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 their interests and experiences. 

Many of the courses developed by DUSP faculty are provided free to the public through MIT's Open CourseWare site.

Conflict Chart

 

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
MW 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (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
Karilyn Crockett
units
4-0-8U
schedule
TR 1:00-2:30 PM , R1 R 3:00 - 4:00 PM , R2 R 4:00 - 5:00 PM , R4 F 11:00 - 12:00 , R4 F 12:00 - 1:00 PM (Lecture: 1-190, R1 1-150, R2 1-150, R3 1-132, R4 1-132)
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
3-0-9U
schedule
M W 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (9-255)
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 tactical and strategic foundations.

instructors
A. Pope
units
3-0-9
schedule
T 7:00 - 10:00 PM (56-162)
prerequisites
description

Focuses on a series of short, complicated, traumatic events that shed light on American politics, culture, and society. Events studied may include the rendition of Anthony Burns in 1854, the most famous fugitive slave controversy in US history; the Homestead strike/lockout of 1892; the quiz show scandal of the 1950s; and the student uprisings at Columbia University in 1968.

instructors
Bish Sanyal, Amy Smith
units
3-2-7U/G
schedule
MW (3:30-5:00), F (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
Jinhua Zhao, John Moavenzadeh, Bill Aulet
units
3-3-6
schedule
MW (11:30-1:00) (E25-117)
prerequisites
description

This course is designed for students who aspire to shape the future of mobility. The course explores technological, policy, behavioral and systems-wide frameworks for innovation in transportation systems, complemented with case studies across the mobility spectrum, from autonomous vehicles to urban air mobility to last-mile sidewalk robots.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
TR 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Provides a critical introduction to the shape and determinants of political, social, and economic inequality in America, with a focus on racial and economic justice. Explores the role of the city in visions of justice.

instructors
units
2-4-6
schedule
F (10:00-12:00) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Provides an opportunity for MIT students to become certified in methods of assessing the vulnerability of public agencies (particularly agencies that manage critical urban infrastructure) to the risk of cyberattack. Certification involves completing an 8-hour, self-paced, online set of four modules during the first four weeks of the semester followed by a competency exam.

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

IIntroduces tools and techniques in economic development planning. Extensive use of data collection, analysis, and display techniques. Students build interpretive intuition skills through user experience design activities and develop a series of memos summarizing the results of their data analysis.

instructors
units
4-0-8
schedule
MW 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (9-255)
prerequisites
Prereq: 11.011 OR Permission of instructor
description

Building on the skills and strategies honed in 11.011, explores advanced negotiation practice. Emphasizes an experiential skill-building approach, underpinned by cutting-edge cases and innovative research.

instructors
units
3-6-3U
schedule
TR 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM (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) (56-167)
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
Jinhua Zhao, Andrew Salzberg
units
3-3-6
schedule
M 2:00 - 5:00 PM (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Focuses on measuring and reducing emissions from passenger transportation. After examining travel, energy, and climate conditions, students review existing approaches to transport decarbonization. Evaluates new mobility technologies through their potential to contribute to (or delay) a zero emission mobility system.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
MW (9-10:30) (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Data visualizations communicate the insights found in data to non-technical audiences. Students develop technical skills to work with a big data to expose societal issues and communicate the insights. Focuses on different topics each year. After framing that topic, the first half of the subject focuses on learning to analyze the data with Python. The second half of the subject focuses on learni

instructors
units
1-3-2
schedule
F (12:00-1:00) (9-451, Meets ____ to _____ )
prerequisites
description

Combines online weekly face-to-face negotiation exercises and in-person lectures designed to empower budding entrepreneurs with negotiation techniques to protect and increase the value of their ideas, deal with ego and build trust in relationships, and navigate entrepreneurial bargaining under constraints of economic uncertainty and complex technical considerations.

instructors
units
3-0-9U/G
schedule
TR 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Examines efforts in developing and advanced nations and regions. Examines key issues in the current and future development of urban energy systems, such as technology, use, behavior, regulation, climate change, and lack of access or energy poverty. Case studies on a diverse sampling of cities explore how prospective technologies and policies can be implemented.

instructors
units
3-3-6
schedule
MW 2:30 - 4:00 PM , Lab F 1:00 - 4:00 PM (Lecture: 9-354, Lab: 9-554 )
prerequisites
description

This course is an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS): tools for visualizing and analyzing spatial data. GIS is an invaluable tool that can make maps, guide decisions, answer questions, and advocate for change. The class builds toward a project in which students will critically apply GIS techniques to an area of interest.

