Subjects

The Department offers many subjects for undergraduates and graduates alike. These are broken down into core, specialized and research subjects. Each year the Department offers 25 undergraduate and more than 90 graduate subjects of instruction from which each student designs, with faculty guidance, an individual program of study that matches his or her interests and experiences. 

Many of the courses developed by DUSP faculty are provided free to the public through MIT's Open CourseWare site.

Spring Conflict Chart

Please note the following subjects with special schedules:

Spring 2017 Partial Term, 1st six weeks of term:

11.205 Introduction to Spatial Analysis
11.432 Real Estate Capital Markets
11.S941 Industrial Urbanism: Places of Production, Ashdod, Israel 
11.S952 Socially-Responsible Real Estate Development: Learning to Use Impact Assessment Tools Effectively  

Spring 2017 Partial Term, 2nd six weeks of term:

11.434 Tools for Analysis: Design for Real Estate and Infrastructure Development 
11.520 Workshop on Geographic Information Systems 

instructors
Babak Manouchehrifar
units
3-0-9U
schedule
TR (2:30-4:00) (1-135)
prerequisites
description

This course introduces undergraduates to the basic theory, institutional architecture, and practice of international development. We take an applied, interdisciplinary approach to some of the “big questions” in our field: What does development mean? Why are some countries persistently poorer than others?

instructors
Bruno Verdini
units
3-0-9U
schedule
MW (2:00-3:30) (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Introduction to negotiation strategies through theory and practice. Emphasizes a "hands-on" personal skill-building approach underpinned by foundational and cutting-edge research. Applications in government, business, nonprofit, multicultural, and interpersonal settings are examined.

instructors
units
2-0-7
schedule
R (2:00-4:00) (9-217)
prerequisites
description

Seminar on downtown in US cities from the late 19th century to the late 20th. Emphasis on downtown as an idea, place, and cluster of interests, on the changing character of downtown, and on recent efforts to rebuild it. Considers subways, skyscrapers, highways, urban renewal, and retail centers. Focus on readings, discussions, and individual research projects.

instructors
units
3-0-9U
schedule
MW (11:00-12:30) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Introduces client-oriented research and the use of urban planning tools. Students work directly with government and community agencies to find solutions to real world problems; interview planners and other field experts, and write and present findings to client and community audiences. Opportunity to travel for research.

instructors
Hannah Teicher, Aria Finkelstein
units
3-0-6U
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

This undergraduate course explores: (1) the origins of visionary urban ideas, (2) the political complexity of developing and implementing Big Plans, (3) their implications for social equity and the environment, and (4) the time and spatial scales by which to evaluate their impact.

11.125 Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating Education
instructors
Staff
units
3-6-3U
schedule
TR (2:30-4:00) (5-217)
prerequisites
description

One of two introductory subjects on teaching and learning science and mathematics in a variety of K-12 settings. Topics include student misconceptions, formative assessment, standards and standardized testing, multiple intelligences, and educational technology.

instructors
units
3-6-3U
schedule
TR (1:00-2:30) (5-134)
prerequisites
description

Explores how we learn from computer games and simulations, and delve into the process of building and testing their own simulations. First, students investigate the design and use of games and simulations in the classroom, and the research and development issues associated with desktop computer-based, handheld computer based and non-computer based media.

instructors
Greg Schwanbeck
units
3-0-9U
schedule
TR (4:00-5:30) (1-132)
prerequisites
description

Three subject sequence focusing on the theory and practice of K-12 classroom education. Subject concentrates on the theory and psychology associated with student learning. Topics include educational theory, educational psychology, and theories of learning. Classroom observation is a key component.

instructors
units
3-0-6U/H
schedule
T (3:00-5:00), R (7:00-10:00) Screening (9-217, 3-133)
prerequisites
description

Over the past 150 years, the world has moved from one characterized by rural settlement patterns and provincial lifestyles to one dominated by urbanization, industrialization, immigration, and globalization.

instructors
units
3-0-9U
schedule
TR (9:30-11:00) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

Analyzes implications of economic globalization for communities, regions, international businesses and economic development organizations. Uses spatial analysis techniques to model the role of energy resources in shaping international political economy. Investigates key drivers of human, physical, and social capital flows and their roles in modern human settlement systems.

instructors
Christopher R. Leighton
units
2-0-10U
schedule
W (7:00-9:00) (E51-285)
prerequisites
description

