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.

Fall Conflict Chart

Please note the following subjects with special schedules:

Fall 2016 Partial Term, 1st six weeks of term:

11.203 Microeconomics
11.205 Introduction to Spatial Analysis
11.236 The Theory of Participatory Action Research 
11.430 Leadership in Real Estate 

Fall 2016 Partial Term, 2nd six weeks of term:

11.202 Gateway: Planning Economics 
11.345 Entrepreneurship in Construction & Real Estate Development
11.520 Workshop on Geographic Information Systems 

instructors
units
3-0-9U
schedule
MW (11:00-12:30) (2-105)
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
Andrea Campbell
units
4-0-8U
schedule
MW (9:30-11:00) (4-237)
prerequisites
description

Examines how the struggle among competing advocates shapes the outputs of government. Considers how conditions become problems for government to solve, why some political arguments are more persuasive than others, why some policy tools are preferred over others, and whether policies achieve their goals.

instructors
units
2-0-7U
schedule
TR (9:30-11:00) (9-255)
prerequisites
description

Explores the evolution of poverty and economic security in the U.S. within a global context. Examines the impacts of recent economic restructuring and globalization. Reviews current debates about the fate of the middle-class, sources in increasing inequality, and approaches to advancing economic opportunity and security.

instructors
units
3-0-9U
schedule
MW (3:00-4:30) (9-255)
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
2-0-7U
schedule
T (2:00-4:00) (9-217)
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
2-0-7U
schedule
R (2:00-4:00) (9-217)
prerequisites
description

Seminar on the history of selected features of the physical environment of urban America. Among the features considered are parks, cemeteries, tenements, suburbs, zoos, skyscrapers, department stores, supermarkets, and amusement parks. Focuses on readings and discussions.

instructors
Nicholas Ashford, Charles Caldart
units
3-0-9U
schedule
TR (3:30-5:00) (E51-057)
prerequisites
description

Introduction to important issues in contemporary environmental law, policy, and economics. Discusses the roles and interactions of Congress, federal agencies, state governments, and the courts in dealing with environmental problems.

instructors
Amy Smith
units
3-2-7U/G
schedule
MWF (3:30-5:00) (N51-310)
prerequisites
description

Issues in international development, appropriate technology and project implementation addressed through lectures, case studies, guest speakers and laboratory exercises. Students form project teams to partner with community organizations in developing countries, and formulate plans for an optional IAP site visit.

instructors
units
3-0-9U
schedule
TR (2:30-4:00) (56-154)
prerequisites
description

One of two introductory subjects on teaching and learning science and mathematics in a variety of K-12 settings. Topics include education and media, education reform, the history of education, simulations, games, and the digital divide.

instructors
Reen Gibb
units
3-0-9U
schedule
TR (4:00-5:30) (1-134)
prerequisites
description

Concentrates on core set of skills and knowledge necessary for teaching in secondary schools. Topics include classroom management, student behavior and motivation, curriculum design, educational reform, and the teaching profession. Classroom observation is a key component.

instructors
units
3-0-9U/G
schedule
MW (11:00-12:30) (8-205)
prerequisites
description

Focuses on financing tools and program models to support local economic development. Provides an overview of private capital markets and financing sources to understand capital market imperfections that constrain economic development, business accounting, financial statement analysis, federal economic development programs, and public finance tools.

instructors
units
3-0-9U
schedule
M (2:00-5:00) (9-217)
prerequisites
description

Introduces frameworks for analyzing and addressing inequalities in the distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. Explores the foundations and principles of the environmental justice movement from the perspectives of social science, public policy, and law. Applies environmental justice principles to contemporary issues in urban policy and planning.

instructors
C. Wilder
units
3-0-9
schedule
W (7:00-10:00) (2-135)
prerequisites
description

Examines the evolution of New York City from 1607 to the present. Readings focus on the city's social and physical histories. Discussions compare New York's development to patterns in other cities.

instructors
P. Christopher Zegras, Jason Jackson
units
4-1-7G
schedule
MW (11:00-12:30), F (12:00-1:30) R01, F (1:30-3:00) R02, F (1:30-3:00) R03, F (3:00-4:30) R04, F (3:00-4:30) R05 (9-354, 9-450A (R01), 9-450A (R02), 9-450B (R03), 9-450A (R04), 9-451(R05))
prerequisites
description

Introduces the profession of urban and regional planning. Emphasizes the key sensibilities necessary for effective planning practice as well as professional writing and oral communication skills.

instructors
Ingrid Gould Ellen
units
2-0-2G
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30), H2, R (5:00-6:30) R01, R (6:30-8:00) R02, F (10:30-12:00) R03 (9-354, 9-450A (R01 & R02), 9-451 (R03))
prerequisites
description

