Urban Infrastructure Systems, M.S. | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Urban Infrastructure Systems, M.S.

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Urban populations are on the rise. Local governments, public service agencies, and urban utilities face increasing demand for greater reliability, safety, affordability and resiliency of aging urban infrastructure systems. These systems must be continuously adapted and upgraded (often with technology-driven solutions) to efficiently support the essential public services, urban development, and economic growth. 

The infrastructure systems support a variety of urban sectors, including transportation, energy & water supply, sanitation & wastewater management,  and other essential services. Their sustainable development engages a wide variety of public and private sector stakeholders and greatly depends on a broad range of factors, such as public policy objectives, land use and geo-physical system characteristics, regulatory requirements, and other variables. Both Government and Industry presently face increasing needs for innovative capabilities of dynamic monitoring and “smart” system control to effectively meet the challenge of upgrading the aging urban infrastructure systems.

With specialized faculty members from Government, Industry and Academia, the program is designed for professionals, with both engineering and non-engineering backgrounds, who are involved and/or interested in the fast growing inter-disciplinary field of urban systems management and career opportunities with government agencies, public and private sector utilities, and service industries across the wide array of the metropolitan sectors. 

Admissions Requirements

This program is open to professionals with BS or BA degrees and backgrounds in engineering, science, public policy, management, economics, and/or finance. Necessary mathematics background, usually including undergraduate calculus, is required, as is an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better.

All applicants for this MS program must additionally show evidence of general quantitative analytic ability, including a minimum of 2 years of college mathematics and a college-level course in statistics.

Find out more about Admission Requirements.



To earn a Master of Science in Urban Infrastructure Systems degree at the School of Engineering, you must complete a program core, a minor area of concentration and/or approved technical electives, and a capstone or thesis. All program elements are outlined below. The program also requires that you have a 3.0 GPA or better in all graduate courses and guided studies (readings, projects, theses, dissertations). Averages are separately computed for courses and guided studies. Transfer credits from other institutions are not included in this average.

3 Credits Infrastructure Planning, Engineering and Economics CE-GY7813
This course covers the identification, formulation, preliminary appraisal and detailed analysis of individual civil engineering projects and systems. It also covers different approaches for government agencies, public utilities, industrial firms and private entrepreneurs. Other topics include: Planning, which considers projects that satisfy single and multiple purposes and objectives, meet local and regional needs and take advantage of opportunities for development; financial and economic analyses, including sensitivity and risk analysis; mathematical models for evaluation of alternatives and optimization; and impacts of projects: environmental, social, regional economic growth, legal and institutional and public involvement.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Urban Infrastructure Systems Management CE-GY7843
This course provides a descriptive overview of key infrastructure systems and technologies that must be managed, operated and maintained. Systems treated include buildings and structures, water supply, solid and liquid waste handling and disposal, transportation, power, communications and information systems, health and hospitals, police and preprotection. The course explores the financial, political, administrative, legal and institutional settings of these systems and technologies. A portion of the course features distinguished guest lecturers who are experts in some of the systems and technologies included.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Infrastructure Asset Management CE-GY7853
This course reviews state-of-the-art performance monitoring and system condition assessment methodologies as part of infrastructure management systems. Emphasis is on information technologies as applied to remote sensing and database development for urban systems management. Infrastructure tools, such as GIS and dedicated databases for condition assessment are represented in a laboratory environment. Invited experts participate in such areas as transportation, water distribution and utilities.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Environmental Impact Assessment CE-GY7673
The course examines legal and technical requirements in preparing environmental-impact statements. Considerations include legal and technical requirements, the procedure and the interdisciplinary nature of the analysis. Topics include overall impact evaluation, categories of impacts, problem definition, quantification of impact, methods used in analysis, field evaluations, mitigations, hearing procedures and management. Practical examples and case studies are used.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

3 Credits Infrastructure Financing: Structuring of A Deal CE-GY8733
This course examines what it takes to structure a deal from a credit perspective, legally and financially, for domestic and international projects. In the domestic sector, the course focuses on transportation projects, examining the peculiarities and the uniqueness of the capital market. Examples are studied and recent changes are discussed in areas such as financing transportation projects and the dramatically changing nature of financing these projects. In the international sector, the course covers innovative financing techniques.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Exec 21 Program or permission of a Construction Management Program Director.

The program offers 4 areas of concentration. To complete a minor, you must take 3 required courses and 2 to 3 technical electives that are available to all program students. An adviser may approve additional electives.

You may decide not to take a specified minor area. Instead, you may opt to take 5 or 6 technical electives from the approved list in any specified area. The number of technical electives is influenced by what you choose for your capstone experience: a 3-credit case study report or a 6-credit MS thesis.

Transportation Systems Management (TSM) Minor


3 Credits Management of Transit Maintenance and Operations TR-GY7223
This course provides a comprehensive understanding of modern public transportation systems, emphasizing their technology and operational practices. Planning and management aspects are also covered. Such operational management issues as maintenance practices, scheduling, procurement and labor relations are broadly outlined and discussed. Planning and capital programming issues are also treated.
Prerequisites: Graduate status 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.
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.

