Urban Planning Programme (master)

Three semesters of comprehensive training for careers in city design and management (development, planning, housing, real estate etc.)


The master "Urban Planning Programme" is taught entirely in French under the title "Cycle d'urbanisme".


The Sciences Po Urban Planning Programme (Master) trains students for a wealth of careers in contemporary city design, all of which demand a diverse skillset: understanding of major socio-economic issues, aptitude for unpicking evolving regional and urban phenomena, a capacity for strategic analysis, willingness to intervene in complex decision-making systems and multi-stakeholder procedures, ability to think spatially, mastery of a broad range of technical, legal and financial tools.

Voyage d'étude à Lille

Condensed into three intensive semesters (two semesters of teaching at Sciences Po and one off-campus semester spent completing an internship, an exchange or in employment), the programme is designed as much for students as for young professionals. Each cohort brings together students from the most varied backgrounds: political scientists, lawyers, architects, geographers, economists, engineers, sociologists, the list goes on. The educational conviction of the Urban Planning programme has remained unchanged since its launch 50 years ago: a belief that interdisciplinarity and horizontal learning are fertile soil for professional collaboration and the keys to more intelligent city design. Over the years, the programme has built up a firm network of alumni working across all fields of urban design (town planning, real estate, development, urban policy…), in diverse organisations and institutions (ministries, regional authorities, private and public developers, urban planning agencies, consultancy firms, elected official’s offices, real estate developers).

The training is intensive, full-time and professionally-driven. It centres on a rich and unique curriculum that paves the way to ambitious and diverse career paths, whether these be familiar or entirely new, in the case of students pursuing a career change. The programme’s relatively limited intake (between 35 and 40 students) means that lecturers and academic staff can offer tailor-made guidance to each member of the cohort.

The programme offers high-level academic courses in the social sciences, led in part by committed professionals who are keen to share their own background and experience with students. There is a continual overlap of different perspectives and scales: from broad regional policy to real estate strategy and urban project management. Innovative teaching methods combine academic theory with real-world application (study trips, group projects, simulations), guaranteeing pathways that are adapted to the experience of each student.

> Find out more about the programme's structure.

Voyage d'étude à Lille

Entry requirements and accreditation

The Urban Planning Programme (Master) is open to students or professionals who have completed at least one year of a Master’s degree in any discipline.

A very strong level of written and spoken French is required (see the language requirements table).

The programme is accredited by APERAU (the French Association for the Promotion of Teaching and Research in Urban Planning and Development).


There are multiple pathways for admission to the Urban Planning Programme.

Details of the documents required for both procedures:

Voyage d'étude à Berlin

  • Additional materials: in addition to the required documents listed on the admissions website, candidates will need to compile and attach a portfolio presenting a selection of previous personal, academic and/or professional work. You are free to choose what you include in this portfolio; depending on your background, example material might include photos or descriptions of previous projects, written pieces, published work, extracts from an academic dissertation, an internship report etc. All material should be assembled into a single document. If the file size is less than 2 Mb, you will be able to upload it with your online application form. If the file is larger than 2 Mb, please upload a document (.doc or .pdf format) including a link to a URL containing your file. Whatever format you choose for your portfolio, you should ensure that the material is clear, well-presented and can be read easily by assessors.
  • References: one academic reference and one professional reference are required; a second academic reference is strongly recommended. 

Check which admissions procedure applies to you

Find out more about career opportunities after a Master's degree at the Urban School:

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