Sustainable Urban Systems Concentration in Sustainable Design and Construction Master of Science Program

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) with a special field designation of Sustainable Design & Construction (SDC), Sustainable Urban Systems (SUS) Concentration on the academic transcript. Learn more about the SDC program

The Sustainable Design and Construction (SDC) MS program at Stanford has long been recognized in the fields of construction management, building information modeling, virtual design and construction, and sustainability-focused design and construction techniques. The new Sustainable Urban Systems (SUS) track within the SDC MS program is intended to prepare MS students for career opportunities, including (i) design of urban infrastructure systems that promote social, environmental, and economic sustainability, (ii) analysis of large urban datasets to understand and predict urban phenomena, (iii) assessment of urban material and energy flows to reduce impact, and (iv) build computational models of urban systems to support decision-support and planning. Students would graduate from the program prepared to work at (i) consulting firms advising cities on sustainable development strategies, (ii) construction firms executing projects and programs focusing on sustainable urban systems, (iii) technology firms that are building urban data IT systems and serve as vendors to municipalities, and (v) municipalities implementing sustainable urban system plans.

Students admitted to graduate study in the department can satisfy the requirements for the Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering in Sustainable Design and Construction with a Sustainable Urban Systems concentration by completing 3-5 quarters of residency and a minimum of 45 units of study beyond the undergraduate degree. All 45 units must be taken at Stanford. A minimum 2.75 grade point average (GPA) is required for candidates to be recommended for the MS. 

The MS program in Civil and Environmental Engineering requires at least 30 units at the graduate level (courses numbered 200 or above) and at least 24 units from the School of Engineering. No more than 6 units of coursework that is offered with a letter grade option can be taken for pass/no credit. No courses numbered less than 100 can count toward the MS degree. The coursework must form a coherent program of study approved by the student's faculty advisor.

Refer to the SDC program’s academic curriculum to see which required and elective courses comprise the SUS concentration. As this is a new program with a wide-ranging interdisciplinary scope, students will find flexibility in customizing their individual course of study. The foundation of the curriculum is the project-based, community-engaged learning course series (CEE 224XYZ) in which teams collaborate with industry or government partners on urban systems challenges. 


Prospective students are encouraged to direct any curriculum inquiries by email to For questions specifically about SUS courses, please email 


  1. Create your account on the Stanford Graduate Admissions web site.
  2. In the application process:
  • Select “Civil & Environmental Engineering” under Program
  • Select “Sustainable Design & Construction” under Specialization
  • Select “Sustainable Urban Systems” under Interests. Do not select any other item(s).

Applications are due January 10th.