instructors
units
4-1-7
schedule
Lecture: MW 11:00 - 12:30 PM , R1 F 3:00 - 4:30 PM , R2 F 1:30 - 3:00 PM , R3 F 1:30 - 3:00 PM (Lecture: 37-212, R1 9-450A, R2 9-450A, R3 10-485)
prerequisites
description

Introduces the theory and practice of planning and urban studies through exploration of the history of the field, case studies, and criticisms of traditional practice.

instructors
units
2-2-2G / H1
schedule
MW 2:30 - 4:00 PM , MTR 4:30 - 6:30 PM (9-354 Lecture , 9-554 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
4-2-6G
schedule
TR 11:00 - 12:30 PM Lecture , R EVE R1 (5:00-6:30) Recitation , R EVE R2 (6:30-8:00) Recitation , R EVE R3 5:00 - 6:30 PM Recitation (Lecture 4-237, R1 9-450A, R2 9-450A, R3 9-450B)
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
3-0-9G
schedule
T 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM (9-217)
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
H1 ()
prerequisites
description

This course introduces students to Participatory Action Research (PAR), an approach to research and inquiry that enables communities to examine and address consequential societal problems.

instructors
units
3-0-3
schedule
H2 ()
prerequisites
Students must complete 11.236 in order to register for 11.237
description

This course introduces students to Participatory Action Research (PAR), which is an approach to research and inquiry that enables communities to examine and address consequential societal problems.

instructors
units
2-0-1
schedule
F 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM (9-451)
prerequisites
Enrollment limited and permission required from the 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
1-0-2
schedule
F 12:00 - 1:00 PM (9-255)
prerequisites
description

Survey of the latest transportation research offered by 12 MIT faculty each presenting their ongoing research. Students are required to attend the classes, read the assigned articles, and write a brief reflection memo.  

instructors
units
2-0-7
schedule
T 6:00 - 8:00 PM (9-450A)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

Through extensive reading and writing, students explore the promise and perils of the variegated city, focusing on topics that demand urgent attention: migration, climate change, inequality, racial injustice, and public space.

instructors
units
1-3-2
schedule
F (12:00-1:00) (9-451, Meets ____ to _____ )
prerequisites
description

Combines online weekly face-to-face negotiation exercises and in-person lectures designed to empower budding entrepreneurs with negotiation techniques to protect and increase the value of their ideas, deal with ego and build trust in relationships, and navigate entrepreneurial bargaining under constraints of economic uncertainty and complex technical considerations.

instructors
units
2-4-6
schedule
F (10:00-12:00) (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Provides an opportunity for MIT students to become certified in methods of assessing the vulnerability of public agencies (particularly agencies that manage critical urban infrastructure) to the risk of cyberattack. Certification involves completing an 8-hour, self-paced, online set of four modules during the first four weeks of the semester followed by a competency exam.

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

Addresses the field of urban design, how cities have developed, the relationship of urban design to society, and how cities are being designed and developed around the world. Comprised of four units providing insights on how history and theory of city design has evolved in contemporary sities.

instructors
units
2-0-1G
schedule
W 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM (9-255)
prerequisites
description

Seminar studies how the messy and complex forces of politics, planning and the real estate market have collectively shaped Boston's urban fabric and skyline in the last two decades.

instructors
units
4-2-9G
schedule
F (9:00-1:00), W (6:00-9:00) (F: 10-485, W: 9-554)
prerequisites
description

Introduces methods for observing, interpreting, and representing the urban environment. Students draw on their senses and develop their ability to deduce, question, and test conclusions about how the built environment is designed, used, and valued. The interrelationship of built form, circulation networks, open space, and natural systems are a key focus.

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

Through a studio-based course in planning and urban design, builds on the foundation acquired in 11.328 to engage in creative exploration of how design contributes to resilient, just, and vibrant urban places.

instructors
Rafi Segal
units
0-12-9G
schedule
TR 1:00 - 6:00 PM (STUDIO)
prerequisites
11.328 or prior design degree
description

This studio course brings architecture and planning students together develop visionary design proposals for complex urban environments.

instructors
Svafa Gronfeldt, Gilad Rosenzweig , Dennis Frenchman
units
2-0-4 / H1
schedule
W 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Introduction to entrepreneurship and how it shapes the world we live in. Through experiential learning in a workshop setting, students start to develop entrepreneurial mindset and skills.

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

Focuses on key business and legal issues within the principal agreements used to control, entitle, capitalize, and construct a mixed-use real estate development.

instructors
units
3-0-9G / PRACTICUM G
schedule
MW 4:00 - 5:30 PM (9-217)
prerequisites
description

Seminar, workshops and fieldwork on strategies to use municipal land use regulations to shape urban growth and equity. The practicum workshop builds skills in civic engagement, policy-relevant research, zoning regulations, and physical design and planning.

instructors
Michael Golay
units
3-1-8G
schedule
TR (3:00-5:00) (VIRTUAL )
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
Susan Solomon
units
3-0-6
schedule
F 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM (4-145)
prerequisites
description

Examines the role of science in US and international environmental policymaking. Surveys 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
3-0-9G
schedule
TR 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Provides a critical introduction to the shape and determinants of political, social, and economic inequality in America, with a focus on racial and economic justice. Explores the role of the city in visions of justice.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
T 2:00 - 5:00 PM (9-450A)
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
units
2-0-7
schedule
TR 11:00 - 12:30 PM (9-450)
prerequisites
description

This course introduces students to key planning ideas and practices that shape the political economy of planning: the way that planning interventions generate distributional effects that create winners and losers across different spatial and temporal scales.

instructors
units
4-0-8G
schedule
MW 12:30 - 2:00 PM L, M 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM R1 (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Concepts and techniques for analyzing financial decisions in commercial property development and investment. Topics include property income streams, urban economics, discounted cash flow, equity valuation, leverage and income tax considerations, development projects, and joint ventures.

instructors
units
4-0-8G
schedule
TR 1:00 - 2:30 PM L, W 5:00 - 6:30 PM R1 (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Develops an understanding of the fundamental economic factors that shape the market for real property, as well as the influence of capital markets in asset pricing. Analyzes of housing as well as commercial real estate. Covers demographic analysis, regional growth, construction cycles, urban land markets, and location theory as well as recent technology impacts.

instructors
Jinhua Zhao, Andrew Salzberg
units
3-3-6
schedule
M 2:00 - 5:00 PM (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Focuses on measuring and reducing emissions from passenger transportation. After examining travel, energy, and climate conditions, students review existing approaches to transport decarbonization. Evaluates new mobility technologies through their potential to contribute to (or delay) a zero emission mobility system.

instructors
Y. Tsipis
units
2-0-1 / First Half of Term
schedule
R 3:00 - 5:00 PM (9-354)
prerequisites
description

Provides students with a concise overview of the range of building systems that are encountered in professional commercial real estate development practice in the USA.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
MW (9-10:30) (9-451)
prerequisites
description

Data visualizations communicate the insights found in data to non-technical audiences. Students develop technical skills to work with a big data to expose societal issues and communicate the insights. Focuses on different topics each year. After framing that topic, the first half of the subject focuses on learning to analyze the data with Python. The second half of the subject focuses on learni

instructors
N. Ashford
units
3-0-9
schedule
W 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM (E51-376)
prerequisites
description

Investigates sustainable development, taking a broad view to include not only a healthy economic base, but also a sound environment, stable employment, adequate purchasing power, distributional equity, national self-reliance, and maintenance of cultural integrity.

instructors
R. Goethert
units
Arranged
schedule
W 2:00 - 5:00 PM (3-329)
prerequisites
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. 

instructors
Amy Smith
units
3-2-7U/G
schedule
M W 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM, F 3:30 - 5:00 PM (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/G
schedule
TR 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Examines efforts in developing and advanced nations and regions. Examines key issues in the current and future development of urban energy systems, such as technology, use, behavior, regulation, climate change, and lack of access or energy poverty. Case studies on a diverse sampling of cities explore how prospective technologies and policies can be implemented.

instructors
units
2-0-10
schedule
F 10:00AM - 12:00PM (9-450)
prerequisites
description

Guides students in examining implicit and explicit values of diversity offered in "Southern" knowledge bases, theories, and practices of urban production.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
W 3:00 - 6:00 PM (9-450A)
prerequisites
description

Examines legal and institutional arrangements for the establishment, transfer, and control over property and land 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
3-0-9
schedule
T 2:00 - 5:00 PM (10-485)
prerequisites
description

Explores relationships between built environments and memory to consider the spaces and spatial practices in which the future of the past is imagined, negotiated, and contested.

instructors
units
2-2-2G / H2
schedule
MW 2:30-4:00 PM , M,T,R 4:30 - 6:30 PM Lab (Lecture: 9-354, Lab: 9-554 )
prerequisites
description

This course builds on material covered in 11.205, which is a prerequisite. The class includes hands-on spatial analysis exercises using real-world data sets. It builds toward an independent project in which students will critically apply GIS techniques to an area of interest.

instructors
Jinhua Zhao, John Moavenzadeh, Bill Aulet
units
3-3-6
schedule
MW (11:30-1:00) (E25-117)
prerequisites
description

This course is designed for students who aspire to shape the future of mobility. The course explores technological, policy, behavioral and systems-wide frameworks for innovation in transportation systems, complemented with case studies across the mobility spectrum, from autonomous vehicles to urban air mobility to last-mile sidewalk robots.