Considers the history and function of Shanghai, from 1840 to the present, and its rise from provincial backwater to international metropolis. Examines its role as a primary point of economic, political, and social contact between China and the world, and the strong grip Shanghai holds on both the Chinese and foreign imagination.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
T (2:00-5:00) (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Examines climate politics both nationally and globally. Addresses economic growth, environmental preservation, and social equity through the lens of sustainability. Uses various country and regional cases to analyze how sociopolitical, economic and environmental values shape climate policy. Students develop recommendations for making climate policy more effective and sustainable.

instructors
units
3-6-3U
schedule
M (2:30-5:00) (Lab), MW (2:30-4:00) (Lecture) (W31-301 (Lab), 9-255 (Lecture))
prerequisites
description

An introduction to the research and empirical analysis of urban planning issues using geographic information systems. Extensive hands-on exercises provide experience with various techniques in spatial analysis and querying databases.

instructors
units
2-2-2
schedule
M (2:00-5:00) Lab, W (2:30-4:00) (Lecture) (W31-301 (Lab), 9-255 (Lecture))
prerequisites
description

Practical introduction to spatial analysis and geographic information systems (GIS). Examines how geography is represented digitally and how nonrandom distributions of phenomena as diverse as poverty and scenic resources can be better understood by examining their spatial characteristics. Limited enrollment; preference to first-year MCP students.

instructors
units
4-2-6G
schedule
MW (11:00-12:30), WR (5:00-6:30) Recitation , F (10:30-12:00) Recitation (9-354, 5-134 W & R, 9-451 on F)
prerequisites
Restricted to first-year MCP students or Permission of instructor
description

Develops logical, empirically based arguments using statistical techniques and analytic methods. covers elementary statistics, probability, and other types of quantitative reasoning useful for description, estimation, comparison, and explanation. Emphasis on the use and limitations of analytical techniques in planning practice. Restricted to first-year MCP students.

instructors
Dayna Cunningham, Alison Coffey , Katrin Kaeufer
units
3-0-9G
schedule
R (4:00-7:00) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Participatory Action Research (PAR) is an approach to inquiry that values the knowledge and lived experience of communities affected by the problem being researched, and seeks to place greater control over question definition, research design, knowledge-building, and problem-solving in the hands of community members.

instructors
units
3-0-6U/H
schedule
T (3:00-5:00), R (7:00-10:00) Movie (9-217, 3-133)
prerequisites
description

Over the past 150 years, the world has moved from one characterized by rural settlement patterns and provincial lifestyles to one dominated by urbanization, industrialization, immigration, and globalization.

instructors
Eric Klopfer, Jason Haas
units
3-6-3G
schedule
TR (1:00-2:30) (5-134)
prerequisites
description

Understand how we learn from computer games and simulations, and delve into the process of building and testing their own simulations. First, students explore the design and use of games and simulations in the classroom, and the research and development issues associated with desktop computer-based, handheld computer based and non-computer based media.

instructors
units
4-0-8G
schedule
MW (3:30-5:30) (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Investigates social conflict and distributional disputes in the public sector. While theoretical aspects of conflict and consensus building are considered, focus is on the practice of negotiation and dispute resolution. Comparisons between unassisted and assisted negotiation are reviewed along with the techniques of facilitation and mediation.

instructors
Dennis Frenchman, Steve Weikel
units
6-0-12H
schedule
MW (2:30-5:30), M (6:00-7:30) (10-485)
prerequisites
description

Focuses on the synthesis of projects for the real estate development industry, including the integration of physical design and programming with finance and marketing. Interdisciplinary student teams analyze how to maximize value in large-scale, mixed use projects in the process of preparing professional development proposals, involving sites in US cities and internationally.

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
R (9:30-12:30) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

Examines the worldwide trends of increasing demographic complexity as it relates to the practice of planning and students’ own capabilities. Students will engage around topics of cultural competency, power analyses, and facilitative leadership through readings, guest speakers, and facilitative leadership training.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
M (1:00-4:00) (9-217)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

Studies how ubiquitous and real-time information technology can help us to understand and improve cities and regions. Explores the impact of integrating real-time information technology into the built environment. Introduces theoretical foundations of ubiquitous computing. Provides technical tools for tactile development of small-scale projects. Limited to 24.

instructors
Carlo Ratti, Ricardo Alvarez, Newsha Ghaeli
units
3-0-6
schedule
F (1:00-4:00) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

The Digital Revolution is changing the way we live today as radically as the Industrial Revolution did almost two centuries ago. As urbanization accelerates across the world, digital media and information technologies hold huge potential for understanding, designing, and managing cities.

instructors
Lauren Jacobi, Rafi Segal
units
3-0-6 / 3-0-9
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30) (3-133)
prerequisites
4.252J, 11.001J, 11.301J, or permission of instructor
description

