MS in Environmental Economics and Urban Planning

There is a natural linkage between economics and urban and environmental policy and planning. Important public policy and planning questions have motivated some of the classic studies in economics, and the tools of economic analysis can be applied to a wide variety of policy and planning questions. Many students receiving master's degrees in economics find employment in the policy and/or planning sector, and would benefit from courses explicitly directed at public policy and planning issues. Likewise, students studying public policy and planning would benefit from an exposure to the analytical tools of economics. 

The candidate for a joint master's degree in Economics and UEP must satisfy the joint degree requirements specified by each of the two departments. Guidance for joint degree candidates will be provided by advisors from each department who will help the candidate design a program of study to meet their goals and interests and aid in the direction of the thesis or capstone exam.

A student who completes these requirements is awarded a single joint MS degree in Economics and UEP (versus an MS degree in Economics and an MA degree in UEP). Students enrolled into the joint degree program can opt out at any time and decide to pursue the graduate degree in UEP or Economics. 


We require all incoming students to have completed an undergraduate course in multivariate calculus. Such a course covers topics on partial differentiation, total derivatives, integration, and integration over more than one variable. Occasionally we will admit a student without this background on the condition that they complete a multivariate calculus class prior to matriculation. In addition, it is desirable, but not necessary, to have taken classes that expose students to proofs and to the use of vectors and matrices. Linear algebra, differential equations, real analysis, and other higher-level classes can be useful in the program but are not necessary for admission.

Economics Requirements

The Economics requirements for the joint degree program 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.

  1. Core Courses (4 courses)
    • Economics 201: Statistics
    • Economics 202: Econometrics
    • Economics 203: Microeconomic Theory I
    • Economics 204: Microeconomic Theory II
  2. Elective Courses (2 courses)
    Each semester, the Economics Department selects a set of courses that satisfy the requirement for elective courses for the MS degree. Typically they include upper level undergraduate courses in the Economics and Mathematics Departments and courses in the Fletcher School

UEP Requirements

The UEP requirements for the joint degree program consist of a core of three required courses, four elective courses, a noncredit internship, and a thesis or capstone exam. The selection of electives, internship, and thesis or capstone exam is dependent on the interests of the student and will be chosen in consultation with the advisor.

  1. Core Courses (3 courses)
    • UEP 250: Foundations of Public Policy and Planning
    • UEP 252: Cities in Space, Place and Time
    • UEP 255: Field Projects: Planning and Practice
  2. Elective Courses (4 courses)
    A wide range of UEP and Tufts courses qualify as electives. These are chosen by the student with the approval of the UEP advisor.
  3. Internship (noncredit)
  4. Thesis or Capstone Exam 
    Students choosing the thesis option conduct a research project that applies the knowledge and skills that they have developed during their course of study. The capstone exam is 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. The thesis or capstone committee for a joint degree candidate must include at least one faculty member from each department. The advisor can be from either department.

Degree Requirements