USP: Urban Policy Focus Area

The Urban Policy focus area is designed to provide students with an understanding of the policy challenges and opportunities that are particular to cities in both the developed and developing world. SIPA focuses on the traditional urban policy fields like city management, urban planning, land use, housing urban education, transit, as well as the most recent urban policy innovations in environmental sustainability, technological integration, globalization and business development.

More than half of the world’s population resides in an urban areas.  Cities now have responsibilities in virtually every policy arena including: infrastructure development, safety and security, environmental sustainability, economic development and job creation, education, healthcare, housing, and social welfare.  Global urbanization is guaranteed to continue over the course of the 21st century and this policy track prepares students to understand how economic, social, political, geo-physical, and technological factors shape cities.

The range of policies that fall under the umbrella category of urban policy is extensive.  For this reason, students are encouraged to develop specialized policy knowledge within one of the Suggested Urban Policy Subfields listed below. The subfield categories are to be used as a guide to help students structure their elective coursework around a particular policy field. Although it is encouraged, students are not required to choose one subfield and have the flexibility to take courses in several subfields based on their interests.

  • Urban Politics and Governance
  • Management in Urban Public Sector or Not For Profits
  • Urban Social Policy (includes: Family, Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Immigration & Poverty)
  • Economic Development Policy, Urban Planning and Land Use
  • Sustainability and Environmental Policy
  • Housing Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Health Policy
  • Crime, Safety and Security Policy
  • Employment and Labor Policy

Students must complete a total of 15 points, with at least 3 points from the menu of core courses. Students must then complete 12 points from the subfields listed below, regardless of their category. The purpose of the urban policy subfields is to encourage students to develop specialized policy knowledge, but it is only a guide. Students have the flexibility to take courses in one or several of the subfields:

Please note:

  • USP short courses (1.5 points) can count towards your elective requirement.
  • A second core course can count towards your elective requirement.  
  • Two specialization courses can be double counted for elective requirement

Core Courses

Select one or more of the following:

Points
PUAF U6239Comparative Urban Policy: Global Developing Cities3
PUAF U8232Seminar in Urban Politics and Policy3
PUAF U8250Governing the Twenty First Century City3
Other (requires approval)

     Urban Politics and Governance Subfield

Points
INAF U6512Data Driven Approaches for Campaigns and Advocacy3
INAF U6515Technology and the Future of Governance and Public Policy1.5
PUAF U4400Campaign Management in the United States3
PUAF U6132Politics and Policies of Community Planning and Participation3
PUAF U6219Cities Take the Lead: When Local Officials Fill the Federal Policy Void3
PUAF U6239Comparative Urban Policy: Global Developing Cities3
PUAF U6246Practicum in Urban Public Policy1.5
PUAF U6251Urban Economics3
PUAF U6302U.S. State Politics and Policy: The Promises and Pitfalls of American Federalism3
PUAF U6850Local & Global Corruption: Maneuvering Toward Good Governance3
PUAF U8232Seminar in Urban Politics and Policy3
PUAF U8248Leadership & Urban Transformation3
PUAF U8250Governing the Twenty First Century City3
PUAF U8244Municipal Finance in the U.S.3
PUAF U8206Advocacy and the Legislative Process1.5
PUAF U8243The Politics and Policies of Public Pension Funds1.5
PUAF U8358American Politics, Citizen Engagement, and Policy1.5
SIPA U6003Analysis of Public Sector Organizations Course Video3


Courses offered at affiliate Columbia Schools - Enrollment not guaranteed. Please see Cross-Registration instructions. Many courses will require instructor permission.

Points
ARCH A4688Public Space & Recombinant Urbanism3
EDPP 5041 (TC)Politics of Centralization & Decentralization3
EDPP 6540 (TC)Seminar: Politics & Education3
ORLJ 5340 (TC)Basic Practicum Conflict Resolution3
SOCI UN3324Global Urbanism (Additional graduate coursework required. Consult USP staff before registering)3

     Management in Urban Public Sector or Not-For-Profits Subfield

Points
SIPA U6003Analysis of Public Sector Organizations Course Video3
SIPA U6005Effective Management in the Public Service Course Video3
SIPA U6310Nonprofit Financial Management3
SIPA U6320Budgeting and Financial Management for Government3
SIPA U8500Quantitative Methods in Program Evaluation and Policy Research3
INAF U6004Programming for Entrepreneurs1.5
INAF U6016Cost-Benefit Analysis3
INAF U6132Aiming for Social Impact: Managing, Measuring, and Investing to Achieve Results3
INAF U6508Using Big Data to Develop Public Policy3
INAF U6898Program Evaluation and Design3
PUAF U6033Decision Models & Management3
PUAF U6028Public-Private Partnerships to Foster Effective, Sustainable and Scalable Nonprofits1.5
PUAF U6135Civic Innovation and Building a People-Centered Government1.5
PUAF U8203Project Management3
PUAF U8243The Politics and Policies of Public Pension Funds1.5
PUAF U8244Municipal Finance in the U.S.3
PUAF U8260Generating Financial Support to Grow Social Enterprises1.5
EMPA U6050Theory & Practice of Change Management: Culture, Leaders, and Tools3
EMPA U7005Effective Management in the Public Service3
EMPA U8200Effective Management in the Public Service3
EMPA U9225Public Management Innovation3


Courses offered at affiliate Columbia Schools - Enrollment not guaranteed. Please see Cross-Registration instructions. Many courses will require instructor permission.