Examines the complex development of cities through history by tracing a diachronic accumulation of forms and spaces in specific cities, and showing how significant ideas were made manifest across distinct geographies and cultures. Emphasizes how economic, spiritual, political, geographic and technological forces have simultaneously shaped and, in turn, been influenced by the city.

instructors
Marie Law Adams, Rafi Segal
units
0-12-9G / PRACTICUM
schedule
TR (1:00-6:00) (Studio )
prerequisites
description

The design of urban environments. Strategies for change in large areas of cities, to be developed over time, involving different actors. Fitting forms into natural, man-made, historical, and cultural contexts; enabling desirable activity patterns; conceptualizing built form; providing infrastructure and service systems; guiding the sensory character of development.

instructors
units
schedule
W (9:00-11:00) (10-401)
prerequisites
description

Examines innovations in urban design practice occurring through the work of leading practitioners in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning. Features lectures by major national and global practitioners in urban design.

instructors
units
2-0-7G
schedule
W (9:00-11:00) (10-401)
prerequisites
description

Examines innovations in urban design practice occurring through the work of leading practitioners in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning. Features evening or in-class lectures by major national and global practitioners in urban design.

instructors
units
2-0-7G
schedule
W (2:00-4:00) (10-401)
prerequisites
description

Examines the relationship between urban design ideals, urban design action, and the built environment through readings, discussions, presentations, and papers. Analyzes the diverse design ideals that influence cities and settlements, and investigates how urban designers use them to shape urban form.

instructors
C. Gordon
units
2-0-4H
schedule
TR (4:00-5:30) First half of the term (9-354)
prerequisites
Permission of instructor
description

Develops a strong strategic understanding of how best to deliver various types of projects in the built environment. Examines the compatibility of various project delivery methods, consisting of organizations, contracts, and award methods, with certain types of projects and owners.

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
R (6:00-9:00) (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Focuses on key business and legal issues within the principal agreements used to lease, finance, and restructure a real estate venture.

instructors
Walter Torous
units
3-0-6H
schedule
TR (1:00-2:30) (9-354)
prerequisites
15.426J, 15.401, or permission of instructor
description

Investigates the economics and finance of securitization, a practice that allows illiquid assets to be transformed into more liquid securities. Considers the basic mechanics of structuring deals for various asset-backed securities. Investigates the pricing of pooled assets, using Monte Carlo and other option pricing techniques, as well as various trading strategies used in these markets.

instructors
units
3-0-6H
schedule
MW (9:30-11:00) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Presents a theory of comparative differences in international housing outcomes. Introduces institutional differences in the ways housing expenditures are financed, and the economic determinants of housing outcomes, such as construction costs, land values, housing quality, and ownership rates.

instructors
units
3-0-9H
schedule
TR (2:30-4:00) (10-401)
prerequisites
description

Analysis of local and state power to regulate land use and development. Particular emphasis on the evolution of planning and zoning regulations, and the perceived narrowing of the relationship between public improvements requirements and development impact.

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
R (3:00-6:00) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

Examines the history and dynamics of international environmental treaty-making, or what is called environmental diplomacy. Emphasizes climate change and other atmospheric, marine resource, global waste management and sustainability-related treaties and the problems of implementing them.

instructors
T. Kochan
units
3-6-3
schedule
W (4:00-7:00) (E62-223)
prerequisites
description

Examines opportunities and challenges involved in building and growing businesses that achieve high financial performance and provide good jobs and careers to employees. Students engage participants in the MITx online course title Shaping the Future of Work to learn about the expectations and employment experiences of workers across the world.

instructors
units
2-0-1H / PRACTICUM
schedule
()
prerequisites
description

Field-based Practicum in which 12 DUSP students selected by application will prepare for a two week stay in Malaysia during which they will work, under the close supervision of DUSP faculty and faculty at the Universiti of Teknologi of Malaysia(UTM) to assess the sustainable development efforts of regional development agencies in Penang, Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru.  The overa

instructors
P. Osterman
units
3-0-9
schedule
M (3:00-5:00) (E62-350)
prerequisites
description

Discusses the broader trends in the labor market, how urban labor markets function, public and private training policy, other labor market programs, the link between labor market policy and economic development, and the organization of work within firms.

instructors
units
2-0-4H
schedule
T (3:00-4:30); R (2:30-4:00) First half of the term, Recitation T 5:30-7:00 (9-354)
prerequisites
11.431, 15.401, 15.402, or 15.407
description

Introduces real estate capital markets for institutional investors. Topics include real estate investment trusts (REIT), commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), and private equity. Concepts and techniques for investment analysis include portfolio theory and equilibrium asset pricing. Additional topics may include price indexing and derivatives.