Introduces applications of microeconomic theory to planning problems including urban form and structure, government's role in urban settings and problems of housing finance.

instructors
Ingrid Gould Ellen
units
3-0-5G
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30), H1 (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Introduces basic economic analysis for planning students including the functioning of markets, the allocation of scarce resources among competing uses, profit maximizing behavior in different market structures. Course illustrates theory with contemporary economic issues.

instructors
units
2-2-2G / H1
schedule
MW (2:30-4:00) Lecture, M,T,W,R (5:00-7:00) Lab (9-354, Lec, W31-301, Lab)
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.

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
T (9:30-12:30) (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Develops skills in research design for policy analysis and planning. Emphasizes the logic of the research process and its constituent elements. Topics include philosophy of science, question formulation, hypothesis generation and theory construction, data collection techniques (e.g. experimental, survey, interview), ethical issues in research, and research proposal preparation.

instructors
units
3-0-3G
schedule
MW (5:00-6:30), Partial Term (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Introduction to the theory of action research and more generally to competing ideas about the uses of social research to promote social change.  Focus will be on the epistemological foundations for action research, knowledge generation in action research, the role of the “friendly outsider,” action science and organizational learning, participatory evaluation and arguments for

instructors
units
2-0-1G
schedule
F (12:00-1:30) (9-450B)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

Seminar dissects ten transportation studies from head to toe to illustrate how research ideas are initiated, framed, analyzed, evidenced, written, presented, criticized, revised, extended, and published, quoted and applied. Students design and execute their own transportation research. 

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
TR (9:30-11:00) (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Examines both the structure of cities and ways they can be changed. Includes historical forces that have produced cities, models of urban analysis, contemporary theories of urban design, implementation strategies. Core lectures supplemented by discussion sessions focusing on student work and field trips.

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
M (2:00-5:00) (10-401)
prerequisites
description

Examines the urban environment as a natural phenomenon, human habitat, medium of expression, and forum for action. Subject has two related, major themes: how ideas of nature influence the way cities are perceived, designed, built, and managed; and how natural processes and urban form interact and the consequences of these for human health safety and welfare. Enrollment limited. 

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
W (2:00-6:00) (10-485)
prerequisites
description

Explores photography as a disciplined way of seeing, or investigating urban landscapes and expressing ideas. Readings, observations, and photographs form the basis of discussions on light, detail, place, poetics, narrative, and how photography can inform design and planning. Enrollment limited.

instructors
units
4-2-9G
schedule
W (6:00-9:00), F (9:00-1:00) (10-485)
prerequisites
description

The Urban Design Skills course introduces urban planning students to methods for observing, interpreting, representing, and transforming the urban environment.

instructors
units
0-12-9G / PRACTICUM
schedule
TR (1:00-6:00) (10-485)
prerequisites
description

Terra-Sorta-Firma: Seeking Resilient Urbanism in the C-11 Basin

General Description

instructors
John Kennedy
units
2-0-4 / H2
schedule
R (3:00-5:30) (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Explains the role of the entrepreneur in the built environment using case studies to outline different steps in developing real estate, construction, architectural and related enterprises. Emphasizes strategic marketing and implementation of the plan in the development of these businesses. Addresses the progression of an idea, from an opportunity to a sustainable business.

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

Studies key issues of principal development- phase agreements, through the lens of the real estate developer, in connection with the site con- trol, entitlement, capitalization, and construction phases of a real estate development venture.

instructors
units
3-0-3G
schedule
T (1:00-2:30) (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Examines the fundamentals of real estate development products, including residential, hotel, office, research and development/lab, and retail uses. Includes faculty lectures, guest presentations, and field trips to local case study projects. Prepares MSRED candidates for the spring Real Estate Development Studio. Core requirement for MSRED candidates.

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

Seminar and fieldwork on strategies of planning and control for growth and land use, chiefly at the municipal level. Growth and its local consequences; land use planning approaches; implementation tools including innovative zoning and regulatory techniques, physical design, and natural systems integration. Projects arranged with small teams serving municipal clients.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
M (2:00-5:00) (9-217)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

Introduces frameworks for analyzing and addressing inequalities in the distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. Explores the foundations and principles of the environmental justice movement from the perspectives of social science, public policy, and law. Applies environmental justice principles to contemporary issues in urban policy and planning.

instructors
Michael Golay
units
3-1-8G
schedule
TR (3:00-5:00), F (1:00) (32-155, 32-144)
prerequisites
description

Assessment of current and potential future energy systems. Covers resources, extraction, conversion, and end-use technologies, with emphasis on meeting 21st-century regional and global energy needs in a sustainable manner.

instructors
Janelle Knox-Hayes, Susan Solomon
units
3-0-9G
schedule
M (3:00-6:00) (54-1623)
prerequisites
description

Examines the role of science in the U.S. environmental policymaking process. Part I examines the methods by which scientists learn about the natural world; the treatment of science by experts, advocates, the media, and the public; and the way science is used in legislative, administrative and judicial decision making.

instructors
units
3-0-6
schedule
T (9:00-12:00) (1-375)
prerequisites
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. Limited to 15.

