College of LAS > Academics > Sustainable Urban Development > Graduate Program > Sustainable Urban Development (MA)

Sustainable Urban Development (MA)

Promote Positive Change

The master’s program in Sustainable Urban Development explores how cities cope with the demand for environmental sustainability while supporting economic growth and community development. We draw from three defining fields — environmental, economic and social sustainability — and use Chicago as our lab, studying how neighborhood growth interacts with the challenges of being a global city.

More than just ‘green.’ The program is framed by a simple value -- that a sustainable city is one that’s sustainable for everyone. We approach this field holistically, researching urban environments as an integrated system.

Get a technical leg up. Beyond theoretical knowledge, you’ll gain a technical foundation using industry-standard Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping software.

Learn in the heart of Chicago. You’ll learn real-world skills surrounded by Chicago’s vast business, technological and cultural assets, and connect with major local and national organizations. Drawing on the city’s resources, you’ll engage with expert guest speakers, delve into community-based projects and gain hands-on experience through internships.

Craft the program that’s just right for you. You’re given the flexibility beyond core curriculum to explore your interest areas -- whether that’s public health, policy, urban gardening, transportation or something else entirely.

Program Structure

This 13-course (52 credit hour) graduate program integrates academics with practical learning — incorporating analyses from fields such as urban planning, public policy, sociology, geography, public service management, environmental studies and real estate, and introduces you to:

  • Sustainable urban development policy
  • Data collection and analyses
  • Planning processes
  • Strategies for implementation
  • Modes of communication
  • Evaluation mechanisms

First year: Provides a theoretical background as well as an introduction to the technologies used in urban development and planning.

Second year: Dedicated to advanced courses and completing a required internship and capstone/portfolio component.

Career Outlook

A new market focused on sustainability is building job prospects for future workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And as new opportunities arise, the field is expected to grow by 9 percent by 2018, according to Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.