Program Details

Master in Urban Studies (MUS)

Transforming Cities for Sustainability

The dynamism in cities’ development represents a major opportunity for sustainability in the 21st century


The Master in Urban Studies is a unique inter-disciplinary program. It blends courses from engineering, natural and social sciences to offer a robust understanding of cities, the processes of urbanization, and urban life, society and governance. It addresses the historical gaps in producing comprehensive skilled human resources for urban development as the urban development and its studies, so far, has been a relatively neglected area, except in silos, perhaps peripherally, as parts of architecture or civil engineering without having sound understanding of society, social realities, governance and inputs from social sciences to grapple and examine big picture issues of urbanization, contextualizing infrastructural, social, economic, demographic and institutional processes. In the era rapid but haphazard urbanization, over 6.5 billion people from approximately 4 billion today, will be urbanites by 2050, there is a need to make cities sustainably resilient particularly in developing countries. In this context, the program is to produce academics, researchers and professionals with robust theoretical, and research-informed practical understanding to contribute in building/transforming sustainable cities. The Program offers opportunities to learn theories, methodologies, and practices of sustainable urban development, and social and infrastructural planning, and urban policy analysis.


• 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 best possible urbanism to make a contribution to a brighter future of 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.


• 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.


• 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


First Year: First Semester: 15 Credits

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

First Year: Second Semester: 15 Credits

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

Second Year: First Semester: 15 Credits (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

USUI 671 Urban Internship 3

USIR 681 Independent Research 3


URMD 699 Dissertation 9


USEC 531: Urban Economics

USED 531: Urban Education

USMU 531: Migration and Urbanization

URBS 631: Rural Urban Linkages

USPO 631: Politics of Urbanization

USCD 631: Climate Change and Development

USHO 631: Urban Housing

Fee Structure for Master in Urban Studies [2023]

The total amount of fees per student, excluding the costs of books, stationeries, accommodation, and individual dissertation research, for the entire duration of two years is NRs. 400,000. This amount is payable in five installments. Students from SAARC (excluding Nepal) and outside SAARC countries have to pay 1.5 and 2 times the above amount of charges, respectively. The various charges set by the program are subject to change according to KU rules.


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


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


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.


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.


7:00 AM to 10 AM





Kathmandu University School of Arts,
Master in Urban Studies Program,
Balkumari, Lalitpur, Nepal
Phone: 01-5250105, 5250524

For further information about the program contact:

Chandra Lal Pandey, PhD
Email: Mobile: +977 9820108001 | 9820108002


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