Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies
The Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) is a one-year non-degree program for mid-career individuals who are or will be shaping policy in developing countries to further develop their planning, policy-making, and problem-solving skills. SPURS is a host of the Humphrey Fellowship, a Fulbright exchange program. Each year, a cohort of 12-16 Fellows engage in a flexible program of study and research focusing on the problems of urban and regional change within the broader context of development. Fellows are drawn from an extraordinary range of backgrounds and experiences, including such varied fields as architecture, sociology, economics, government, business, or from any field dealing with issues facing developing and newly industrializing countries.
The program goals are threefold: Professional development encompasses reflection on professional practice; enhancement of professional knowledge and skills; broadening perspectives on development and planning issues; development of leadership and policy-making capabilities; and collaboration and networking with practitioners and researchers. Academic enhancement involves attendance in graduate-level courses and participation in academic research and initiatives. Cultural exchange occurs through cross-cultural discussions and dialogues; volunteering for community service; and participation in cultural events and activities.
SPURS publishes an annual newsletter that highlights the year’s events and activities, captures reflections from SPURS Fellows, shares alumni updates, and includes a letter from the program director.