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 2015 Graduate Conflict Chart

Please note the following subjects with special schedules:

Spring 2015 Partial Term, 1st six weeks of term:

11.237 The Theory of Participatory Action Research (PAR),
11.334 Innovative Project Delivery in the Public and Private Sectors
11.432 Real Estate Capital Markets
11.523 Fundamentals of Spatial Database Management

Spring 2015 Partial Term, 2nd six weeks of term:

11.434 Tools for Analysis: Design for Real Estate and Infrastructure Development
11.524 Advanced Geographic Information Systems Project

Specific Dates:

11.S951 Regional Ocean and Coastal Zone Planning and Management Working Group meets on 2/9, 2/23, 3/9, 4/6, 5/4

instructors
units
3-0-9U
schedule
TR (2:30-4:00) (4-145)
prerequisites
description

Examines the evolving structure of cities and the way that cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas can be designed and developed. Surveys the ideas of a wide range of people who have addressed urban problems. Stresses the connection between values and design. Demonstrates how physical, social, political and economic forces interact to shape and reshape cities over time.

instructors
Todd Schenk, Greg Barron
units
3-0-9U
schedule
TR (2:30-4:00) (37-212)
prerequisites
description

Introduction to negotiation theory and practice. Applications in government, business, and nonprofit settings are examined. Combines a "hands-on" personal skill-building orientation with a look at pertinent theory.

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

Seminar on the history of institutions and institutional change in American cities from roughly 1850 to the present. Among the institutions to be looked at are political machines, police departments, courts, schools, prisons, public authorities, and universities. Focuses on readings and discussions.

instructors
units
3-0-9U
schedule
MW (11:00-12:30) (10-401)
prerequisites
description

Examines the evolving structure of cities, the dynamic processes that shape them, and the significance of a city's history for its future development. Develops the ability to read urban form as an interplay of natural processes and human purposes over time. Field assignments in Boston provide the opportunity to use, develop, and refine these concepts. Enrollment limited.

instructors
units
3-0-9U
schedule
MW (9:00-10:30) (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
Linda Shi, Michael Wilson
units
3-0-6U
schedule
TR (9:30-11:00) (10-401)
prerequisites
description

This undergraduate course is designed around four modules that highlight the origins of visionary ideas and the political complexity of developing and implementing Big Plans, their implications for social equity and the environment, and the time and spatial scales by which to evaluate their impact. Lectures by the instructors, faculty, and practitioners present U.S.

11.125 Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating Education
instructors
Justin Reich
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) (E15-359)
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
MW (2:30-4:00) Recitation, R (7:00-10:00) Screening (9-451, 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
MW (1:00-2:30) (9-354)
prerequisites
description

An required alternate subject for the energy minor emphasis, this class introduces students to basic concepts and methods of analysis used across the social sciences, with a special emphasis on the geography of energy resources, to understand how the production, distribution and consumption of energy are determined and experienced across global economic contexts.

instructors
Christopher R. Leighton
units
2-0-10U
schedule
T (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
3-6-3U
schedule
M (2:30-5:00) (Lab), W (2:30-4:00) (Lecture) (W31-301 (Lab), (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
4-2-6G
schedule
MW (11:00-12:30) (9-354)
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
units
3-3-6G
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30) (10-401)
prerequisites
description

Surveys uses of qualitative methods in urban design and planning research and practice. Topics include observing environments, physical traces, and environmental behavior; asking questions; focused interviews; standardized questionnaires; use of written archival materials; use of visual materials, including photographs, new media, and maps; case studies; and comparative methods.

instructors
units
3-0-3H
schedule
MW (5:00-6:30) (10-401)
prerequisites
description

Introduction to the practice of case study research and more generally to competing ideas about context-independent vs. context-dependent knowledge, arguments for and against generating theory on the basis of a single case, and problems of verification in participatory action research (i.e. disconfirming the researcher’s preconceptions).

instructors
units
3-0-6U/H
schedule
MW (2:30-4:00) Recitation, R (7:00-10:00) Movie (9-451, 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) (E15-341)
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
Elizabeth Hermann
units
3-0-6
schedule
M (9:00-12:00) (4-146)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

Focuses on water in environmental planning, policy, and design. Draws together faculty and students who are working on water-related research projects to develop and maintain a current perspective on the field from the site to metropolitan and international scales.

instructors
T. Kochan
units
Arranged
schedule
R (4:00-7:00) (E62-346)
prerequisites
description

Examines opportunities and challenges involved in building and growing businesses that achieve high financial performance and returns to society. An anchor course for the social dimensions of sustainability and serves as an elective Sloans Sustainability Certificate program.

instructors
Reinhard Goethert
units
3-0-3
schedule
See Instructor (See Instructor)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

