Environmental Economics and Urban Planning

In the Environmental Economics and Urban Planning Interdisciplinary Degree Program, you will combine economic analyses with the tools of a professional planner to approach real-world environmental challenges facing cities and urban planners.

  • Program Overview
  • Curriculum
  • Faculty
  • Application Requirements
  • Contact Information

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Office of Graduate Admissions
Bendetson Hall
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 627-3395

Interdisciplinary MS Degree in Environmental Economics and Urban Planning

Critical environmental challenges face cities today, such as sustainability, climate change, energy efficiency, transportation, land use, and sprawl. To be an advocate for environmental issues, you need to have the quantitative and data skills to be able to effectively evaluate existing and future programs and policies. In this joint degree program, you will develop a quantitative and analytical skill set along with the professional planning credentials to address real-world environmental and urban challenges.

Bridging the Gap

"Building on previous work experience, I determined that when discussing urban and environmental planning, it is impossible to exclude the importance of economics from many policy decisions. I often noticed that economists and policy planners/politicians had a limited understanding of each other’s fields and I saw this duel degree as an excellent opportunity to bridge that gap."

Matthew Amato, Current Student

The objective of the Environmental Economics and Urban Planning interdisciplinary degree program is to provide students interested in developing interdisciplinary solutions to modern day environmental challenges with both the professional credentials of an urban planner and the training and mindset of an economist. As a graduate of this program, you will have greater job market prospects as both a professional urban planner and an economist.

What is a joint degree?

A joint degree consists of one master's degree awarded by two graduate departments. The degree combines courses in the Department of Economics with those in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) to provide students with the tools to understand and analyze this broad perspective on environmental economics and urban planning.

What Our Students Say About UEP

Learn more on the UEP website

Related Programs

This joint degree consists of one master's degree awarded by two graduate departments when a student meets the core master's requirements of both departments. This program takes two years to complete, or the completion of 14 credits.

Economics Requirements

The economics requirements consist of a core of four required courses, and two elective courses to be selected from a list of approved courses. The core courses provide tools in statistics, econometrics, and microeconomic theory that can be applied to a wide variety of problems. The elective courses provide an introduction to the use of these tools in particular areas of economics.

UEP Requirements

The UEP requirements consist of a core of three required courses, four elective courses, a noncredit internship, and a thesis or capstone exam. The choice of electives, internship, and thesis or capstone exam is dependent on the interests of the student and will be chosen in consultation with his/her advisor.

Thesis/Capstone Requirements

This program requires the completion of a thesis or capstone project. The thesis requires that students conduct a research project that applies the knowledge and skills that they have developed during their course of study, while the capstone represents an exam format that tests students on their expertise in a select few subject areas. For additional detail on the content of the capstone/thesis requirements, please consult with the UEP office.

Learn more on the UEP website 


Julian Agyeman
Fletcher Professor of Rhetoric and Debate and Interim Chair
Ph.D. , University of London
Sustainability policy and planning, environmental and food justice, intercultural cities
Marcelo Bianconi, Professor of Economics
Marcelo Bianconi
Ph.D. , University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign
Theoretical and Applied economic models
Drusilla Brown
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of Michigan
Applied general equilibrium models and International trade policy
Ujjayant Chakravorty
Ujjayant Chakravorty
Ph.D. , University of Hawaii
Resource and Environmental Economics, Energy and Development, Water
Steve Cicala
Steve Cicala
Assistant Professor
PhD , Harvard University
Energy and Environmental Economics, Industrial Organization
Christine Cousineau
MArch AS, MCP , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban planning and design, green urban design, retrofitting suburbs, community engagement
Kate Davies
Kate Davies
PhD , University of Auckland
Adaptive governance, coastal and marine management, equitable sustainability transformations, resilience planning
Mary E. Davis
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of Florida
Environmental health and economics
Thomas Downes
Thomas Downes
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Stanford University
Public educational finance and School choice
Kyle Emerick
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of California, Berkeley
Development economics and Applied econometrics
Tufts Professor Federico Esposito.
Federico Espósito
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Yale University
International economics, trade theory
Silke Forbes
Silke Forbes
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Industrial Organization, Antitrust, Strategy, Organizational Economics
Laura Gee
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of California San Diego
Applied microeconomic and Behavioral / Experimental economics
Laurie Goldman
Senior Lecturer
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Social welfare and housing policy, policy implementation, public and nonprofit management
Justin Hollander
Ph.D. , Rutgers University
Land use planning, urban design, shrinking cities, big data analytics
Shan Jiang
Shan Jiang
Eileen Fox Aptman, J90, and Lowell Aptman Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Big data analytics; spatial data science; urban mobility; urban science
Cynthia Kinnan, Assistant Professor of Economics
Cynthia Kinnan
James L. Paddock Assistant Professor in International Economics
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Development Economics, Applied Microeconomics
Edward Kutsoati
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Queen’s University
Applied microeconomics
Penn Loh
Senior Lecturer and Director of the M.P.P. Program and Community Practice
M.S. , University of California, Berkeley
Environmental justice, solidarity and new economy, community organizing
Eoin McGuirk, Assistant Professor of Economics
Eoin McGuirk
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , University of Dublin, Trinity College
Political Economy, Development Economics, Applied Microeconomics
Melissa McInerney
Professor; Co-Director of Graduate Studies
Ph.D. , University of Maryland at College Park
Public Economics and Health Economics
Margaret McMillan
JRN Family Professor of International Relations
Ph.D. , Columbia University
Development Policy, with an emphasis on Africa
Gilbert Metcalf
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Energy and Environmental Economics, with a focus on climate change
Lynne Pepall
Ph.D. , University of Cambridge
Industrial Organization
Daniel Richards
Professor and Department Chair
Ph.D. , Yale University
Industrial organization and Merger analysis
Elizabeth Setren
Elizabeth Setren
Gunnar Myrdal Assistant Professor of Economics
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Economics of education, labor economics
Rebecca Shakespeare, Lecturer, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
Rebecca Shakespeare
Ph.D. , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Geographic information system; urban geography; housing; critical GIS
Portrait of Shomon Shamsuddin.
Shomon Shamsuddin
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Housing policy, education, and community development
Enrico Spolaore
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Political economy and International economics
Portrait of Sumeeta Srinivasan.
Sumeeta Srinivasan
Senior Lecturer
PhD , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Intersection of sustainable development and spatial inequities of access
Adam Storeygard
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Brown University
Development and growth and Urban economics
Jon Witten
Senior Lecturer
J.D. , Suffolk University
Land use planning, local government law, natural resources policy
Jeffrey Zabel
Ph.D. , University of California at San Diego
Econometrics and Labor economics

Application Deadline

Fall: January 15

Applicants must meet all application guidelines and deadlines set forth by the individual academic departments. Applications are evaluated by both departments using the same criteria that are applied to applicants of the MA degree in UEP and the MS degree in economics. An applicant will be accepted into the program only if he/she is accepted by both the UEP and economics departments. Applicants who are accepted into only one program can choose to enroll in the graduate degree program in that department.

Application Requirements: 

> Application Fee
> Resume/CV
> Personal Statement 

- Please address interest in interdisciplinary programs

> Official GRE scores 

- GRE scores are not required for current Tufts undergraduates.

> Official TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test, if applicable
> Transcripts
> Three Letters of Recommendation

For more information, contact the program directors in the Department of Economics or Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.

Department of Economics
Professor Jeff Zabel, Graduate Program Director

Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
Associate Professor Mary Davis, Chair