Transportation Planning and Engineering, M.S. | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Transportation Planning and Engineering, M.S.

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Transportation Planning and Engineering - Blurred Road

Graduates of the master's program in Transportation Planning and Engineering join the ranks of one of the oldest networks of transportation engineering alumni in the United States. Students are trained by an internationally renowned, award-winning faculty with expertise ranging from traditional traffic engineering to the latest state of the art in smart and connected cities. Alumni gain access to one of the biggest transportation job markets in the United States with New York City, having one of the largest populations, with its transit systems, airports, and seaports, requiring an increasing number of transportation engineers to tackle the one-of-a-kind challenges that accompany them.

Current students are immersed in projects and learning opportunities in areas that the faculty members are known for including connected vehicle deployment; congestion management; city logistics; traffic engineering and optimal control; humanitarian logistics and disaster management; multimodal network design; activity-based demand scheduling; smart cities and urban informatics; among others.

Learning will take place in new up-to-date facilities at the Connected Cities for Smart Mobility toward Accessible and Resilient Transportation (C2SMART)  at NYU Tandon, with advanced equipment that includes simulation software, video walls, tablets, instrumented vehicles, virtual reality devices, wearable sensors, and commercial drones.

In addition to a set of core and elective courses within the department related to the topics above, master's students have the opportunity to take advantage of related courses at NYU with the approval of their faculty advisor, such as urban planning at Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; econometrics and management at Stern School of Business; machine learning and computational statistics in the Courant Institute; or Big Data and urban informatics at the Center for Urban Science and Progress.

Masters students also have the opportunity to partake in entrepreneurial pursuits. The NYU Tandon Future Labs, a public-private partnership that supports new ventures, has supported a number of successful transportation-related startups, including Bandwagon Taxishare, East Coast Electric, and EV Box. Student competitions such as InnoVention help students prototype and develop ideas for the marketplace.


Applicants to the master's program are expected to have an undergraduate degree in an engineering or related discipline, with a basic level of knowledge of probability and statistics.


To earn a Master of Science in Transportation Planning and Engineering degree at the School of Engineering, you must complete 30 credits, as outlined below.

You must have a 3.0 GPA or better in all graduate courses and in all guided studies (readings, projects, theses). Averages are separately computed for courses and guided studies. Transfer credits from other institutions are omitted from this average.

In addition, you are required to have an overall 3.0 GPA in all courses required for this degree. You may not repeat a course that counts toward the program more than once.

The MS program has a strong foundation in traffic engineering, transportation planning, transportation economics, public transportation systems and intelligent transportation systems. Students are exposed to a learning atmosphere that provides a meaningful combination of theoretical and practical approaches. Courses include a mix of presentations, workshop and project exercises, and practical problem solutions.

The program focuses on: 

  1. Material suited to the issues and projects students will face on the job, so that they are immediately productive
  2. Material packaged by the course so that each course provides specific skills and knowledge, enabling the student to be immediately productive
  3. Project-based learning in multiple courses, as an underlying approach to teaching the courses and the program
  4. Modern tools integrated into the courses, including, but not limited to: Synchro and SIM-Traffic and HCS+
  5. Design problems taught through a project/case studies approach
  6. Statistics integrated into courses, with moderately advanced skills in Excel and Word expected in all courses (but not explicitly taught).

The program includes a strong focus on the rapidly emerging field of intelligent transportation systems. This field applies telecommunications and information technology to solving a variety of transportation functions, from route guidance systems to automated toll collection systems to the automated highway.

The primary goal of the MS in Transportation Planning and Engineering is to prepare transportation professionals to plan, functionally design, control and operate facilities, systems and services that satisfy the demand for passenger and freight transportation. Specific objectives of the program are to provide the skills necessary to:

  • Fundamentally understand the nature and generation of transportation AIMSUN demands;
  • Understand the political, policy and economic forces that affect transportation demands and the public framework in which they are addressed;
  • Control and operate traffic and other transportation facilities; and
  • Apply information technologies to intelligent transportation systems.
  • Program

