnima Kapur, Adam Weinstein
204 FAYERWEATHER
W 5 PM - 7 PM
SESSION A
1.5 Points
41555
PLA6647‑1 Fall 2019
Project Management: From Idea to Execution
Rebecca Karp
204 FAYERWEATHER
TH 9 AM - 11 AM
SESSION B
1.5 Points
41556
PLA6648‑1 Fall 2019
Delivering Urban Public Infrastructure: Practicum on Industrialized Cities
Jamie Torres Springer
204 FAYERWEATHER
TH 6 PM - 8 PM
SESSION A
1.5 Points
41557
Pla6918‑1 Fall 2019
Thesis I/Capstone I Workshop
Lance Freeman REQUIRED 2nd YR
209 FAYERWEATHER, 320M FAY, 321M FAY, 323M FAY, 204 FAY, 203 FAY
W 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41516
A6510‑1 Fall 2019
Neighborhood Preservation and Zoning
Carol Clark
300 BUELL NORTH
SESSION A
1.5 Points
41544
Pla6909‑1 Fall 2019
Advanced Studio III - Joint Historic Preservation/Urban Planning Studio
Erica Avrami, William Raynolds
300 BUELL NORTH
TU 2 PM - 6 PM
FULL SEMESTER
6 Points
41429
Pla6925‑1 Fall 2019
Advanced Research I
Weiping Wu BY APPOINTMENT
NA
NA
FULL SEMESTER
2-3 Points
41517
A6708‑1 Fall 2019
Sustainable Retrofits
Michael Adlerstein
655 SCHER- CONSERVA LAB
W 11 AM- 1 PM
SESSION B
1.5 Points
41470
A4892‑1 Fall 2019
Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
Jia Zhang
408 AVERY HALL
F 9 AM -11 AM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
15270
A6785‑1 Fall 2019
Theory of City Form
Vishaan Chakrabarti All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
209 FAYERWEATHER
F 11 AM -1 PM
FULL SEMSTER
3 Points
41412
A4861‑1 Fall 2019
Footprint: Carbon and Design
David Benjamin
115 AVERY
TH 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
17879
A6783‑1 Fall 2019
Narrative Urbanism: Strategic Storytelling For Designers and Planners
Cassim Shepard All GSAPP Interdisciplinary
115 AVERY HALL
F 11 AM - 1 PM
FULL SEMESTER
3 Points
41474
A6944‑1 Fall 2019
Power and Preservation
Erik Langdalen
655 SCHER- CONSERVA LAB
9/30-10/4 6 PM-8 PM; M, T, W, TH 9-11 AM and F 6-8 
SESSION A 9/30-10/4
3 Points
41409
P4050‑1 Fall 2019
UP Elective Internship
Mike Montilla OPEN TO UP II ONLY VIA APPLICATION
FULL SEMESTER
1.5 Points
41513
Introduction to Columbia’s Urban Planning Program
Video produced by Urban Planning students as part of the course “Hong Kong as a Palimpsest: Transit-Induced Redevelopment in To Kwa Wan” led by Weiping Wu and Jose Luis Vallejo.
RIO: DESIGN THINKING FOR HEALTH URBAN ENVIRONMENT
Video produced by Urban Planning students of the Spring 2017 course “Rio: Design Thinking for Health Urban Environment”, taught by Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo.
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

Close
This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice.