Degree & Non Degree Options

SPURS provides an opportunity for a select group of highly qualified professionals to spend a year at MIT studying problems of urban and regional change at the #1 ranked urban planning program in North America. DUSP is home to the largest planning faculty in the United States. The International Development Group (IDG) at DUSP, which hosts the SPURS program, also offers the greatest number of courses at any US university devoted exclusively to international development planning. SPURS Fellows have the opportunity to work with some of the most distinguished faculty in the area of international development planning, as well as with dozens of other experts at MIT, Harvard, Tufts, and Boston University.

Visiting Scholar

Applicants may be admitted as a Visiting Scholar. Visiting Scholars typically pursue their own research and participate as a listener in classes that are of special interest to them. To qualify, Fellows must be in possession of a PhD or an equivalent advanced degree, and must have made distinguished contributions in fields that are relevant to the intellectual mission of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT.

Research Fellow

Applicants to SPURS may also be admitted as Research Fellows. These Fellows pursue non-degree programs and do not take subjects for credit. This option applies to Fellows supported by the Hubert H. Humphrey Program, or selected US government agencies or international organizations, or by their own governments. For more information about the Hubert H. Humphrey Program, interested applicants should see the Institute of International Education’s website at

(The application form under Admission to SPURS is ONLY for the non-degree option and should not be used when applying to the MS Degree Program.)

Master of Science Program in Urban Studies and Planning

With appropriate qualifications as determined by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, admission may be granted to candidates seeking the Master of Science (MS) Degree. The Department of Urban Studies and Planning may accept eligible applicants. To meet the degree requirements, MS degree Fellows must take the full subject load, and pay full MIT tuition andbother expenses. To complete the MS degree requirement, the student must complete a program of study of at least 66 subject units, 42 units of which must be H-level, and submit a thesis to be approved by the department.

“SPURS not only opened our minds to how the world worked. But Inspired us to think big and make a difference in our own countries. The connections I made largely shaped my work after MIT.”

Illac Diaz, Philippines
2005-2006 Entrepreneur