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Urban Strategy Program OverviewWatch the Video
Schuylkill Yards

All we do is think about cities. And move them forward.

Chestnut Street

The Drexel University MS in Urban Strategy program is housed in Philadelphia.

Monumental Baptist Church

West Philadelphia community members partner with Urban Strategy students for a class on Civic Engagement & Participatory Methods.


Urban Strategy students participate in University-wide Charrettes, reconceiving profound design and cultural challenges.

Urban Strategy Master's Degree Program

What is Urban Strategy?

The next generation of 21st century urbanists will face complex social, environmental and economic problems in an increasingly dynamic and interconnected world.

The Urban Strategy MS program is a multi-disciplinary University knowledge hub that develops leaders ready to address complex urban problems. Students learn a systems approach that drives innovative and comprehensive solutions to all aspects of urban planning and public policy in order to advance the modern city.

Urban Strategy at Drexel University

Drexel University’s Urban Strategy MS program prepares students to meet urban planning and public policy challenges through a 48-credit, 2-year, interdisciplinary master's degree program that brings together Drexel’s expertise in design, engineering, business, policy and public health. This unique master’s program empowers and prepares students for careers focused on improving the well-being of urban citizens.

Drexel University is the ideal institution for the MS in Urban Strategy due to Drexel’s inherent philosophy of interdisciplinary learning and practical, engaged education. Drexel is located in the heart of Philadelphia's urban transformation and is actively shaping the environment in which the University sits. Studying urban strategy at Drexel positions students to work with gifted faculty of experienced researchers and practitioners from the Westphal College, Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, College of Arts and Sciences, Dornsife School of Public Health, among others across the University.

City Planning & Beyond: What You’ll Learn in the MS in Urban Strategy Program

This program combines rigorous training in critical thinking and analytical methods, while grounding students in historical, political and economic context. The Urban Strategy program seeks students who have a sense of curiosity that is broad as well as deep. We relish the opportunity to work with students who are animated by their passions and commitment to rigorous research to transform today's cities into the cities of tomorrow.

Students will hone their skills in real-time through practical engagement and experiential learning. Using Drexel’s pioneering Side-by-Side approach, students learn together with students from the West Philadelphia community in a course focused on Civic Engagement and Participatory Methods. Students envision the future of urban design by participating in collaborative, University-wide charrettes with leading architects from around the world. Through our commitment to community-based learning, Urban Strategy students move beyond the four walls of the university, and into the city, early and often.

Students are not limited to any one discipline or bound by any one way of thinking. Instead, they integrate knowledge and practice from a variety of areas, including design, public health, engineering, social science and business — Urban Strategy graduates are prepared to tackle these difficult problems in new and innovative ways. Students take classes like City of Systems, which explores sustainability, risk and resilience. What is a City, a course which brings together changemakers from the city and region to give an inside look at what it takes to lead. And students are trained for in-demand skills like GIS mapping and quantitative analysis.

Students also have the opportunity to take four elective courses in Drexel’s 13 other Schools and Colleges to deepen their knowledge in their areas of interest, while receiving ongoing support and advising from faculty mentors.

Graduates of the Urban Strategy program gain public and private sector employment, including positions in government agencies, design firms, think tanks, community development corporations, and beyond.

Urban Strategy Master’s Program Resources & Facilities in Philadelphia

The Urban Strategy program is housed in Philadelphia, a city increasingly known for its vitality, livability, and continuous transformation. Students will learn firsthand what makes Philadelphia work, and the struggles the city and region continue to face.

Students pursuing careers in city planning and urban design will have a front row seat as Drexel embarks on an ambitious plan to transform the district around 30th Street Station into Schuylkill Yards: a 14-acre hub for living, learning and innovation.

In addition to having a hyper-local focus within Philadelphia, the program also has a significant global reach and perspective; students will have opportunities to travel and learn about best practices in contemporary urbanism from a network of partners around the world. Urban Strategy students have studied Business Improvement Districts in Italy, climate change in the fisheries of India, and trauma-informed design in Serbia.

Through a partnership with the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, students will have access to respected scholars and practitioners from around the world, who will serve as their teachers, advisors and mentors, in addition to seasoned Drexel faculty.

“Urban Strategy students are first in line to work alongside world class fellows who are part of Drexel’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation. The Lindy Institute is a think-tank, a catalyst for incredible academic and practitioner energy with global impact. Our mission statement says it all: ‘We forge innovative strategies to equitably advance cities.’ With our support of the Urban Strategy program, we are building a new community to come together and solve problems in a fundamentally inclusive and democratic way. That is a to me a very exciting way to think about urban innovation.”
Harris Steinberg, Executive Director, Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation

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Also in Urban Strategy

  • Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dornsife School of Public Health

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