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

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

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
TR 3:00 - 4:30 PM (9-450)
prerequisites
description

Explores ways to improve housing quality and affordability, increase energy savings, and promote transportation access as part of a neighborhood sustainability plan.

instructors
units
3-0-9G
schedule
TR 2:30 - 4:00 PM (9-217)
prerequisites
Restricted to first-year MCP and SPURS students.
description

Offers a survey of the histories and theories of international development, and the main debates about the role of key actors and institutions in development. Includes a focus on the impact of colonialism, the main theoretical approaches that have influenced the study and practice of development, as well as the role of actors such as States, markets and civil society in development.

instructors
units
1-1-1
schedule
W 12:30 - 1:30 PM (E14-140L)
prerequisites
description

Introduces principal issues in the field of advanced urbanism for discussion and exploration. Includes theoretical linkages between ideas about the culture of cities, processes of urbanization, and urban design. Involves events co-organized by faculty and doctoral students to further engage and inform research.  

instructors
units
3 / P/D/F
schedule
Arranged ()
prerequisites
description

Familiarizes students with the practice of planning, by requiring actual experience in professional internship placements. Enables students to both apply what they are learning in their classes in an actual professional setting and to reflect, using a variety of platforms, on the learning personal and professional - growing out of their internship experience.

instructors
Justin Steil, Lawrence Wong
units
3-0-3
schedule
F 9:00am - 12:00 PM (9-255)
prerequisites
description

This course examines clinical, operational, and social dimensions of urban emergency medical services (EMS).

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

Gender-based violence is pervasive and global. It is the outcome of multiple, intersecting and mutually reinforcing power inequalities, including gender, race, class, colonialism and geography.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
W 2:00 - 5:00 PM (9-450)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

When looking upon gentrification, our vision depends on our vantage. New residents may see an affordable rent. Existing residents may see displacement. Developers may see profit and city officials a balanced budget. Academics may not see much, as data and measurement imprecisions kaleidoscope the truth.

instructors
units
3-0-9
schedule
T 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (10-401)
prerequisites
description

This course will introduce theoretical and methodological considerations for researching social, racial, and geographic inequality in outcomes of concern to urban planners.

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

Gender-based violence is pervasive and global. It is the outcome of multiple, intersecting and mutually reinforcing power inequalities, including gender, race, class, colonialism and geography.

instructors
units
3-0-9G / PRACTICUM
schedule
F 1:00 - 4:00 PM (9-255)
prerequisites
description

Students in this practicum course will partner with pK-12 educators in the Boston Public Schools and the Leventhal Maps and Education Center at the Boston Public Library to develop an innovative urban data literacy curriculum for young learners.

instructors
units
2-0-1
schedule
F 2:00 - 4:00 PM (9-217)
prerequisites
Permission of Instructor
description

This limited enrollment seminar engages students in preparing for their own grounded research projects around “equity” in the infrastructure space.

instructors
Carlo Ratti, Fábio Duarte, Ricardo Alvarez
units
3-0-3
schedule
T 5:00 - 8:00 PM , H2 - First class, November 9th (9-255)
prerequisites
description

Urban Citizens

A Series of 6 Lectures and Discussions
led by Richard Sennett and Carlo Ratti
November - December, 2021
MIT {and Harvard by cross-registration}

instructors
Peter Roth
units
11.S965 is the 3 unit versionG / 11.S966 is the 6 unit versionG
schedule
TR 2:30 – 4pm, H2 (9-451)
prerequisites
description

This half-term course is intended for students interested in multi-family housing development who wish to understand the fundamental issues and requirements of mixed-income and affordable housing finance and investment.

instructors
units
schedule
11:00 - 12:30 PM , H1 (9-255 )
prerequisites
description

This course examines how the ownership, development, and use of land is controlled. It begins with a brief introduction to the U.S. legal system.  It examines when and why government regulation, rather than private market ordering, may be necessary to control land use patterns.

instructors
Sarah Abrams
units
schedule
9:30 - 11:00 AM , H2: Class dates - 10/25, 11/1, 11/3, 11/15, 11/17, and 11/22 (9-554 )
prerequisites
description

Everybody in the commercial real estate business should understand what corporate real estate is and how it influences the demand for real estate and the design of space. Developers and investors focus on the supply side of real estate while corporate real estate professionals represent the demand side of the equation.

instructors
units
3-0-9U
schedule
W 12:30 - 2:30 PM (10-401)
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.

instructors
N. Ashford, C. Caldart
units
3-0-9
schedule
()
prerequisites
Permission of instructor required for freshmen and sophomores.
description

Examines the relationship between law and technological change, and the ways in which law, economics, and technological change shape public policy.