Meets once a week — day TBA

Interdisciplinary projects and interactive practices in urban settlement issues as investigated by MIT's SIGUS (Special Interest Group in Urban Settlements), with a focus on developing countries throughout the world. Participation by guest practitioners. Additional work required of students taking the graduate version.

instructors
units
3-0-9H
schedule
MW (9:30-11:00) (9-451)
prerequisites
14.03, 14.04
description

The practice of regional development utilizes economic theory to explain how (primarily) economic forces lead to and perpetuate spatial variation across geographic space. Regional theory seeks to explain not only why activities vary across location, but it also provides the motive force behind changes over time.

instructors
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

This course is required for all 1st-year PhD students and designed to help them prepare their first-year papers and begin planning their doctoral theses. The course assumes all students have completed 11.233 (Research Design for Policy and Planning) during the fall.

instructors
units
3-0-6H
schedule
Arranged ()
prerequisites
description

Required subject for all first year PhD students. Students develop a first year research paper completed in consultation with the students' advisor.

instructors
units
3-0-9H
schedule
R (2:00-5:00) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

This course is organized around three broad topics that cut across policy sectors and political/geographic jurisdictions. 1) Representing policy problems, including how situations become defined as public problems and different modes of portraying problems (narratives, numbers, causal stories, photos, maps, and classification schemes).

instructors
Andrea Chegut
units
3-0-0 P/D/F
schedule
R (11:30-1:00) (9-354)
prerequisites
description

The course's core objective is for students to explore the economic drivers and outcomes of innovation within the context of real estate development. Technological change, innovation and disruption are important dynamics within real estate development. Students will discover an array of innovative real estate development opportunities in buildings, land and technology space.

CDD

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
6-0-9H / PRACTICUM
schedule
TR (2:00-7:00) (10-485)
prerequisites
description

Introduces the range of practical approaches involved in evaluating and planning sites within the context of natural and cultural systems. Develops the knowledge and skills to analyze and plan a site for development through assignments and a client-based project.

instructors
Carlo Ratti, Ricardo Alvarez
units
3-0-6H
schedule
F (10:00-1:00) (10-401)
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
units
3-0-6 H / 3-0-9H
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30) (3-133)
prerequisites
4.252J, 11.001J, 11.301J, or permission of instructor
description

Why and how are cities made? What forces have shaped cities through time? And how has the physical urban form of the city structured power relations?

instructors
units
0-12-9 PracticumG
schedule
T (1:00-6:00) (Studio)
prerequisites
description

It is common knowledge today that the World is urbanizing at high speed. Urban thinkers are confronted with the statis- tics that five billion of us will be living in urban areas by 2030, meaning that one million people per week will be joining the urban life in many contexts of our planet in the next fifteen years.

instructors
units
2-0-7G
schedule
M (12:30-2:30) (10-485)
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
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
3-0-9H
schedule
T (9:00-12:00) (10-485)
prerequisites
description

Social media networks, crowd sourcing, cell phone applications all allow us to see and understand cities and our role within them using a new lens. This workshop class will investigate the use of social media and digital technologies for planning and advocacy by working with actual planning and advocacy organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate prototype digital tools.

instructors
units
H
schedule
M (2:00-5:00) (10-401)
prerequisites
description

The 2010 Economist Series, The Data Deluge, edited by Neil Cukier peaked everyone’s excitement about the possibilities of Big Data. Corporations, such as IBM, Cisco and Microsoft saw one of the biggest markets for this data to be cities and created programs specifically to cater to those groups.

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
F (11:00-2:00) (10-485)
prerequisites
description

This workshop experiments with emerging trends in the fields of landscape architecture and urbanism as they relate to MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism’s (CAU) biannual special topic: “The Future of Suburbia.” Modern suburban development has endured in our cultural imagination for almost a century.

EPP

instructors
units
3-0-9H
schedule
R (2:00-5:00) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

Considers the theory and practice of urban sustainability. Introduces concepts of environmental sustainability, systems dynamics, ecological footprints, and environmental indicators. Investigates cutting-edge practices of cities in the US and around 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
Frank Ackerman
units
3-0-9H
schedule
W (2:00-5:00) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Examines the joint economic and environmental problems of electricity production, focusing on the U.S. electrical system and national and state policy.

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

Focuses on community resilience, including disaster resilience, and climate change adaptation.

instructors
units
Arranged
schedule
Every other M (12:30-2:00) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

Regional ocean planning (also known as marine planning) is, according to the White House, “a science-based tool that regions can use to address specific ocean management challenges and advance their economic development and conservation objectives.

