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The Urban Informatics Graduate Certificate introduces students to the emerging field of urban informatics. It requires students complete a minimum of 15 credits of coursework.

This page describes the course requirements, which are also summarized on the Urban Informatics Certificate Requirement Checklist.

Core Course: Introduction to Urban Informatics (3 credits)

The core course, URP 535/SI 536, will provide students foundational technical and theoretical knowledge, as well as cultivate a student community. Course assignments include laboratory assignments and short essays on nontechnical topics. The course content includes analytical methods, and topics about the use of technology in urban and professional contexts. The course incorporates current trends in urban informatics.

Urban Context Elective (3 credits)

All students are required to take 3 credits of urban context courses which provide a holistic introduction to an urban policy domain of their choosing. Courses that satisfy this requirement should contain the following characteristics for the particular domain: (1) leading theories and empirical research findings, (2) the role of professionals and other key stakeholders, and (3) an emphasis on urban contexts. Since many courses can satisfy this requirement, the course taken for this requirement will be approved by the student’s certificate advisor. Potential courses which satisfy this requirement include:

  EAS 537 Urban Sustainability (3)
  EAS 554 Urban Agriculture (3)
  EAS 578 Urban Stormwater (3)
  EAS 787 Metropolitan Dynamics Studio (module 1) (2)
  URP 580 Metropolitan Structure (3)
  URP 671 Transportation and Public Policy (3)
  URP 560 Transportation and Land Use Planning (3)
  URP 540 Land Use and Development Management Planning (3)
  URP 582/SSW 655 Neighborhood Revitalization Policy and Planning (3)

Analytical Methods Elective

The analytical method requirement builds on skills introduced in the core course, providing students with technical skills in one of three areas: spatial analysis, databases, and data analysis.

Spatial Analysis
URP 520 | Introduction to GIS (3)
EAS 531 | Principles of GIS (4)

Or, for students with previous GIS coursework:

  • URP 521 | Intermediate GIS (3)
  • EAS 534 | GIS and Landscape Modeling (even years) (3)
  • EAS 543 | Environmental Spatial Data Analysis (odd years) (3)
  • EAS 540 | GIS Applications (2)

Data Analysis
SI 618 | Data Manipulation and Analysis
SI 671 | Data Mining
EECS 453 | Applied Data Analysis
STATS 415 | Data Mining and Statistical Learning
PP 567 | Data Analysis
CEE 575 | Sensors and Data
CEE 573 | Data Analysis in CEE
IOE 691 | Data Analysis

SI 664 | Database Application Design
EECS 584 | Advanced Database Management Systems

Programming, Design or Entrepreneurship Elective (3 credits)

All urban informatics students must demonstrate basic proficiency in a computer programming language of their choosing. Students can satisfy this requirement through required coursework in their home discipline OR by taking one of the courses listed below. To satisfy the requirement with a course not listed here, students should submit a written request with the class syllabus, and a transcript showing a grade of B or higher to the program director. Students who have satisfied the programming requirement may take either a programming, design, or leadership and entrepreneurship course. Graduates of the Certificate in Urban Informatics will often find themselves leading this emerging field, so the purpose of this optional coursework is to equip students with the skills to lead as change agents within communities as designers or entrepreneurs.

Programming Courses (one required if not satisfied in home discipline)
SI 502 | Networked Computing (3)
SI 506 | Programming I (3)
SI 539 | Design of Complex Websites (web) (3)

Technology Design Courses
SI 622 | Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation (4)
SI 582 | Intro. to Interaction Design (3)

Entrepreneurship and Leadership
URP 522 | Collaborative Planning (3)
MO 617 | Social Intrepreneurship
ES 325 | New Product and Innovation Management
SI 663 | Entrepreneurship in the Information Industry (3)
Any ENTR 500-level course offered by the Center for Entrepreneurship

Integrative Coursework Requirement (3 credits)

The integrative experience allows students to integrate the knowledge obtained from other coursework, and can be satisfied 1) by taking a course from a list of approved electives or 2) by completing a project-based course. Students choosing the project option will need to demonstrate that the project integrates appropriate analytical methods, a consideration of technology context, and an appropriate practice model. Projects completed to satisfy the requirements of the student’s primary degree program or another certificate will not be allowed. Students interested in completing this requirement through an independent project completed within a project course or independent study should submit a 2-page proposal to the program Director, who will approve the proposals after consulting with the Faculty Advisory Committee. Students will be strongly encouraged to present the results of their integrative experience at an annual conference.

SI 538 | Citizen Interaction Design (4)
URP 526 | Scenario Planning (3)
ARCH 531 | American Space

OR An applied project completed independently or within a project course
(such as CEE 679 (Infrastructure Systems Project), SI 612 (Pervasive Interaction Design), or URP 602 (Professional Project)

Counting Credits

The Certificate can be completed in coordination with many existing graduate programs at Michigan. According to the Graduate School rules, not more than one-half of the certificate credits (7.5) can be double-counted with the course required for the master’s degree. Therefore in most cases, students will be able to double-count two of the five required courses for the Certificate. In addition, students enrolled in graduate programs administered by Rackham may use Certificate coursework to satisfy the Cognate requirement for their primary degree. Students should consult with their program about the most recent requirements.

Completion Requirements

When ready to graduate, students should apply to graduate within Wolverine Access and meet with Taubman College Student Affairs to complete the Dual/Joint Election Form. 

Course information websites

School of Information
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
School for Environment and Sustainability
College of Engineering – Civil and Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering – Industrial and Operations Engineering

Plan Your Future
Housing, Community, and Economic Development
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Physical Planning and Design
Transportation Planning
Global and Comparative Planning