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Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Urban Informatics requires students to complete 32 semester hours. The coursework is structured around four interdisciplinary core courses and an additional 16 semester hours focused on urban-specific applications of core skills. The curriculum is designed to offer methodological rigor, a theoretical framework, and opportunities for applied experiences. The table below lists the courses required for the Master of Science in Urban Informatics including required and degree-specific courses.


The UI Core

The four interdisciplinary core courses in data science/analytics serve as a foundation for the master degree in Urban Informatics. These courses examine how data is collected, stored, and retrieved, how data can be extracted from large datasets, whether they are structured or unstructured, how to analyze information using data mining and machine learning, and finally how to use information design and visual analytics to analyze and present the results. Students leave the core curriculum with a working knowledge of “R,” an open source software for computational statistics, visualization, and graphic presentation.

Students in the Urban Informatics program learn about the major categories of urban data, develop specific spatial analytic and mapping skillsets, and apply these skills to real-world urban policy and research questions. Throughout these courses, assignments will ask students to integrate the core course skills with urban data and policy questions. Students also develop a high-quality professional portfolio that can be presented to future employers.

The six courses beyond the data analytics core include three foundational courses that provide an overview of the field, a theoretical frame, and introductory geographic information systems skills.


Beyond the Core

Students select two elective courses—one from a list of urban data skills courses and a second from a list of applied urban analytics courses. Finally, all students must take the 1-credit urban informatics portfolio course which requires students to assemble and submit a portfolio of at least three projects completed during their coursework.

In total, the Urban Informatics degree requires 32 semester hours. Current and prospective students should refer to the 2018-2019 Graduate Catalog for a description of the MS in Urban Informatics curriculum.


Cooperative Education (Co-op)

All Graduate CSSH Masters programs will offer an optional Cooperative Education Experience (“Co-op”) to eligible students.

Northeastern’s signature co-op ecosystem provides qualified masters students with six-month research and work experiences in businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies in Boston and across the United States. Graduate students take their work from campus learning spaces, apply it outside of the classroom in a variety of environments, and then bring that knowledge and those skills back to our campus learning spaces during the one-credit Experiential Integration course.

To learn more, interested masters students should first meet with their Graduate Program Director to determine eligibility and where co-op will fit within the student’s curriculum.


Program Outcomes

Students who complete the Urban Informatics course sequence will be able to:

  • Understand the city as a system of systems and the developing role of urban informatics in managing the associated complexities.
  • Access, analyze, and model data from multiple sources to develop efficient urban systems.
  • Effectively communicate the potential of emerging technologies to a wide audience.
  • Present large-scale urban data, including spatial and non-spatial datasets, in order to visualize patterns as a means for formulating effective policy and plans.
  • Understand the theory, methods and tools of dynamic and/or spatial modeling for urban policymaking and infrastructure investments.
  • Work with public and private sector practitioners in internships and capstone projects solving real-world problems.
  • Present a professional-grade portfolio of work that demonstrates data analytic skills, advanced visualization and knowledge of urban challenges.


For additional information, contact:

Requirements and policies subject to change. For up-to-date information, contact Brianna Freeman or view the official graduate catalogue for a full listing of graduate level courses.