Master of Urban Affairs (MUA)

The Master of Urban Affairs (MUA) is designed for students seeking to develop a broad understanding of urban public policy, community development and service delivery, and the administration of public and private agencies in urban settings. The MUA provides the theoretical, analytical, and practical foundations for understanding the complexities of the urban environment.

Graduates of the program are prepared for careers in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors in which they will assemble and analyze information for policymaking, identify community needs and resources, and administer effective service-delivery programs. MUA graduates work in the fields of housing, health and social services, economic development, transportation management, and environmental protection, among many others. Many students obtain the MUA degree in preparation for further study, or to seek advancement in their current job or field.

The Master of Urban Affairs (MUA), requires the completion of 32 credits (eight courses) of study. The MUA degree may be earned within one year of full-time study or a year-and-a-half of part-time study and must be earned within a maximum of five years. Students are encouraged to participate in the Directed Internship Program for course credit through MET UA 804 Supervised Fieldwork.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and apply knowledge of the history and theory of urban and regional development, the structure and functions of urban systems, local and national policymaking processes, and the role of planning to create sustainable outcomes.
  • Explain and assess the economic, environmental, political, social, and equity issues inherent in policy work and planning practice.
  • Apply quantitative and qualitative research skills to theory-building, data-gathering and analysis, and planning and policymaking processes.
  • Create relevant policy and planning solutions that incorporate the diverse perspectives of various stakeholders, including those of minority and disadvantaged communities.
  • Mediate and communicate effectively in public (community) and policy settings.

For more information about the City Planning & Urban Affairs programs at Boston University, including admissions information, faculty bios, student resources, events, and more, please visit the program website.

Admissions Information

For current admissions information, please visit the Metropolitan College website.

Degree Requirements

A total of eight courses (32 credits) is required, distributed as follows:

Required Courses (five courses/20 credits)

  • MET UA 515 History, Theory, and Planning Practice
  • MET UA 664 Planning and the Development Process
    MET UA 715 Planning and Land Use Law
  • MET UA 703 Urban Research Methods
  • MET UA 704 Urban Economics
  • MET UA 805 Urban Studies Capstone

Elective Courses (three courses/12 credits)

Elective courses are selected with the advice of the faculty advisor. To find courses currently being offered, please visit the website. Up to one elective course may be taken outside the program’s offerings.

Combined Certificate Options

With prior departmental approval, MUA students may receive an additional graduate certificate upon successful completion of one additional approved elective. The City Planning & Urban Affairs program offers a Graduate Certificate in Applied Sustainability, Graduate Certificate in Applied Urban Informatics, and a Graduate Certificate in Urban Policy & Planning. Please contact to inquire about additional graduate certificate options associated with this degree.

Graduate certificates consist of four courses specific to the area of study, including required and elective courses. Elective courses can be selected from a preapproved list of a wide range of multidisciplinary electives offered across the University. The courses from the graduate certificate can be credited to the master’s degree program.

Course Waivers for Related Programs

The five core requirements for the Master of Urban Affairs (MUA) and Master of City Planning (MCP) programs are identical. Therefore, Urban Affairs graduate students may opt to transfer their credits to obtain a Master of City Planning degree instead. In such cases, transferring MCP candidates may receive a full waiver for all five core courses, provided they received a grade of C (2.0 or higher).

Master of Urban Affairs students may pursue a certificate program in Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate Practice, or Real Estate Finance at Boston University’s Center for Professional Education (CPE). MUA students who earn a CPE certificate in Commercial Real Estate or Real Estate Finance will be granted a waiver of one graduate-level elective course (4 credits) toward their degree.