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

 

instructors
units
3-0-9H
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30) (9-451, W31-301 (Thursday) )
prerequisites
description

Introduces a suite of tools representing the basic set of practices used in the development field. Presents a Wealth Creation framework that focuses on place, improving livelihoods, incentivizing collaboration, creating multiple forms of wealth, and promoting local ownership. Students work with web-based tools designed for use in a professional setting.

instructors
Gloria Schuck
units
3-0-3G / H1
schedule
MW (10:30-12:00) (9-357)
prerequisites
description

Designed to help students deepen their understanding of leadership and increase self-awareness. They examine authentic leadership styles and create goals and a learning plan to develop their capabilities. They also participate in activities to strengthen their "leadership presence" - the ability to authentically connect with people's hearts and minds.

instructors
units
4-0-8G
schedule
MW (4:00-5:30) Lec, M (5:30-7:00) Rec (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Concepts and techniques for analyzing financial decisions in property development and investment. Topics: leasing and property income streams, pro forma analysis, equity valuation, tax analysis, options, risk, and the financial structuring of real property ownership.

instructors
units
4-0-8G
schedule
TR (11:00-12:30) Lec, M (9:00-10:30) Rec (4-270 Lec, 9-354 Rec)
prerequisites
description

Develops an understanding of the economic factors that shape and influence the markets for real property. Includes an analysis of housing as well as commercial real estate, and covers demographic analysis, regional growth, construction cycles, urban land markets and location theory. Exercises and modeling techniques for measuring and predicting property demand, supply, vacancy and prices.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
MW (2:30-4:00) Lecture (9-357)
prerequisites
description

Provides an overview of affordable and mixed-income housing development for students who wish to understand the fundamental issues and requirements of urban scale housing development, and the process of planning, financing and developing such housing. Students gain practical experience assembling a mixed-income housing development proposal.

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
MW (11:00-12:30) (8-205)
prerequisites
description

Focuses on financing tools and program models to support local economic development. Provides an overview of private capital markets and financing sources to understand capital market imperfections that constrain economic development, business accounting, financial statement analysis, federal economic development programs, and public finance tools.

instructors
Reinhard Goethert
units
3-0-9H
schedule
R (9:00-12:00) (1-375)
prerequisites
Permission of instructor
description

Examines dynamic relationship among key actors: beneficiaries, government, and funder. Emphasis on cost recovery, affordability, replicability, user selection, and project administration. Extensive case examples provide basis for comparisons. 

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
W (4:00-6:30) (E51-376)
prerequisites
description

The Schumpeterian notion of technological innovation as "the engine of growth" is being challenged as the globalization of trade is increasingly seen as the driving force of industrial economies.

instructors
R. Goethert
units
Arranged
schedule
W (5:00-6:30) (2-103)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

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
Amy Smith
units
3-2-7U/G
schedule
MWF (3:30-5:00) (N51-310)
prerequisites
description

Issues in international development, appropriate technology and project implementation addressed through lectures, case studies, guest speakers and laboratory exercises. Students form project teams to partner with community organizations in developing countries, and formulate plans for an optional IAP site visit.

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

Examines legal and institutional arrangements for the establishment, transfer, and control over property under American and selected comparative systems including India and South Africa. Focuses on key issues of property and land use law regarding planning and economic development.

instructors
units
2-2-2G / H2
schedule
MW (2:30-4:00) Lecture, M,W,R (5:00-7:00) Lab (9-354, Lec, W31-301, Lab)
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
Frederick Salvucci, Michael Murga
units
3-0-9G
schedule
F (2:00-5:00) (5-217)
prerequisites
description

Studies the history, policy, practice and politics of urban transportation.

instructors
C. Osorio, J. Orlin
units
3-1-8G
schedule
TR (10:30-12:00) Lec, R (4:00-5:00) Rec (3-370 Lec, 3-370 Rec)
prerequisites
description

Problem-motivated introduction to methods, models and tools for the analysis and design of transportation networks including their planning, operations and control. Capacity of critical elements of transportation networks. Traffic flows and deterministic and probabilistic delay models.

instructors
Moshe Ben-Akiva
units
3-1-8G
schedule
TR (2:30-4:00) Lec, F (11:00-12:00) Rec (2-105 Lec, 2-105 Rec)
prerequisites
description

Covers the key principles governing transportation systems planning and management. Introduces the microeconomic concepts central to transportation systems. Topics include economic theories of the firm, consumer, and market, demand models, discrete choice analysis, cost models and production functions, and pricing theory.

