Degree Programs

The Department trains practitioners in planning, development and design and prepares scholars for advanced research and teaching.


The Department offers the Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Studies and Planning (PhD) degree. Approximately 12 candidates join the Department each year.

Master in City Planning

The Department offers a 2-year Master in City Planning, a professional degree with specialization in one of four areas. The Master in City Planning (MCP) program is the largest degree program at DUSP, accepting 60-65 new students each fall.

Master of Science

Under special circumstances, admission may be granted to candidates seeking a one-year Master of Science (SM) degree.

Bachelor of Science

DUSP also sponsors an undergraduate major, offering a Bachelor of Science in Planning (SB), as well as the opportunity for three different undergraduate minors.

Non-degree Programs


The Department offers three non-degree programs, whose activities are interwoven with the degree programs:

Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies

The Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) program provides the opportunity for mid-career professionals who are or will be shaping policy in developing countries to enhance their planning and problem-solving capacities. Each academic year, 12 to 15 qualified individuals carry out a program of study and research focusing on the problems of urban and regional change within the broader context of development.

SPURS is an intentionally flexible program of study with the option of a non-degree program or an MS degree. This flexibility allows Fellows to design a course of study that best suits their individual needs and interests, to work closely with the IDG faculty on independent research projects, and to interact with the entire DUSP community. Fellows contribute to the intellectual life of DUSP by sharing their professional experiences and research findings, and sometimes serve as guest lecturers.

SPURS Fellows come from an extraordinary range of backgrounds and experiences. Over the past 35 years, more than 450 Fellows have come from 83 countries. They are drawn from any field in which there is a concern with problems of development, including planning, architecture, sociology, economics, government and business. While at MIT, they are exposed to new theories and approaches from other Fellows, faculty, and other practitioners--ideas which they can later apply in their home countries.

For more information, please visit the SPURS web site at:

Community Innovators Lab

The Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) supports the mission of DUSP by bringing together the best thinking in planning and information technology with the learned experience of community practitioners.

CoLab is a research and development (R&D) institute focused on understanding the relationships among reflective practice, community development and social change. Its work explores technological infrastructure and community information systems as intrinsic components of that research agenda. CoLab brings R&D in reflective practice to community work to effect social change, and brings community practitioners to MIT to enrich the learning environment for students and faculty. CoLab uses community-based knowledge, academic resources, and information technologies as tools to transform community development practice.

In addition to its work with communities, CoLab supports opportunities for leading community practitioners to attend seminars at MIT to learn how to bring reflection into their work. CoLab also works with grant-making organizations to promote learning practices with grantees working to effect community change.

For more information, please visit the CoLab web site at: