The Master of Professional Science degree (MPS) in Urban Sustainability and Resilience is an interdisciplinary 36 credit program offered jointly between the College of Arts & Sciences' Department of Geography and Regional Studies and the School of Architecture. The curriculum leverages the knowledge, skills and hands-on practical engagement necessary for students working toward contributing to the urban challenges confronting cities on the front lines of climate change.

Admission Requirements

  • A completed Bachelor's degree in an appropriate field from ab accredited institution.

  • A minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

  • A score of at least 80 on the TOEFL for international students.

  • GRE minimum score of 297 or higher. (The program may waive GRE requirements GRE based on the applicant's years of experience and the quality of experience or allow for equivalent exam substitutions, e.g. LSAT or GMAT).

  • Three current letters of recommendations.

  • A personal statement of academic and professional goals.

Curriculum Requirements

Core Courses
ARC 622Urban Design History and Theory3
ARC 679An Introduction to Resilient Building and Community Design3
GEG 620Sustainable Cities3
GEG 623Seminar in Urban Management3
Students Must Complete One of the Following Tracks12
Sustainability Track
Urban Geography I (Required)
Students Complete 9 Credit Hours from the Following Electives:
Landscape Arch Design II
Historic Preservation
Tropical Architecture
Seminar on Town Design
Special Problems (Sustainable Design in Context)
History of Cities
Urbanization in the Developing World
Population, Sustainability and the Media
Climate Change and Public Health
Urban Geography I
Energy Security and Environmental Sustainability
Disasters and Humanitarian Assistance
Resilience Track
Geographic Information Systems in Urban Design (Required)
Students Complete 9 Credit Hours from the Following Electives:
Housing, Infrastructure and Transportation
Urban Design Competition (Urban Design and Development Charrette)
Adaptation to Climate Change
Seminar on Retrofit of Suburbia
Seminar in Community Development
Professional Advancement, Internship + Research (PAIR)
Special Problems (RAD-LAB UM)
Designing for the Internet of Things
Sustainable Food Systems
Spatial Data Analysis I
Spatial Data Analysis II
Introduction to Real Estate Development and Urbanism
Complex Urban Real Estate Transactions
Urban Infill, Preservation, and Mixed Use Development
Electives (with approval of faculty advisor)6
Practicum, Design Studio or Project Studio Report6
Total Credit Hours36

Sample Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
ARC 679 An Introduction to Resilient Building and Community Design 3
GEG 620 Sustainable Cities 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours9
Spring
ARC 622 Urban Design History and Theory 3
GEG 623 Seminar in Urban Management 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours9
Year Two
Fall
Track Core Course 3
Track Elective 3
Track Elective 3
 Credit Hours9
Spring
Track Elective 3
Practicum, Design Studio or Project Studio 6
 Credit Hours9
 Total Credit Hours36

Mission

The purpose of this interdisciplinary MPS in Urban Sustainability and Resilience program is to provide the knowledge, skills and hands-on practical engagement necessary for students working toward contributing to the urban challenges of the 21st century.

Goals

  • Students will gain an interdisciplinary understanding of the spatial and temporal transitions involved in pathways toward urban sustainability (focusing on challenges such as health, housing, the environment, crime, and sea-level rise). 
  • Students will gain skills in methodology, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), urban design, remote sensing, data visualization, and qualitative or quantitative methods. The knowledge acquired by students can contribute to future policies that lead to more sustainable development pathways. 

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Through the advanced understanding of the concepts and theories of both Sustainability Science, Design, Planning and Geography, students will be able to select and use advanced tools and methods to measure and assess synergies and trade-offs among governance, environmental conservation, economic prosperity, and social inclusion. 
  • Students will be able to translate research on sustainability development, resilience and geography into policies and programs that seek to solve some of the recurrent urban problems.