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Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Urban Technology

See cities through data.
Shape cities through code.
Design positive change.

Electric scooters that let you zip around town; apps that enable sharing of houses, workspaces, and more; embedded sensors that ensure water is clean and bridges are safe—imagining and growing systems like these is what you will do in this first-of-its-kind degree program. You’ll learn how to create the digital products and services that make cities better for everyone. The University of Michigan’s Bachelor of Science in Urban Technology combines urbanism, technology, and design to help you build the know-how and determined humility to shape future cities.

In our unique curriculum, you will also complete a minor of your choosing, bringing depth and diversity to the classroom and connecting you to the wide variety of offerings across U-M. It all starts with a unique first-year experience. You will have the first fall term as a gap semester before beginning classes during winter term and continuing into a unique Cities Intensive during the spring term that will take you to Detroit and other important cities in the region. As you visit these places, you’ll meet with changemakers doing important and inspiring work.

Join the Leaders and Best

The University of Michigan is globally recognized as one of the world’s most prominent public universities, with more than 100 programs ranked in the top 10 according to the 2020-2021 QS World University Rankings.

You’ll study with Taubman College faculty who are experts on design, technology, and urban issues and work to improve the public good. In your courses and studios, learning happens through collaborative, hands-on projects, including immersive experiences visiting cities and meeting with real-world stakeholders.

And when you graduate, you will join one of the world’s largest, most diverse, and most passionate alumni communities – a network of more than 640,000 alumni who will open doors for a lifetime.

Cultivate Your Mission

Urban changemakers are driven by passion and deep commitment to the issues that resonate with them. To help you find your mission, our curriculum encourages you to explore a range of issues like circular economies, mobility, energy, housing, or public health. In all cases, environmental sustainability and social justice will be essential aspects of the challenges you take on.

Rather than follow one path, as an Urban Technology student you will have the perspective and opportunity to choose the life path that helps you advance your mission, whether that be working in government, becoming a member of a non-profit, launching your career at a startup, or some unique mix of all of these.

Depending on how you craft the educational experience, you might become one of the following after graduation:

  • Interaction Designer
  • Service Designer
  • Analyst or Researcher
  • Entrepreneur
  • Product/Program Manager
  • Creative Technologist

Learn Cities, Code, and Design

Join the program and learn:

  • New perspectives on the history of cities and what is happening in the urban world around you today, including how to research, analyze, and understand urban environments
  • How to conceptualize and code software
  • Design that balances human-centered and systems-level needs
  • How to use quantitative and qualitative analysis to identify opportunities and challenges, and how to make a compelling argument
  • How to navigate complex, diverse, and evolving situations with integrity

You will also add breadth by selecting an interdisciplinary minor from options such as Digital Studies, Entrepreneurship, Real Estate Development, and more. See the full list in the Degree Requirements below.

Intersection of Cities, Code, and Design

The B.S. in Urban Technology is an approved field of study within the U.S. government’s official STEM fields list. Students earning a degree in a STEM field may be eligible for the 24-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension. For further details, contact the International Center.

Cities Intensive: Spring Travel Term

People Collaborating

As an Urban Technology student, you will enter as a first-year student with a declared major and take required courses each semester. In your first year, you and your classmates will take the fall as a gap semester before beginning college courses in winter semester (January) and completing year one with a Cities Intensive in the spring term (May and June).

People Walking

The Cities Intensive is a jam-packed two months of hands-on learning. During this busy semester, you will learn how to understand cities in depth, benefitting from field trips to Detroit and other important urban centers. Between field trips, you’ll complete hands-on design workshops that are a chance to experiment with how you see, shape, and experience urban life.

In summers after your sophomore and junior year you’ll have the option of joining Taubman College travel studios electives in cities around the world.

Study with the Best

At Taubman College you’ll learn with a cross-section of faculty members who are thinking about, designing, and researching the future of cities. Here are a few of the people you will work with at Taubman College, and you will also learn from and connect with faculty across the U-M campus.

Looking for More?

If you’re still hungry to learn about urban technology, follow our newsletter, or read the feature on urban changemakers in the fall issue of Portico magazine. Want to meet some of our students? Here are profiles of a few of the inaugural cohort. Have questions about the program or the University of Michigan? Click the button below to get in touch.

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