Master Governing the Large Metropolis

Programme objectives

Fast growing metropolises are facing huge problems. Public and private actors struggle with enormous problems of urbanisation to provide fundamental utilities and basic collective goods. Water, electricity, sewage, mobility infrastructures, health and social services, education, environmental risks... every sector is challenged by the intensity and the rhythm of demographic, economic, technological and climate changes.

Governance and policy implementation in the large metropolises are not business as usual. They have an intensity and a speed much different from those in small and middle sized cities. Professionals and executives working in large metropolises requires a dedicated education, to understand how to work in contexts characterised by great economic productivity but also huge economic instability. Opportunities but also massive problems segregation, inequality, environmental degradation, pollution, violence, congestion, and inter-group conflict. 

The Master in Governing the Large Metropolis aims to prepare young professionals to work in tough environments. The purpose of the program is training young professionals who will take charge of public policy design and implementation in the governance of large cities in the future. It is a world wide unique training to support technical and political skills. 

This is not a master program designed to acquire skills to work in every urban contexts. It is not well adapted for those wishing to work in small and middle size cities in Europe. It is not to prepare to work in France.

Main orientations and specific features

A mix of sound interdisciplinary theoretical courses, case studies, methods and professional training

The master combines a strong education in:

  • Social sciences (with disciplinary courses in sociology, political science, law, economics, policy analysis, and geography applied to metropolitan development) 
  • Regional studies (on African Metropolis, Arab and Mediterranean Metropolis, South Asian Metropolis, South-East Asian Metropolis, Latin American Metropolis, Chinese Metropolis and North American Metropolis) 
  • Policy Sectors (on Cultural Policies, Housing Policies, Mobility Policies, Urban Utilities, Planning, Immigrant Integration, Planning) 
  • Rigorous methodological training in qualitative, quantitative and GIS (Geographic information system) methods 
  • Management and professional skills (Professional training is provided in the first year through a capstone; in the second year, case studies and workshops are taught by professionals coming from international organisations -UNESCO, OECD, UNHabitat-, NGOs and private companies). 

The programme is taught entirely in English with a great emphasis on issues of comparison. No ready made recipes are provided, and no simple fairy stories on the so called "best practices of good governance": the programme trains the students with a strong critical approach and management skills so as to be competent to implement urban policy in critical environments.

Students also take advantage of advanced active learning techniques: workshops with professionals, site-visits, academic writing supports, collective writing for a book on a study trip to a large metropolis or a work by team on a capstone commissioned by a private or public organization (benchmark, comparative international analysis, case study,…). 

Systematic relations are built with urban professionals and research groups, including cities such as Bogota, Lima, Mexico, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Beirut, Istanbul, Cairo, Manila, Bombay, New Delhi, Jakarta, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Nairobi, Lagos and Johannesburg.

Career opportunities

The GLM program prepares for three main types of job related-figures:

  • Executives (this is the main professional track) 
  • Entrepreneurs (students may attend training offered by the Sciences Po entrepreneurial center) 
  • Researchers (through a Research Track in partnership with the Sciences Po PhD School).

The Vocational Statement: during the whole duration of the programme, students are assisted in their course and professional orientation through a regular vocational statement exercise. We help students to discern their professional project, and find a path to achieve it.  

Preparing for a career in a vibrant job market

GLM alumni are organised by Region all over the world. They work in:

  • Utility firms (on water, transport, waste disposals, energy, sewage)
  • Private developers and international consultants in the large metropolises
  • Urban planning agencies, economic development agencies, urban political organisations
  • Environment, health, security and food organisations
  • NGO's in different sectors (democratic governance, environment, housing, development, culture…)
  • Urban and regional governments
  • UN organisations
  • Networks of cities (UCLG, 100 Resilient Cities, C40, ICLEI...)
  • Private foundations and think tanks

You can contact some of them via the vibrant In Situ Association.