Points
SUMA PS4100Sustainability Management3
ARCH A4818Hacking the Urban Experience1.5
EDPA 4048 (TC)Education Policy Analysis/Implementation3
HBSS 4162 (TC)Health Services Administration3
HPMN P6530Issues and Approaches in Health Policy and Management3
ORLA 4876 (TC)School Finance: Resource Allocation for Non-profit Organizations3
SOCW T6416Program Evaluation in Social Services3

     Urban Social Policy Subfield

Points
INAF U6053Creating a Social Enterprise3
PUAF U8353Race Policy & American Politics3
PUAF U8355Politics of Race, Crime and Criminal Justice3
INAF U8161Economics, Law and Public Policy3


Courses offered at affiliate Columbia Schools - Enrollment not guaranteed. Please see Cross-Registration instructions. Many courses will require instructor permission.

Points
ANTH UN3989Introduction to Urban Anthropology (Additional graduate coursework required. Consult USP staff before registering)4
ECON W4438Economics of Race in the U.S. (Additional graduate coursework required. Consult USP staff before registering)3
LAW L6250Immigration Law3
LAW L6252Family Law3
SOCW T6416Program Evaluation - Social Service3
SOCW T6801Social Welfare Policy3

     Economic Development Policy, Urban Planning, and Land Use Subfield

Points
PUAF U6132Politics and Policies of Community Planning and Participation3
PUAF U6190Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development3
ENVP U6275GIS for International Studies3
INAF U6257Land Use Planning and Public Policy3
INAF U6051Infrastructure Investment and Development1.5
INAF U6186Community Economic Development: Origins, Policy and Practice3
INAF U6602Economic Development for International Affairs3
INAF U8145Advanced Economic Development for International Affairs3
PUAF U6427Technology, Innovation and Economic Development in Cities1.5
PUAF U6234Planning and Implementing Urban Public Policy3
EMPA U6610Transforming the Urban Economy3


Courses offered at affiliate Columbia Schools - Enrollment not guaranteed. Please see Cross-Registration instructions. Many courses will require instructor permission.

Points
ARCH A4430Urban History I3
ARCH A4688Public Space/Recombinant Urbanism3
ARCH A4356Contemporary Chinese City3
ARCH A6769History of the American City3
ARCH A6779Philosophies of the City3
ECON GU4230Economics of New York City3
HIST W453520th Century New York City History4
LAW L6272Land Use3
PLAN A4579Intro to Environmental Planning3
PLAN A6216NYC Land Use Approvals3
PLAN A6434Intro. To Transportation Planning3
PLAN A4340Sustainable Zoning + Land Use3
PLAN A4112Physical Structure of Cities3
PLAN A4381Sustainable Urban Development - International Perspectives3
PLAN A4620Public Financing of Urban Development3
PLAN A6108Land Use Planning3
ARCH A6454Arab Cities in Evolution3
PLAN A4579Introduction to Environmental Planning3
LAW L8454Extractive Industry and Sustainable Development2

     Urban Sustainability and Environmental Policy Subfield

Points
ENVP U6239The Politics and Policy of Urban Sustainability3
PUAF U6190Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development3
INAF U8778Distributed Energy Economics, Technology, and Policy3


Courses offered at affiliate Columbia Schools - Enrollment not guaranteed. Please see Cross-Registration instructions. Many courses will require instructor permission.

Points
SUMA K4030Hungry City Workshop3
SUMA K4169Sustainability Metrics3
SUMA PS4100Sustainability Management3
SUMA PS4190Economics of Sustainability Management3
SUMA PS4235The Science of Urban Ecology3
ARCH A4330Urban History I3
PLAN A4340Sustainable Zoning + Land Use3
PLAN A4381Sustainable Urban Development - International Perspectives3
PLAN A4579Intro to Environmental Planning3
PLAN A6065Environmental Impact Assessment3
CNAD K4130Green Building and Sustainability: Tools and Tech3
LAW L8454Extractive Industry and Sustainable Development2

     Housing Policy Subfield

Points
PUAF U6245Housing Policy and the City3


Courses offered at affiliate Columbia Schools - Enrollment not guaranteed. Please see Cross-Registration instructions. Many courses will require instructor permission.