HCED

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
W (2:00-5:00) (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
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

Building on 11.351, studies key issues of principal asset management agreements, through the lens of the real estate developer/investor, in connection with the value creation, financing and restructuring phases of a real estate venture. Value creation phase focuses on negotiating office and retail leases.

instructors
Walter Torous
units
3-0-6H
schedule
TR (8:30-10:00) (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
Thomas Kochan
units
3-0-9H
schedule
F (9:00-12:00) (E62-346)
prerequisites
description

This course will focus on innovations occurring at local and state levels as seedbeds for future national employment policies.  We will examine how this has occurred in earlier points in history (e.g.

instructors
units
2-0-4H
schedule
TR (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

The evolving organization and operation of real estate capital markets. Sources of real estate capital. Primary and secondary mortgage markets. The investment behavior of real estate assets. The development of REITs and securitized debt markets. Advanced pricing techniques for complex real estate securities. First half of the term subject. Prerequisites: 11.431, 15.401, 15.402, or 15.407

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

Introduction to analytical tools to support design and decision-making in real estate and infrastructure development. Particular focus on identifying and valuing sources of flexibility using real options, Monte-Carlo simulation, and other techniques from the field of engineering systems. Integrates economic and engineering perspectives, and is suitable for students with various backgrounds.

instructors
units
4-0-11H / PRACTICUM
schedule
T (2:00-3:30), R (2:00-4:30) (3-401)
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
units
3-0-12H / PRACTICUM
schedule
R (2:00-5:00) (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Provides students with an opportunity to do team projects in the Dudley neighborhood as part of a ongoing commitment of DUSP to work with the DSNI on projects ranging from the building design, housing, energy, food systems, education, economic cooperatives, community arts and citizen engagement.

instructors
units
3-0-9H
schedule
M (2:00-5:00) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

This course begins with readings on the subjects of politics and planning, that is, the people. The initial classes will discuss the lives and perspectives of blacks, working class whites, and immigrants as illuminated through fictional narratives. The aim is to ground democracy’s potential within its principal components—the people themselves.

IDG

instructors
Cauam Cardoso
units
3-0-9U
schedule
TR (2:30-4:00) (1-150)
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
units
3-0-6H
schedule
MW (9:30-11:00) (9-354)
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
3-0-6H
schedule
MW (9:30-11:00) (9-354)
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
Reinhard Goethert
units
3-0-6H
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30) (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
Reinhard Goethert
units
3-0-9H
schedule
MW (11:00-12:30) (1-277)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

This course explores the divergent motivations and resultant dynamics among international funders, national ministries, local authorities and project benefactors in housing projects. Issues of development are tested against actual projects in a comparative format.

instructors
Susan Murcott
units
3-0-6
schedule
TR (9:30-11:00) (N51-350)
prerequisites
description

Focuses on disseminating water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) innovations in developing countries, especially among underserved communities. Structured around field-based learning, case studies, lectures and videos. Emphasis on core WASH principles, culture-specific solutions, appropriate and sustainable technologies, behavior change, social marketing and building partnerships.

instructors
units
3-0-9H
schedule
T (9:00-12:00) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

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

instructors
units
2-0-10H
schedule
W (11:00-1:00) (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Examines the role of law in development and introduces economic and legal theories. Topics include formality/informality of property, contracts and "bargaining in the shadow" of the law, institutions for transparency and accountability, legitimation of law, sequencing of legal reform, and international economic law aspects.

instructors
units
2-2-8H
schedule
W (5:00-7:00) (9-451)
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
Calestous Juma
units
3-0-9H
schedule
W (2:00-5:00) (1-371)
prerequisites
description

This seminar explores the role of science, technology, and innovation in international development. It is inspired by the seminal work of Joseph Schumpeter, The Theory of Economic Development, published in 1912. Drawing from contemporary economic developments, it aims to achieve four main objectives.

instructors
Jason Jackson
units
3-0-9H
schedule
T (3:00-5:00) (4-261)
prerequisites
description

Do markets constitute a morally fair and economically efficient means of societal organization? Why have market institutions and logics become so pervasive in modern society?

instructors
Jason Jackson
units
3-0-6
schedule
M (3:00-5:00) (9-450B)
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.

Transportation

instructors
units
3-0-9H
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

Examines the behavioral foundation for policy design, using urban transportation examples. Introduces multiple frameworks of understanding behavior, contrasting perspectives of classic economic theory with behavioral economics and social psychology, suggests corresponding policy interventions, and establishes a mapping between behavior, theory and policy. Presents a spectrum of instruments for

instructors
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.

UIS

instructors
units
3-3-6H
schedule
T (4:00-7:00) Lab, R (5:00-6:30) Lecture (W31-301 (Lab), 9-251 (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), 9-251 (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), 9-251 (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