SPURS Application


SPURS is designed for mid-career professionals who hold positions of responsibility in public or private, for-profit or not-for-profit organizations concerned with urban, regional, and rural development. Their background should be substantial and may be in fields as diverse as architecture, business, economics, engineering, geography, government, and sociology. The principal eligibility requirements for admission are an advanced degree or five or more years of work experience in a related field, or both. All applicants admitted must have a good command of English as shown by a minimum TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computer-based test, or 100 on the internet-based test.

MIT Research Appointment

Fellows may be admitted as Visiting Scholars or Research Fellows.

Visiting Scholar – Fellows must be in possession of a Ph.D. or an equivalent advanced degree, and must have made distinguished contributions in fields that are relevant to the areas of study in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT.

Research Fellows – Fellows with significant work experience may be admitted as Research Fellows. These Fellows are pursuing a non-degree program and do not take subjects for credit. This option applies to Fellows awarded support by selected U.S. government agencies, international organizations, or by their own governments.

Program Cost and Living Expenses

Program Cost

The program fee for the academic year of 2021-2022 is $14,500.

Living Expenses

In addition, Fellows will have to meet living expenses. In 2021-2022, these expenses are estimated at $2,950/month for a single Fellow. Health insurance for a single Visiting Scholar or Research Fellow for 2021-2022 is about $5,000 for twelve months. All Fellows are expected to be fully funded by foundations or by their government, university, or other relevant organization. 

SPURS does not provide any form of fellowship. Most Fellows secure funding from outside sources.

Application for admission to the SPURS non-degree program


The application deadline for the academic year running from September 2021 through June 2022 is JANUARY 31st, 2022.

Applicants will be notified of acceptance by the end of March or early April. Late applications may be considered upon the availability of space.

How to Apply

Please download and print a paper copy of the application form (see link below). Submit 3 letters of recommendations, university transcripts, and Toefl score. Please send complete application forms to spurs-program@mit.edu.