3 Credits Urban Transportation & Logistics Systems TR-GY7013
This course provides graduate students with operations research methods to solve logistics problems faced by decision-makers for congested urban infrastructure. Optimization and evaluation methods covered include linear programming, network flow, integer programming, vehicle routing, facility location, functions of random variables, Markov processes, (point, spatial, and Jackson) queueing, and queue tolling. Students will design and analyze a toy system related to one of the following applications: public transport, shared mobility, ITS applications, freight deliveries, traffic operations.
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing or Department Permission
1.5 Credits Fundamental Concepts in Transportation TR-GY6011
This course provides the contextual foundation for the study of transportation systems that reflect the perspectives of users, system providers/owners, and communities. The connection between transportation supply, travel demand, service volume, and level of service will be explored and quantified for travelers and freight movement. The impacts of transportation system performance on travel behavior will be discussed. The roles of technology and institutions in transportation will be explored through class discussions.
Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing or permission of instructor
3 Credits Forecasting Urban Travel Demand TR-GY6113
The purpose of this course is to study methods and models used in estimating and forecasting person travel in urban areas. The objective is to understand the fundamental relationships between land use, transportation level of service and travel demand, and to apply methods and state-of-the-practice models for predicting person travel on the transportation system.
Prerequisite/Corequisite: TR-GY 6013 or permission of instructor.
3 Credits Intelligent Transportation Systems and Their Applications TR-GY6223
This course introduces the concepts and applications of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and its growing role in the management of transportation systems. The course stresses the role of ITS as national policy, as specified in major transportation funding legislation – ISTEA, TEA21 and SAFETY-LU. A systems engineering approach to overall development of ITS technologies is stressed. Major components of ITS are discussed, and examples of their application treated. Coordination and integration of ITS components are treated.
Prerequisite: Graduate status or permission of instructor.
1.5 Credits Transportation Planning Principles & Practice TR-GY6231
This course discusses the principles guiding the planning, design and operation of urban transportation systems. The concepts of mobility and accessibility are explored through an analysis of the interactions of land use, transportation supply and travel demand. Examples of transportation planning practice include a review of the Urban Transportation Planning Process in metropolitan areas and presentations from guest speakers.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor
3 Credits Transportation & Traffic Concepts, Characteristics & Studies TR-GY6333
The course covers basic concepts in transportation and traffic engineering, including: volume, demand, and capacity; traffic stream parameters and their meaning; transportation modes and modal characteristics. The impact of traveler and vehicle characteristics on traffic flow and on other modes is presented and discussed. The importance of data collection is emphasized with sample studies, such as volume, speed and travel time, and safety. Capacity and level of service analysis for uninterrupted flow facilities, including freeways, multilane highways and two-lane highways is demonstrated using methodologies of the 2010 Highway Capacity Manual.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor
3 Credits Traffic Operations & Control TR-GY6343
The course would focus heavily on signalization, with an introduction to simulation and signal timing tools. The course would cover warrants, timing pretimed signals, understanding actuated controllers and their settings, as well as detector types placement.
Prerequisites: Graduate standing or department consent
3 Credits Transportation & Traffic Project TR-GY6403
This is a capstone course involving individual and/or group projects that include several different aspects of transportation planning and engineering. The project will be different each year, and focus on a problem of current interest and importance.
Prerequisites: TR-GY 6113, TR-GY 6333, TR-GY 6343 or permission of instructor

