Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Science in Planning (Course 11)

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning offers an interdisciplinary pre-professional undergraduate major designed to prepare students for careers in either the public or private sector. It also provides a sound foundation for students intending to do graduate work in law, public policy, development, urban design, urban studies, management, and planning. The goal of the major is to teach students how the tools of economics, policy analysis, political science, sociology, and design can be brought to bear on social and environmental problems in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, students learn the special skills and responsibilities of planners who promote efficient and equitable social change.

For the current requirements, see

Bachelor of Urban Science and Planning with Computer Science (Course 11-6)

Those students who choose the joint major with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science will earn a Bachelor of Urban Science and Planning with Computer Science(SB), a major integrating social and technical skills with theoretical foundations and applied experience, designed to prepare students for careers in both the public and private sectors. The major provides a foundation for students intending to do graduate work in applied data analytics, public policy, economic development, urban design, management, and planning. Majors take a set of common core courses: fundamentals of computer science; fundamentals of urban planning; machine learning, probability, and statistics; policy and ethics. In addition, students will participate in an applied urban science synthesis lab, where high-tech tools will be brought together to solve real-world problems. The courses in the major teach students how the tools of ethics and justice, statistics, data science, geospatial analysis, visualization, robotics, and machine learning can be applied to craft solutions to complex problems that require new strategies, technologies, types of data, and approaches to science. Students will also learn the skills and responsibilities of planners who seek to promote effective and equitable social change.

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science offer a diverse range of possibilities for creating a major tailored to your needs and interests in the following categories.

The required laboratory, 11.007, emphasizes real world experience for students, providing opportunities to apply technical skills and new technologies in crafting interventions of urban phenomena and challenges. In the laboratory subject, students explore the ways emerging technology and trends in computer science can be leveraged for the benefit of the community.

For more information about specific degree requirements, see

Five-Year SB/MCP Program

Undergraduate majors in Courses 11 and 11-6 may apply for admission to the department's Master in City Planning (MCP) program in their junior year. Students accepted into the five-year program receive both the Bachelor of Science and the MCP at the end of five years of study. Admission is intended for those undergraduates who have demonstrated exceptional performance in the major and show commitment to the field of city planning. Criteria for admission include:

  1. strong academic record in Course 11 subjects and satisfactory progress towards all SB requirements;
  2. letters of reference from departmental faculty;
  3. practical experience in planning which could be gained through internships, practica, studios, UROPs, summer jobs, etc.;
  4. a mature and passionate interest for the field which warrants further study.

In the fall semester of the senior year, five-year students are considered participants in the MCP program and begin meeting its requirements. At the same time, they can be completing requirements for the undergraduate degree.


Fulfill undergraduate requirements and complete 96 graduate units (including the MCP Core, a practicum class, Thesis Prep, and a thesis).

Interested applicants shoud meet with Ellen Rushman by the beginning of the Fall term of their junior year.

Criteria for Admission

While there is no explicit minimum grade point average, we expect applicants to have demonstrated a strong academic performance at MIT, especially in Course 11 and related subjects. In the past, approximately 75% of the applicants have been accepted into our Five-Year Program.

Minor in Urban Studies and Planning

The six-subject Minor in Urban Studies and Planning offers students the opportunity to explore issues in urban studies and planning in some depth. Students initially take two Tier I subjects that establish the political, economic, and design contexts for local, urban, and regional decision making. In addition, students choose four Tier II elective subjects, which provide an opportunity to focus on urban and environmental policy issues or to study urban problems and institutions. Students are encouraged to craft a minor that reflects their own particular interests within the general parameters of the minor program requirements and in consultation with the minor advisor.

For the current requirements, see

Minor in Public Policy

Public policy is an academic field that looks at the nature of public problems and how we attempt to address those problems through government action. The interdisciplinary HASS Minor in Public Policy is intended to provide a single framework for students in engineering and sciences who are interested in the role of public policy in the field of their technical expertise. The six-subject minor is organized in three tiers.

The first tier provides a foundation in the study of the public and private institutions in which public policy decisions are made and implemented. All students are required to take two subjects that introduce them to rationales for government action, justifications that form the fundamental basis for making public policy. The second tier explores methods of analyzing and assessing the impacts of policy change. The aim is to provide a basic level of competence so that students are knowledgeable about the range of approaches that professionals use to analyze public policies. The third tier offers an in-depth program of study in one substantive field of policymaking. All minors select one substantive policy field and take three subjects within that area of specialization. Students may substitute a semester-long internship for one subject in their chosen field, with the approval of their minor advisor. The internship must be at least 9 units and must be for a letter grade.

The Public Policy Minor is administered jointly by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Department of Political Science. Each department has designated a Public Policy Minor Advisor who is responsible for advising students in the minor. Students interested in this minor should begin by contacting DUSP Professor Phil Thompson.

For the current requirements, see

Minor in International Development

MIT students have enormous interest in tackling problems of global poverty and economic development in the poor regions of the world. The minor in international development will increase the capability to understand, analyze and tackle today's problems in emerging countries, including the challenges of dealing with increasing urbanization, the need for industrial growth and jobs for increasing number of educated youth, the crisis of resources and infrastructure, the fragmentation of state capacity and rising violence, the ethical and moral issues raised by development planning, the role of appropriate technology and research, and the challenge of dealing with popular discontent. Through research and teaching, we combine a robust introduction to the theoretical framework of the field, with a strong analytical orientation and problem-solving method tested through field engagement. Taught by faculty from one of the world's premier academic centers of expertise in planning, at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and with more than a quarter century of experience in dealing with problems of international development, the minor is a new offering to MIT students that emphasizes problem-solving, multidisciplinarity and an understanding of institutions at various levels from the local to the global as the key to solving today's problems in emerging countries.

For the current requirements, see

Fields of HASS Concentration

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning offers many possibilities for creating a concentration tailored to your needs and interests. The section on “HASS Conventration” on suggests some of the possible combinations of subjects. When more than three subjects are listed, the student should select three (3) in consultation with the Concentration Advisor.

The DUSP concentration focusing on Education can also lead to Massachusetts Certification in math and science at the middle and high school levels, if two additional subjects are taken at Wellesley.

You can also always create a concentration that fits your particular interests within Institute guidelines. We will assist you in selecting three subjects that suit your concerns and background. Since some subjects are offered only every other year, we encourage you to discuss the possibilities with us by the end of your sophomore year. For further information, contact Ezra Haber Glenn,

Course offerings change on an annual basis and students should check with the Department for the latest information.

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides an opportunity for students to participate in ongoing MIT faculty research, off-campus research, or other kinds of field experiences. UROP offers the chance to try out a potential major and to apply classroom learning to a real-world problem.

UROP Projects can supplement course-work and provide opportunities for professional experience. Recent projects in DUSP have explored these areas: legal studies, housing and real estate, computer mapping and spatial analysis, environmental and city design, public service, economic and social development, energy, environmental impact, housing, and social welfare. The possibilities are wide. A project can provide academic credit or wages, or can be done on a volunteer basis. Funding typically comes from the professor sponsoring the project, but the UROP Office funds a limited number of projects, and can sometimes fund materials or services to carry out the project.

Students are urged to review the research profiles for DUSP Faculty on the UROP website ( and contact the faculty members directly to identify opportunities.

Additional Information

Undergraduates are invited to take advantage of all departmental resources and events (other than those specifically designated for graduate students).

Early in the fall term, the department will host an Undergraduate Gathering to introduce undergraduates to each other and the department. The e-mail address can be used to contact all Course XI undergraduate majors.