Graduate Certificate in Urban Informatics

With seventy-five percent of the world’s population projected to be living in cities by 2050, the need for professionals in urban planning and related careers will only increase. The Graduate Certificate in Urban Informatics prepares students to manage the progressively complex issues involved with rapidly expanding data and technological resources in cities. As Claire Lane of the City of Boston recently noted, “The blueprints for great cities are increasingly anchored in big data, expressed in GIS [Geographic Information Systems] and codified in coherent policy.” Graduates with an Urban Informatics certificate will have skills in each of these areas; this will adequately prepare them to be professionals ready to shape the future of cities across the globe.

Students will be trained with the practical and theoretical knowledge necessary to understand the intricacies of interconnected urban systems and to analyze how these systems work together to create sustainable, resilient, and just cities. The curriculum emphasizes the expertise needed to bridge emerging technological capacities and traditional policy making processes. Students will cultivate applied skills in visual presentation, analysis, and modeling of new dataset—all of which will help to inform investment and policy making. Inspired by Northeastern’s leadership in experiential education, students will use Boston and cities around the world as learning labs.


The certificate requires four (4) courses for a total of 12 semester hours.

Urban Informatics Graduate Certificate Requirements (4 courses, 12 semester hours)
Semester Hours
Core Courses (Required, 3 courses, 9 semester hours)
PPUA 5266 Urban Theory and Science
3 SH
PPUA 5262 Big Data for Cities
3 SH
PPUA 5263 GIS for Urban Policy
3 SH
Selective Course – Choose 1 (3 semester hours)
PPUA 7237 Advanced Spatial Analysis of Urban Systems
3 SH
PPUA 5261 Dynamic Modeling for Environmental Investment and Policy Making
3 SH
PPUA 6966 Research Practicum
3 SH
View course descriptions through the Course Catalog

The certificate may be completed as a stand-alone graduate program or in conjunction with a graduate degree program at Northeastern. For additional information, contact:

Information accurate as of Spring 2015. Requirements and policies subject to change. For up-to-date information, contact Louis DaRos or view the official graduate catalogue for a full listing of graduate level courses.