Master in Urban Studies

Master in Urban Studies

2 years
Fee (Tentative)NPR 400,000

The Master of Urban Studies is a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary degree program. It mixes engineering, natural science, and social science courses to give students a holistic understanding of cities, urbanization processes, urban life, society, and governance. 

It addresses historical gaps in producing comprehensive skilled human resources for urban development, urban development, and its studies have been a relatively neglected area, except in silos, perhaps peripherally, as parts of architecture or civil engineering, without a sound understanding of society, social realities, governance, and social science inputs to grapple with and examine significant picture issues of urbanization, contextualizing infrastructure. 

In an era of rapid yet unplanned urbanization, where over 6.5 billion people will be urbanites by 2050, up from around 4 billion today, cities must be more resilient, particularly in developing nations.

In this context, the program's goal is to generate academics, researchers, and professionals who can contribute to the development and transformation of sustainable cities by providing solid theoretical and research-based practical knowledge. The program offers an opportunity to study sustainable urban development ideas, methodologies, and practices, as well as social and infrastructure planning and urban policy analysis.

Aims of the Programs

  • Integrate national development needs of urbanization and global development needs and SDGs into effective learning platform.
  • Address the specific challenges of urban poverty and access to infrastructure and future opportunities.
  • Ensure urban resilience to climate change and disaster risk reduction.
  • Promote integrated land use planning, innovative infrastructure, efficient service delivery, and efficient spatial concentration.
  • Offer unique learning, practice, and research opportunities to explore the best possible urbanism to make a contribution to a brighter future for cities and nation-states.
  • Meet the emerging needs of high-quality professionals for sustainable development of urban regions.
  • Produce theoretically trained and practically skilled professionals for sustainable urban transformation.

Evaluation Methods

We employ innovative course evaluation methods inclusive of required reading-based class interactions; long and short writing assignments; research-based presentations; field works; internships; quizzes; and exams.

Teaching and Learning Mode

Predominantly face-to-face but we also use online mode as appropriate.


Students must successfully complete 54 credit courses. Project works are an integral component of most of the courses.

Class Time

4:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Salient Features

  • Build solid understanding about the historical evolution of cities and the future cities.
  • Develop skills, knowledge and professional capacities needed for sustainable development leadership.
  • Acquire expertise in innovative urban sustainability practices through theory, practice and research trainings.
  • Develop interactive and trans-disciplinary learning aptitudes and be able to offer workable sustainable solutions against burgeoning urban problems.
  • Build unique academic, research, critical thinking, problem solving and practical skills to work effectively in many careers in diverse settings.
  • Life-long learning; cross-cultural and inter/ trans-disciplinary understanding; exposure to local-global connections and overall enhanced intellectual rigor development.


Bachelor’s degree in any discipline with a minimum CGPA 2.5 or 50%.


The total fee for Nepali students enrolled in Master in Urban Studies program for the academic year 2079/80 (2022 Batch) is NPR. 400,000.

The fee structure for international students seeking admission to Master in Urban Studies program at Kathmandu University (KU) is as follows:

  1. The fees for applicants from SAARC countries will be 1.5 times the amount specified for domestic students i.e., NPR.600,000
  2. On the other hand, international students from countries outside of SAARC will be required to pay double the fees stated for domestic students i.e., NPR. 800,000

Admission Criteria

The candidates must fulfill eligibility criteria and must also successfully complete the written test and the interview conducted by the Program/Department.

Job Prospects

  • Urban Development Officers/Workers
  • Urban Governance and Policy Expert
  • Program and Project Managers
  • City/Urban Planners
  • Community Developer
  • International Development Worker
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Researcher
  • Urban Disaster Analyst
  • Cultural Consultant
  • Emergency Response Planner
  • International Aid Director

Curricular Structure

First Semester

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
USPH 501 Urbanization and Planning History 3
USRM 511 Analytical Research Methods I 3
USCS 501 Urban Culture and Social Systems 3
USGS 501 Urban Institutions and Governance System 3
USUD 501 Urban Demography 3

Second Semester

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
USRM 522 Analytical Research Methods II 3
USPS 511 Planning Studio I 3
USGI 521 Urban GIS and Visual Tools 3
USRC 521 Resilient Cities and Settlements 3
USUF 521 Urban Finance 3

Third Semester (Any 5 courses will be offered from Electives below)

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
USUP 601 Urban Poverty 3
USHS 631 Urban Health System 3
USTS 631 Urban Transport System 3
USWM 611 Urban Waste Management and Sanitation 3
USWJ 631 Ethics, Welfare, and Justice 3
USHM 621 Landscape & Heritage Management 3
USLP 601 Land Use Planning 3
USPS 631 Private Sector and Urban Development 3
USSR 631 Public Space and Recreation 3
USPS 621 Planning Studio II 3

Second Year: Second Semester: 9 Credits only (Any 1 of the two below)

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
URMD 699 Dissertation 9
USUI 671 Urban Internship 3
USIR 681 Independent Research 3
Any one course from the elective below
USEC 531 Urban Economics 3
USED 531 Urban Education 3
USMU 531 Migration and Urbanization 3
URBS 631 Rural-Urban Linkages 3
USPO 631 Politics of Urbanization 3
USCD 631 Climate Change and Development 3
USHO 631 Urban Housing 3