instructors
units
2-0-4G
schedule
TR (4:00-5:30) Second half of the term, Recitation T 5:30-7:00 (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Introduction to analytical tools to support design and decision-making in real estate, infrastructure development, and investment. Particular focus on identifying and valuing sources of flexibility using "real options," Monte-Carlo simulation, and other techniques from the field of engineering systems.

instructors
units
4-0-11H / PRACTICUM
schedule
T (3:00-4:30), R (2:00-5:00) (10-485)
prerequisites
11.401 or 11.301, and 11.328
description

Workshop explores the integration of economic development and physical planning interventions to revitalize urban commercial districts.

instructors
Reinhard Goethert
units
3-0-6H
schedule
W (5:00-7:00) (1-371)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

Considers a new interdisciplinary paradigm of practice that regards dialogue among practitioners and users essential for efficacious and creative design and planning process. Focuses on non-traditional client groups: communities, the poor, and the generally excluded middle-income.

instructors
units
3-0-9H
schedule
T (9:30-12:30) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Water and sanitation services are increasingly inundated fields of both study and practice.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
R EVE (6:00-9:00) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

Studies current urban controversies over affordable housing, land redevelopment, and public space, with special attention to property rights. Reviews how law, economics, sociology and planning theories frame these issues and interplays them with spatial approaches of urban design and geography.

instructors
units
2-2-2H
schedule
MW (2:30-4:00) (Lecture), M (2:30-5:00) (Lab) (W31-301 (Lab), 9-255 (Lecture))
prerequisites
description

An introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) as applied to urban and regional planning, community development, and local government. Emphasis on learning GIS technology and spatial analysis techniques through extensive hands-on exercises using real-world data sets such as the US census of population and housing.

instructors
units
3-3-6H
schedule
T (4:00-7:00) Lab, R (5:00-6:30) Lecture (W31-301 (Lab), 9-450B (Lecture))
prerequisites
description

Extends the computing and geographic information systems (GIS) skills developed in 11.520 to include spatial data management in client/server environments and advanced GIS techniques. First half covers the content of 11.523, introducing database management concepts, SQL (Structured Query Language), and enterprise-class database management software.

instructors
units
2-2-2H
schedule
T (4:00-7:00) Lab, R (5:00-6:30) Lecture (W31-301 (Lab), 9-450B (Lecture))
prerequisites
description

The fundamentals of database management systems as applied to spatial analysis. Includes extensive hands-on exercises using real-world planning data. Introduces database management concepts, SQL (Structured Query Language), and enterprise-class database software. Same content as first half of 11.521. First half of term. Prerequisites: 11.204 or permission of instructor

instructors
units
H
schedule
T (4:00-7:00) Lab, R (5:00-6:30) Lecture (W31-301 (Lab), 9-450B (Lecture))
prerequisites
description

Learning and utilizing advanced geographic information system techniques in studio/lab setting with real-world client problem and complex digital spatial data infrastructure. Projects typically use the client and infrastructure setting for 11.521. Credit cannot also be received for 11.521 in the same semester. Second half of term. Prerequisites: 11.523 or permission of instructor

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30) (5-234)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

Focuses on the integration of land use and transportation planning, drawing from cases in both industrialized and developing countries. Reviews underlying theories, analytical techniques, and the empirical evidence of the land use-transportation relationship at the metropolitan, intra-metropolitan, and micro-scales.

instructors
Staff
units
3-0-9H
schedule
TR (4:00-5:30) (1-150)
prerequisites
1.201 or permission of instructor
description

Discusses evolution and role of urban public transportation modes, systems and services, focusing on bus and rail. Describes technological characteristics and their impacts on capacity, service quality, and cost. Current practice and new methods for data collection and analysis, performance monitoring, route and network design, frequency determination, and vehicle and crew scheduling.

instructors
J. Coughlin
units
3-0-9H
schedule
F (2:00-5:00) (1-150)
prerequisites
Permission of the instructor
description

Examines the economic and political conflict between transportation and the environment. Investigates the role of government regulation, green business and transportation policy as a facilitator of economic development and environmental sustainability.

instructors
units
3-0-6H
schedule
W (9:00-12:00) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

Seminar focused on helping to doctoral students to do learn how to craft an argument, a fundamental building block of independent scholarship, including using theory to frame an argument; moving from data to an argument; and writing a literature review with a critical point of view. Builds on first year paper proposal developed in 11-233, as well as data gathered over the IAP period.

instructors
Julie Newman
units
3-0-9G
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30) (9-451)
prerequisites
description