3 Credits Multimodal Transportation Safety TR-GY7033
Technology, legislation and market forces have contributed to improved transportation safety for decades. But one must consider which metrics are most relevant for which modes, the role of demographics and traffic levels and other factors when analyzing and predicting safety trends. The course pays attention to a systems view, to metrics by mode and to both standard field and statistical analyses. Consistent with current priorities, the course addresses security as well as safety issues.
Prerequisite: Graduate status or permission of instructor.
3 Credits Management of Urban Traffic Congestion TR-GY7123
The purpose of this course is to (1) understand the causes of traffic congestion and to measure how congestion impacts transportation users and communities, (2) set forth a vision for managing congestion and (3) develop and evaluate strategies and policies that achieve the vision.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Urban Public Transportation Systems TR-GY7133
This course provides a thorough understanding of policy, planning, operational and technical issues that affect urban public transportation. It includes the historical development of cites and the rise of urban transport. Also covered are the characteristics of various urban transportation modes (their specific operating and infrastructure characteristics), as well as key elements that are critical to service provision, such as service planning, scheduling, fare collection, communication and signaling, station design and customer service. The course offers a broad perspective on regional planning, capital programming and policy matters. Special focus will be on emerging technologies and their practical applications.
Prerequisite: Graduate status or permission of instructor.
3 Credits Transportation Management TR-GY7213
This course presents an overview of the transportation management profession. Levels of management and unique objectives of management in the transportation sector are presented and discussed. Management structures for private and public transportation organizations are analyzed. Management practices are treated from the perspective of organizations, optimization of the use of public resources, legislative and legal contexts and operations.
Prerequisite: Graduate status or permission of the instructor.
3 Credits Transportation Management TR-GY7233
3 Credits Intelligent Transportation Systems: Deployments and Technologies TR-GY7243
Transportation infrastructure deploys a wide range of modern technology to provide service to travelers, the general public and private entities. This technology enables other systems to function effectively and serve societal needs. This course focuses on data communications and applications in intelligent transportation systems: communications alternatives and analyses, emerging technologies, geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS).
Prerequisite: TR-GY 6223 or permission of instructor.
3 Credits Design of Parking & Terminal Facilities TR-GY7323
This course covers design techniques and approaches to a variety of pedestrian and vehicular needs in conjunction with access to land functions. Parking serves as the primary access interface to many land facilities, from shopping centers and sports facilities, to medium- and high-density residential developments. The
planning and design of parking facilities, and the planning of access and egress from these facilities, is critical to the economic success of a development. Terminals are inter-modal interface facilities involving the transfer of people
and/or goods from one mode of transportation to another. This course covers essential elements of terminal planning and design, including transit stations and terminals, major goods terminals at ports and railheads and others. The design of pedestrian space and ways within terminal structures is also treated
Prerequisite: Graduate status or permission of instructor.
3 Credits Adaptive Control, Simulation, and Software TR-GY7353
This course introduces software used in various transportation analyses, traffic simulation and signal optimization software. The course covers SYNCHRO, software for creating optimal signal timings and progression offsets, as well as performing a capacity and level of service analysis of signalized intersections in accordance with the Highway Capacity Manual. Also covered is the use of the AIMSUN simulation program to analyze a traffic network. The course will focus on the theory behind the programs, as well as on practical examples of how to optimally use each package. Applications will include analysis of adaptive control systems and implementations.
Prerequisites: TR-GY 6333 and TR-GY 6343 or equivalents; or permission of advisor
Readings in Transportation TR-GY900X
This is an individually guided effort involving research into a topic of interest, usually growing from a course the student has taken. Readings courses should not duplicate material available in a regularly scheduled course, but should involve additional research on a topic or topics of interest to the student that is related to a course or courses. A formal written report is required. The student must have a faculty advisor who agrees to work with them and an agreed-upon topic before registering. The student may register for 1 to 3 credits for a readings effort, in proportion to the effort and as approved by the supervising instructor.
Prerequisite: Permission of supervising instructor.
MS Thesis in Transportation TR-GY997X
Students electing to take a 6-credit MS Thesis commit to a significant individually guided research effort, resulting in a formally defended thesis report, bound in accordance with Institute requirements.
Prerequisites: MS degree status and permission of thesis adviser.
3 Credits Selected Topics in Transportation I TR-GY8013
These courses are given as needed to present material on current topical subjects that are not expected to be given on a regular basis. The topic(s) for each offering are indicated and are listed on the student’s transcript. These courses may be taken more than once if the listed topics are different.
Prerequisites: As approved for the topic(s); to be specified for each offering and Graduate Standing.
3 Credits Selected Topics in Transportation II TR-GY8023
These courses are given as needed to present material on current topical subjects that are not expected to be given on a regular basis. The topic(s) for each offering are indicated and are listed on the student’s transcript. These courses may be taken more than once if the listed topics are different.
Prerequisites: As approved for the topic(s); to be specified for each offering and Graduate Standing.
1.5 Credits Special Topics in Transp A TR-GY8011
Subject(s) of a highly focused nature on a topic of current interest. Subject will vary with each offering.
1.5 Credits Special Topics in Transportation B TR-GY8021
Subject(s) of a highly focused nature on a topic of current interest. Subject will vary with each offering.

Note: MS students in the Transportation Planning and Engineering program may take 3 credits of free electives from any graduate course offering at NYU SOE, assuming that the student has the necessary prerequisites. Adviser approval is required for all elective selections.