City Planning & Urban Affairs Programs

Become a leader of urban change

Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and specialized graduate certificates in high-demand areas. Study part- or full-time on campus.

MET’s interdisciplinary, application-oriented programs will enable you to integrate knowledge from several concentrations, including Environmental Planning, Transportation, Geo-spatial Informatics, Data and Technology, and Land-use Planning and Community Development. No matter the area of focus, all of our programs are built on three foundational principles—that urban planning education and practice should 1) advance equity and social justice; 2) emphasize sustainable solutions; and 3) utilize technology to facilitate human-centered communities.

With 90% of our students employed at the time of graduation, MET’s City Planning and Urban Affairs programs provide the skills and knowledge that lead to career advancement. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that jobs will grow in this field at an average of 11% for the next 30 years, which is above the 4-5% growth forecasted in other related fields.

Why choose a degree in City Planning and Urban Affairs from Boston University?

Engaged faculty, powerful professional networks

MET’s City Planning and Urban Affairs faculty are active practitioners and scholars who bridge the leading theories and practices in the field with real-world cases to provide students with hands-on field expertise and planning and policy research. They provide relevant insights in areas such as transportation, land use, affordable housing, community development planning, sustainability, urban design, and comparative urbanization. Our alumni and students come from and work in a range of professional leadership roles, and are always eager to mentor and support incoming students.

Academic excellence, international recognition

A BU degree is highly respected, and can open doors to a promotion, a better job, or a new career. The University is ranked 42nd in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and 62nd in the world by Times Higher Education.

Micro-credentials and local and global professional programs at no additional cost

When you complete the Master of City Planning degree at Boston University, you also have the option of receiving two additional graduate certificates in Applied Sustainability and Urban Policy & Planning, without taking any additional courses. You can also earn a graduate certificate with the addition of one extra course when completing the Master of Urban Affairs degree.

The City Planning and Urban Affairs programs also offer students the opportunity to participate in a US-based internship, or a Global Cities fellowship, for course credit during their study.

MET also offers merit scholarships to help finance your graduate degree.

Learn at your own pace with flexible full- and part-time options

Full-time students can earn their Master of Urban Affairs in just two semesters, and the Master of City Planning in three semesters. You also have the option to complete the program at your own part-time pace with evening classes. Current work experiences or work-related projects may even count toward capstone projects in certain situations.

When you join a program in City Planning or Urban Affairs at MET, you engage with a wide variety of issues and concerns in planning for urban and regional development. Our undergraduate and graduate programs develop skills you can apply to roles in public, private, and voluntary organizations that handle urban functions such as housing, health services, economic development, transportation, and environment control. Prepare to confront the social, economic, and geographic challenges facing urban policymakers and planners today.

Graduate Programs

Master of City Planning

The Master of City Planning degree program explores the core issues of resource distribution and the co-habitation of diverse communities, and prepares students to serve as savvy mediators and advocates for an array of social, economic, and cultural issues. The program develops quantitative and qualitative research skills, and examines history and theory of urban and regional development, the structure and functions of cities and urban systems, local and national policy making processes, and the role of planning.

Master of Urban Affairs

The Master of Urban Affairs degree program prepares students for a wide variety of urban and regional development roles in urban public policy, community development and service delivery, and the administration of public and private agencies in urban settings.

Graduate Certificate in Applied Sustainability

The graduate certificate program in Applied Sustainability provides a unique interdisciplinary perspective on what it takes to make urban and economic development compatible with the natural environment. The coursework guides students through the foundations of ecology; current theories of sustainability; methods for optimizing important resources such as energy and water; building management techniques; and the politics, law, and economics of the global green movement.

Graduate Certificate in Urban Policy & Planning

The graduate certificate program in Urban Policy & Planning provides an in-depth, multidisciplinary perspective on complex twenty-first century urban issues, including housing and community development, public health, economic and infrastructural management, and environmental sustainability. Students in the program study policy analysis and formulation; urban public financing; comparative planning and development; urban spatial analysis; the political, legal, social, and economic dimensions of urban development; and the relationship between urban land use and the environment.

Graduate Certificate in Applied Urban Informatics

The graduate certificate in Applied Urban Informatics provides hands-on experience with valuable analytic and computational tools while developing the key skills needed to work with varied data sources that can serve to inform policy decisions in a range of government, nonprofit, and private organizations. The Applied Urban Informatics certificate offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that is designed to prepare professionals to confront major issues affecting urban communities, including impacts upon vulnerable populations, economic development, infrastructure systems, and policy implementation.

Undergraduate Degree

Bachelor of Science in Urban Affairs

The BS in Urban Affairs degree program prepares students for careers in urban public policy, community development, and the administration of public and private urban agencies.

Metropolitan College

One of Boston University’s 17 schools and colleges, Metropolitan College offers more than 60 evening, part-time and full-time degree and certificate programs in classroom, online, and in blended formats.