The purpose of this course is to explore the theory and application of the principles of sustainable development as they relate to organizational change management, decision-making processes, goal setting methodology and solution development.

instructors
Peter Del Tredici
units
3-0-9H
schedule
T (2:00-5:00) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

This limited enrollment course will focus on the structure, function and history of managed and unmanaged urban natural areas.

instructors
Jason Jackson
units
TBA
schedule
T (2:00-5:00) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

TBA

instructors
units
3-0-9G / PRACTICUM
schedule
F (9:00-12:30) , First Half of Semester (9-217)
prerequisites
description

The Practice-based Research Workshop is an international collaboration with Tel-Aviv University Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design and MISTI MIT-Israel.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
MW (9:30-11:00) (4-253)
prerequisites
description

TBA

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
MW (9:30-11:00) (9-217)
prerequisites
description

Data visualization is an important way for architects, planners, and policy experts to communicate with the public and its use has increased dramatically.

instructors
Hashim Sarkis , Roi Salgueiro
units
schedule
R (10:00-12:00) (9-217)
prerequisites
description

Globalization, in its different meanings, has exerted a singular conception of the world.  While we are working hard to understand its impact on the political and economic levels, its less-than-satisfactory spatial manifestations have yet to find the adequate tools to address them.

instructors
Bish Sanyal, Arindam Dutta , James Wescoat
units
15 units / PRACTICUM
schedule
W (2:00-5:00) (9-425)
prerequisites
description

This is a field-based practicum jointly offered by SA+P faculty and faculty at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur to study contemporary patterns of urbanization in medium-sized cities in India where the phenomenon is no longer geographically and geo-economically limited to the precincts of what are administratively defined as “cities.” The practicum is a mutual collaboration be

instructors
units
2-0-10G
schedule
W (3:00-5:00) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Combines state of the art research on evictions and displacement globally, in the context of the global crisis of evictions and land grabbing, with the state of the art policy and practice on responses to displacement.

instructors
Dennis Frenchman, Gilad Rosenzweig, Anthony Vanky , Matthew Claudel
units
2-4-6G
schedule
W (5:30-7:30), F (9:00-1:00) (10-485)
prerequisites
description

This workshop is designed to assist students in Architecture, Planning, Media, Real Estate, and Art to design innovative ideas, products, services, and firms that will improve the built environment.

instructors
units
2-0-7
schedule
M (9:00-11:00) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

This course will draw on the Dream Revisited blog, created by the NYU Furman Center, as well as background articles that the many contributors draw on in making their arguments.  We will start by exploring trends in economic and racial segregation in U.S.

instructors
units
3-0-3
schedule
T 11:00-12:30 (9-217)
prerequisites
description

Through a series of colloquium sessions and a two-day workshop, open to the full DUSP department community, this subject examines the crucially important relationship between finance, geography, and sustainability.

instructors
Lawrence Susskind, Shifu Wang
units
Arranged
schedule
F (9:00-11:00), First Half of Semester (9-451)
prerequisites
description

This will be a five week blended course offered at the beginning of the Spring 2017 semester. It will build on the newly-completed MOOC on Socially-Responsible Real Estate Development created by the STL Lab. Students will be expected to devote 5 hours a week to taking the 5 modules (one per week).  They will complete three hours of online work once a week.

instructors
units
2-0-6G
schedule
W (2:00-5:00) (9-217)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

Seminar focused on understanding how theories of infrastructure are common to many systems that make up the modern city, including energy, water, transportation, and telecommunications; and how these theories and infrastructures are implemented in practice.

instructors
Mary Jane Daly
units
0-0-6
schedule
Arranged (Arranged )
prerequisites
description

Provides practical experience through internships secured by the student in the field of urban planning.

instructors
Jason Jackson
units
3-0-6
schedule
M (5:30-7:30) (9-451)
prerequisites
description

This course is intended for MCP students preparing to conduct international field research. The class will introduce the basics of field research, including different types of data collection and qualitative data analysis techniques. Over the course of the semester, students will develop their ideas for their thesis project and prepare a thesis proposal.

instructors
A.C. Kemp
units
3-0-9
schedule
MW (12:30-2:00) (1-277)
prerequisites
description

Focuses on techniques, format, and prose used in academic and professional life. Emphasis on writing required in fields such as economics, political science, and architecture. Short assignments include business letters, memos, and proposals that lead toward a written term project. Methods designed to accommodate those whose first language is not English.

instructors
Miho Mazereeuw, Adam Norige, Jarrod Goentzel
units
3-3-6
schedule
M (1:00-4:00) (3-329)
prerequisites
description

Introduction