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
TR (9:30-11:00) (56-167)
prerequisites
description

First subject in the Environmental Policy and Planning sequence. Reviews philosophical debates concerning growth and scarcity vs. deep ecology. Examines the ongoing policy debate concerning "command-and-control" vs. market-oriented approaches to regulation. Considers the debate regarding the importance of expertise vs. indigenous knowledge.

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
TR (3:30-5:00) (E51-057)
prerequisites
description

Reviews and analyzes federal and state regulation of air and water pollution and hazardous wastes. Analyzes pollution as an economic problem and the failure of markets. Emphasizes use of legal mechanisms and alternative approaches (such as economic incentives and voluntary approaches) to control pollution and to encourage chemical accident and pollution prevention.

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
TR (9:30-11:00) (9-450B)
prerequisites
Restricted to first-year MCP and SPURS students.
description

Studies interaction between planners and institutions at different scales, from local to global/transnational. Emphasizes a historical and institutional approaches to development planning. Includes an overview of theories of development, state, organizational arrangements, and implementation mechanisms.

instructors
units
3-0-3G
schedule
R (11:00-12:30) Seminar, W (12:30-2:00) Debate (9-450B (Seminar), 9-255 (Debate))
prerequisites
description

Brings together DUSP faculty and others to debate key issues in applied planning theory. Sessions focus on questions of livability, territoriality, governance, and reflective practice. Subject is required for first-year DUSP PhD candidates, but the six debate sessions are open to the full department community. 

instructors
Wesley Harris
units
schedule
T (3:00-5:00) (4-251)
prerequisites
description

This seminar is an introduction to iHouse, New House's newest living/learning community focused on developing the next generation of global leaders. The seminar is mandatory for freshmen who choose to live in iHouse, with limited space for non-iHouse freshmen. If you hope to live in iHouse, please list 11.A11 among your seminar choices on the Advising application.

instructors
units
2-0-4
schedule
T (3:00-5:00) (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Using stories "ripped from the headlines" (both old and new), this course will introduce you to the strange, wonderful, and incredibly relevant world of urban planning.

instructors
Peter Del Tredici
units
3-0-9G
schedule
TR (2:00-3:30) (9-450B)
prerequisites
description

Urban ecology can be distinguished from its natural systems counterpart by the integration of human cultural practices into the study of biological and geological systems.

instructors
Bish Sanyal, Cauam Ferreira Cardoso
units
2-0-10G
schedule
W (4:00-6:00) (10-401)
prerequisites
description

This is an advanced seminar which will analyze the effectiveness of developmental and planning theories from the perspective of practitioners who implement projects and policies
based on such theories. The course will be organized around twelve implementation puzzles which should be considered for re-theorizing both developmental and planning

instructors
Bob Simha, Joost Bonsen
units
6
schedule
T (4:00-6:00) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Understanding MIT is a special seminar on the challenges of designing & building research university campuses and crafting conditions for a supportive & vibrant learning community. We invite the senior academic, administrative, and trustee leadership of MIT to share with us what they do to help the Institute stay vital in the short, medium, and long term.

instructors
Mariana Arcaya, Justin Steil, Ingrid Gould Ellen
units
3-0-9H
schedule
W (2:00-4:00) (9-217)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

This seminar will allow students to explore critical unanswered questions in housing policy and community development. Students will both critique existing studies and learn to design and execute their own research to shed light on current debates.

instructors
units
4-0-8 / PRACTICUM
schedule
W (2:00-6:00) (9-255A)
prerequisites
description

The Roxbury Neighborhood Design and Planning Workshop

Introduction and Purpose

instructors
units
3-0-3G
schedule
MW (9:30-11:00) (M 9-255, W 10-485, 9-217, 9-451A)
prerequisites
description

Required subject for MCP students.

instructors
units
3-0-9U
schedule
F (12:00-3:00) (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Designed for students writing a thesis in Urban Studies and Planning or Architecture. Develop research topics, review relevant research and scholarship, frame research questions and arguments, choose an appropriate methodology for analysis, and draft introductory and methodology sections.