MIT offers unmatched resources for Fellows with specific interests and skills in international development, urban and regional planning, city design and development, economic development, environmental planning, technology and public policy, political science, civil and environmental engineering, computer science, and many other related fields. Intentionally flexible and limited in size, SPURS allows each Fellow to design the program of study that best suits his/her needs and interests, to work closely with the faculty on their independent research projects, and to interact with the entire DUSP community. While each Fellow’s individual study program is tailored to his/her professional and academic goals, there are additional common SPURS activities required of each Fellow.

Graduate Level Subjects

Since SPURS is a non-degree program, graduate level subjects are audited and not taken for credit. SPURS Fellows can audit graduate level subjects throughout MIT.


The SPURS Luncheon Seminar Series and the Fellows Evening Professional Seminars are two core components of the program. The former series brings distinguished scholars and practitioners to MIT each week to present and discuss recent ideas in the field of international development. The latter focuses on professional development, reflection, and cultural exploration. In addition, Fellows attend seminars and presentations offered throughout MIT and Harvard.

Professional Development Activities

A professional development trip to New York enables Fellows to visit international organizations and meet with academics, policy-makers, and practitioners who are experts in their fields of interest. During the two semesters, Fellows also visit with practitioners in the Boston region to learn about US institutions.


In addition, Fellows with funding arrangements may undertake a month-long professional internship at a US-based institution.


A Certificate is awarded following satisfactory completion of the SPURS Program.

“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