Urban Policy

Academic Year 2023 – 2024

General Information

Robertson Hall

Program Offerings:

  • Certificate

Affiliated departments:

Director of Graduate Studies:

Patricia Kirkland (UP Certificate Faculty Advisor)

Graduate Program Administrator:


The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) offers a certificate in Urban Policy (UP), primarily for its own master's students, but graduate students from other Princeton departments are eligible to earn the certificate. The policy focus is global, and the coursework is grounded in the interdisciplinary and comparative study of cities and urban problems in both advanced industrialized and developing countries. The UP certificate emphasizes the social, economic and political dimensions of urban problems and is designed to prepare students for careers in urban policy analysis and economic development in national, state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, think tanks and international organizations. The certificate does not appear on the official transcript.

Program Offerings

Program Offering: Certificate

This certificate does not appear on transcripts.

Program description

The UP certificate requires two core courses: SPI 537, Urban Inequality and Social Policy; and SPI 538, Urban Economics. When one of these courses is not offered in a given academic year, an approved substitute is designated. A list of approved electives is made available at the beginning of each academic year. Two half-term courses count as one elective. UP certificate students are encouraged to take SPI 539, Urban Politics and Policymaking and/or SPI 540 Urbanization and Development. If a SPIA student takes a policy workshop with significant urban content, it can be counted as an elective toward the certificate. Students who wish to count one non-SPIA course toward the certificate requirements must seek advance permission from the UP certificate faculty advisor.