Points
PLAN A6212Developing Affordable Housing1.5
PLAN A6568Public-Private Partnerships in Real Estate Development3

     Education Policy Subfield

Points
INAF U8201The Road to Excellent and Equitable K-12 Public Education: Impediments and Interventions1.5


Courses offered at affiliate Columbia Schools - Enrollment not guaranteed. Please see Cross-Registration instructions. Many courses will require instructor permission.

Points
A&HH 4060 (TC)History of Education in NYC3
A&HF 4094 (TC)School and Society3
EDPA 4025 (TC)Higher Education Policy3
EDPA 4048 (TC)Education Policy Analysis/Implementation3
EDPA 4013 (TC)Education Policy and the Management of Instruction3
EDPP 5042 (TC)Urban Politics and Education3
EDPP 6540 (TC)Seminar: Politics and Education3
EDPS 4000 (TC)Education and Public Policy3
EDPS 4022 (TC)Sociology of Urban Education3
ITSF 4060 (TC)Latinos in Urban Schools3
MGMT B8558Education Leadership3
SOCW T6960School-Based Services3
EDPA 5023 (TC)Policies for Efefctive High School to College Transition3
A&HH 4076 (TC)History of Urban Education3
ITSF 4025 (TC)Languages, Society and Schools3

     Health Policy Subfield 


Courses offered at affiliate Columbia Schools - Enrollment not guaranteed. Please see Cross-Registration instructions. Many courses will require instructor permission.

Points
SUMA K4030Hungry City Workshop3
EHSC P8371Public Health GIS3
HBSS 4162 (TC)Health Services Adminstration3
HBSS 4114 (TC)Competence with Multicultural Populations3
HPMN P6503Introduction to Health Economics3
HPMN P6508Health Policy and the Political System3
HPMN P8517Management Challenges in Health Care & Insurance Systems3
HPMN P8549Interest Group Politics and Health Policy1.5
HPMN P8561Managing Public Health Non-Profits1.5
HPMN P8575Cross-National Health Policy1.5
HPMN P8584Transforming the Delivery of Healthcare Systems1.5
HPMN P8580Global Health Governance1.5
LAW L6357Public Health Law3
POPF P8648Food and Nutrition in Complex Emergencies1.5
POPF P8651Water and Sanitation in Complex Emergencies1.5
SOCW T6910The Health Care System3
SOSC P8705Evaluation of Health Programs3
SOSC P8717Urban Space & Health3
SOSC P8737Emerging Topic - Urban/Community Health1.5
SOSC P8745Social and Economic Determinants of Health3
SOSC P8750Race and Health3
SOSC P8762Chronic Disease, Urban and Community Health3
SOSC P8773Social History of American Public Health3
HIST W3523History of Health Inequality in the Modern United States3

     Crime, Safety and Security Subfield

Points
PUAF U8356Crime, Journalism, and Public Policy1.5
PUAF U8355Politics of Race, Crime and Criminal Justice3


Courses offered at affiliate Columbia Schools - Enrollment not guaranteed. Please see Cross-Registration instructions. Many courses will require instructor permission.

Points
HIST G6999Politics of Crime and Policing in the United States3
SOCI UN3900Societal Adaptations to Terrorism (Additional graduate coursework required. Consult USP staff before registering)4

     Employment and Labor Policy Subfield  

Points
INAF U6475Social Policy and Inclusive Development3


Courses offered at affiliate Columbia Schools - Enrollment not guaranteed. Please see Cross-Registration instructions. Many courses will require instructor permission.

Points
LAW L6473Labor Law3

All students are encouraged to discuss their proposed schedule with their advisor.

Year 1
FallPointsSpringPoints
Core: Conceptual Foundations (MIA) Politics of Policy Making (MPA)14SIPA U4201 or U640113
Concentration Core Course (choose one):3SIPA U65003
 Concentration Elective Course 3
 Concentration Elective Course3
 Specialization Course 1 3
  
Other (requires concentration director approval)
  
SIPA U40400.5 
SIPA U4200 or U640013 
Core: Management Course or Financial Management Course3 
 13.5 15
Year 2
FallPointsSpringPoints
Core: Management Course or Financial Management Course3Core: Capstone Workshop3
Concentration Elective Course3Internship Registration (Optional) 3
Specialization Course 2 3Specialization Course 31.5, 3
Elective 3Concentration Elective Course3
Elective 3Elective3
 15 13.5-15
Total Points: 57-58.5
1

 Courses must be taken in the semester listed.

Year 1

Foreign Language - For MIA students and EPD concentrators who need to take language courses to fulfill the degree/concentration requirement, your schedule may need to be adjusted accordingly.

Year 2

Core- MIA students are required to take one Interstate Relations course.