In Person, Online or Hybrid
Our Urban Informatics degree may be completed in person, online or a hybrid of both modalities, depending on what’s most convenient for you. This innovative program:
- Instructs future leaders on how to use big data to understand and serve cities
- Combines training in data analytics with a specialized sequence of courses that addresses how data and technology are used to confront key social, infrastructural, and environmental challenges
- Trains the next generation of experts who can navigate and manage data and technology in cities
Big Data in Boston and Beyond
The Boston-based School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University is one of only a handful of U.S. universities currently offer degrees in the emerging field of Urban Informatics. Even among these few, our program stands out for:
- Its leading faculty who have contributed to the tools and ideas that form the basis of Urban Informatics;
- The interdisciplinary integration of analytic skills with over a century of deep knowledge on urban policy and theory;
- Unique experiential opportunities, thanks to the Boston Area Research Initiative and other centers at the School, that treat greater Boston as a classroom where students can study and help solve real-world problems in conjunction with local agencies, companies, and nonprofits.
Digital data and technology are rapidly transforming the modern city. Across the world, cities have embraced “big data,” statistical modeling and visualization, mapping and spatial analysis, and the implementation of apps and sensor systems to track, understand, and improve urban life. This shift, which has included policymakers, practitioners, and private corporations alike, calls for a new generation of experts who can navigate the technical and conceptual challenges presented by the city. Given the continuous growth in urban data and technology, our students are critical to shaping the future of cities around the globe.
For additional information, contact Brianna Freeman.
The breadth of informatics’ impact highlights the many avenues that urban data professionals can implement their expertise. Students in the program can choose from three concentrations to hone their degree to a specific interest.
This graduate concentration is designed for MSUI students who want to specialize in the policy challenges that arise from climate change and the methodological tools designed to respond to them, especially those that help us understand and instill resilience in communities that are vulnerable to disruption. The concentration is comprised of three courses. The concentration is comprised of three courses: a Method and Application Course specific to the concentration; an Analysis Course specific to the concentration; and the requirement to complete a Capstone or Practicum relevant to climate and resilience.
This graduate concentration is designed for MSUI students who want to specialize in the policy challenges associated with neighborhoods and communities, and the methodological tools for addressing them. This includes examining more closely how communities work and the types of interventions that can help them to thrive and prosper. The concentration is comprised of three courses: a Method and Application Course specific to the concentration; an Analysis Course specific to the concentration; and the requirement to complete a Capstone or Practicum relevant to communities and economic development.
This graduate concentration is designed for MSUI students who want to specialize in the policy challenges and methods associated with transportation and related infrastructure. This includes questions of policy and operations pertaining to traffic management and public transit, and the analytic skills for analyzing mobility decisions. The concentration is comprised of three courses: a Method and Application Course specific to the concentration; an Analysis Course specific to the concentration; and the requirement to complete a Capstone or Practicum relevant to transportation or infrastructure.
Using Big Data to Understand How Cities Work
The MS in Urban Informatics (MSUI), a STEM-eligible program, couples comprehensive data analytics skills with an understanding of the big questions faced by cities in the 21st Century. This cutting-edge program is built upon a unique cross-college initiative, which offers comprehensive state-of-the-art training in the core skills of data analytics—including quantitative analysis, data mining, machine learning, and data visualization in conjunction with areas of domain expertise.
Urban Informatics students combine training in these foundational skills with a specialized sequence of courses that address how data and technology are being used to tackle key social, infrastructural, and environmental challenges.
Consistent with the College of Social Sciences and Humanities commitment to the Experiential Liberal Arts, our program provides a range of experiential learning opportunities throughout the curriculum, ranging from part-time internships to research projects at the Boston Area Research Initiative and other research centers on campus.
Students can also partake in full-time professional experiences through Northeastern’s signature cooperative education program. These opportunities allow students to apply advanced skills in accessing, managing, analyzing, and communicating insights from large complex, data sets to real-world problems, making them part of the next wave of urban professionals ready to lead in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
With classes on campus and online, this program provides a uniquely flexible urban informatics degree that can support students in their career goals in a variety of ways.
Type of Program