City Design and Development

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Foreign:$ 46 k / Year(s) Deadline: Oct 20, 2023
StudyQA ranking:4386 Duration:4 years

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The Joint Program in City Design and Development (CDD) is an academic and research program concerned with shaping and designing the built and natural environment of cities and suburban territories.CDD is a collaboration of the MIT Departments of Urban Studies and Planning and  Architecture, as well as the Center for Real Estate, the Center for Advanced Urbanism, and the Media Lab. As such, it joins key actors and disciplines that are shaping cities. Students in CDD come from many countries with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Some have prior professional degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, and planning; others come from varied academic fields in the sciences and arts. Faculty advisors help students to tailor the program’s extensive subject offerings and research opportunities into individualized areas of study, supported by the unparalleled information and technology resources of MIT.

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning offers many possibilities for creating a concentration tailored to your needs and interests in the following categories.

  • Designing the Urban Environment
  • Environmental Policy
  • Urban History & Society
  • Policy Analysis and Urban Problems
  • International Development
  • Education
  1. Required Subjects (69 units)

  2. Thesis (24 units)

  3. Planned Electives (57-60 units)

  4. Urban Field Experience

Students who wish to study urban planning at MIT at the undergraduate level must first be accepted to MIT. At the end of the first year MIT students decide which course of study they wish to pursue. Undergraduate applicants do not apply directly to the Department.


  • Option 1: The SAT or the ACT, as well as two SAT Subject Tests: one in math (level 1 or 2), and one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m).
  • Option 2: The TOEFL (we do not accept IELTS) as well as two SAT Subject Tests: one in math (level 1 or 2) and one in science (physics, chemistry, or biology e/m). This option is especially recommended for students who do not speak English at home or in school, or who have been speaking English for fewer than five years.(Paper Based Test (PBT)- 577 min;Internet Based Test (iBT)-90 min)

Application Process

International students fill out the same application as domestic students:

  • Creating a MyMIT account
  • Part 1: Personal Information
  • Part 2: Essays, Academics, and Activities
  • Secondary School Report
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Transcript
  • Interviewing
  • February Updates & Notes Form
  • Submitting Supplements


MIT Financial Aid Deadlines & Required Documents for international student

Deadline Required document Notes Submit Via
February 15 CSS Profile Designate MIT as one of your recipients by using our CSS code 3514 and answer all supplemental questions specific to MIT. CSS Profile
February 15 Non-Custodial Parent's Profile If your parents are separated or divorced, your non-custodial parent must file this form. Once you complete the CSS PROFILE, CSS will e-mail you application instructions, including a link to the Noncustodial Parent's PROFILE website and login instructions, to send to your noncustodial parent. CSS Profile
February 15 Parents' 2015 Income Tax Returns or wage statement After you submit the CSS PROFILE, you will receive an email (beginning in early February) informing you how to submit your parents' 2015 tax returns and forms to Institutional Documentation Service (IDOC) for processing. If your country does not have an annual income tax form, send a letter from each parent's employer stating the 2015 salary earned in local currency. It can take up to two weeks for the tax returns to be received by MIT. ID

All students need to demonstrate minimum competence in fields they will continue to study at MIT. Werecommend that all international students study: 

  • Four years of English
  • Mathematics, at least to the level of calculus
  • Two or more years of history / social studies
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

While these courses are not required, studying them will increase the chances that you will be sufficiently prepared academically to attend MIT. Students without all of the listed recommended classes are welcome to apply.

Dates & Deadlines

Dates and deadlines for Early Action/Regular Action are as follows: 

  • September-October of application year: create a MyMIT account, begin the application
  • October 20: deadline to contact your interviewer (if available) for EA
  • November 1: EA deadline 
  • November 30: deadline to complete all testing requirements for EA
  • December 10th: deadline to contact your interviewer (if available) for RA
  • Mid-December: EA decisions released
  • January 1st: RA deadline
  • January 31: deadline to complete all testing requriements for RA
  • January/February: complete the February Updates & Notes Form as soon as it is available
  • February 15th: deadline to submit all Financial Aid materials
  • Mid-March: RA decisions released 
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