SIT: IHP Cities in the 21st Century: People, Planning, and Politics program allows you to explore how geography, politics, economics, and culture shape social relations and the built environment. This program combines an innovative urban studies curriculum with fieldwork involving key stakeholders such as: public agencies, planners, elected officials, NGOs, and grassroots organizations. You spend time in four cities across the globe to better understand the interconnected social, physical, economic, environmental, and political systems affecting urban environments. In addition, you will complete an independent comparative research project on a topic of your choosing.
You must work closely with your academic department to ensure that the academic focus of this program is a good fit for the work you are undertaking at Columbia University. You must show clear academic interest in the topic to be considered eligible for this program.
You take four courses throughout the semester:
- Urban Politics and Development
- Urban Planning and Sustainable Environments
- Contemporary Urban Issues (includes an independent comparative research project)
- Culture and Society of World Cities
The program travels to four different countries with the itinerary changing depending on the semester. There are two "tracks" per semester (for a total of four "tracks" per year) that have the same coursework but travel to different locations, so consider each one prior to applying. Review the SIT IHP website for the most up-to-date information. In the past, tracks have included:
- Brazil, India, South Africa, United States
- Argentina, South Africa, United States and Spain
- Brazil, India, Senegal, United States
Homestays are the primary form of accommodation on the program; other accommodations include guest houses, hostels, dormitories, and/or small hotels.
Review eligibility to ensure that you meet all Columbia requirements to study abroad.
Review the external program webpage to understand any additional program prerequisites.
To apply, you must complete the two steps below. Deadlines vary and some applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Therefore, you should complete the steps below simultaneously:
- To apply for Columbia clearance (approval) to study abroad, click on "Start Your Application" on this webpage. Clearance applications are approved on a rolling basis until the application deadline listed on this webpage.
- To apply for program admission, complete an external application directly on the program webpage. Note that this deadline may be in advance of the Columbia clearance deadline.
- This is a popular program and tends to fill prior to the application deadline. You are encouraged to start an application on the program’s website as soon as you can and complete it prior to the deadline.