Approved Technical Electives

3 Credits Travel Demand Forecasting TR-GY6133
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 Transportation Economics and Finance Fundamentals TR-GY6053
In this course, we will discuss the fundamentals of economic theory and their application to the modeling and analysis of transportation systems. We will approach transportation systems as markets and study the resulting supply-demand equilibrium in these markets. Starting from concepts of utility maximization, we will explore how individuals optimally choose between alternatives and how these choices give rise to the demand functions for different services. Then, we will investigate the supply side and study provision of the aforementioned services. Lastly, we will study strategic interactions between different actors in the transportation market and how these interactions affect market outcomes. This will allow us to confidently approach and apply equilibrium analysis to transportation systems to derive insights as to their performance, their design and their regulation. Examples will be primarily drawn from, among other things: ride-hailing markets, network planning and design, parking provision and location for connected and autonomous vehicles, land use and automation, congestion pricing.
Prerequisite: Knowledge of a programming language (e.g.: C++, Julia, Python?), of a scripting language (e.g.: MATLAB?) or of an algebraic modeling language (e.g.: GAMS?) is strongly recommended due to the nature of some of the assignments.

Construction Management (CM) Minor


3 Credits Project Management for Construction CE-GY8253
The course covers topics specific to developing and coordinating large projects, including organizational structures, management functions, pricing and estimating project costs, bidding and contracting, risk allocation, scheduling, time and cost control, labor relations, quality management and project life-cycle activities.

3 Credits Construction and the Law CE-GY8713
Construction industry executives need not be legal experts, but they must be aware of the legal issues affecting their industry and their bottom line. This course uses the case study method to lead students through the concepts of design and construction law. The course focuses on the interface of legal, business and technical issues and their resolution. It includes the design and organization of construction documents; the legal aspects of bidding, subcontracting, bonds, insurance, mechanic's liens, etc; and the implication of delays, changes and charged conditions. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods are introduced.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Exec 21 Program or permission of a Construction Management Program Director.
3 Credits How to Succeed in Construction CE-GY8723
This course leads students through the how-to's of running a successful, large, complex construction company. It analyzes how the industry actually works, including contractual relationships with clients in all types of projects from design/build to privatization. It covers the business fundamentals of running a construction company, including issues such as surety and insurance: various types of construction organizations, domestic and international; and company culture - inner-workings of a business that can mean the differences between success and failure.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Exec 21 Program or permission of a Construction Management Program Director.

Approved Technical Electives

3 Credits Contracts and Specifications CE-GY8273
This course covers principles of contract law as applied to the construction industry and legal problems in preparing and administering construction contracts.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Construction Management and Planning CE-GY8783
Strategic planning is indispensable to achieving superior management. This course in business planning provides practical advice for organizing the planning system, acquiring and using information and translating strategic plans into decisive action. This knowledge is an invaluable resource for top and middle-level executives.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Exec 21 Program or permission of a Construction Management Program Director.

3 Credits Managing and Leading in the 21st Century CE-GY8703
Today's mega projects require the formation of large multidisciplinary teams including engineers, constructors and financial, legal and business experts. Success in this challenging environment requires up-to-date and proven leadership and management skills. This course covers the basic components of management planning, organizing, directing, controlling and decision-making. It defines the engineering and construction team and discusses leadership styles. This course also addresses the management of change, external factors that shape decisions, the development of personal leadership abilities and, ultimately, 21st century leadership requirements.
Prerequisite: Admission to the Exec 21 Program or permission of a Construction Management Program Director.

Environmental Systems Management (ESM) Minor


3 Credits Environmental Systems Management CE-GY7753
This course provides an overview of information technologies as applied to the remote sensing of environmental infrastructure systems, and includes the development of infrastructure system databases to assist complex decision-making on environmental infrastructures.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Hazardous/toxic Waste Management CE-GY7533
The course looks at methods in the management of hazardous/toxic waste sites. Topics covered include health and safety, legal aspects, contamination of the environment, treatment processes, and toxicology and risk assessment.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Environmental Law CE-GY7563
This course presents legal principles and issues relating to environmental law. Historical perspectives and case laws will be considered. Topics include the Clean Water Act, non-point sources and water quality laws, the Clean Air Act and its amendments, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and the National Environmental Policy Act. The above legislation and its impact on policy and technology also will be considered.

Approved Technical Electives

3 Credits Modeling Fate and Transport of Surface Water Pollution CE-GY7473
The course covers dispersal and decay of contaminants introduced into lakes, streams, estuaries and oceans, and the effects of pollutants on chemical quality and ecology of receiving waters.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Air Pollution CE-GY7523
This course discussed the causes and effects of air pollution, methods of sampling, interpretation of data, meteorological aspects, and methods of air-pollution control.
3 Credits Site Remediation CE-GY7543
The course covers: treatment and disposal technologies for hazardous waste site remediation; in-situ and ex-situ processes; physicochemical processes, stabilization and solidification; biological processes, including aerobic and anaerobic systems for degradation and detoxification; thermal processes and incineration; and storage, land disposal and containment. Remediation planning and technology selection for hazardous waste containment and clean up for typical case studies are examined. The study of decision-making and technology selection is a key course component.
Prerequisite: CE-UY 3153 or equivalent.

Civil Infrastructure Systems Management (CISM) Minor

Because of course content, students selecting this minor should hold a BS in Civil Engineering or the equivalent.


3 Credits Infrastructure Monitoring and Performance Assessment CE-GY7863
The course introduces the physical nature of infrastructure materials and systems. The concept of performance is introduced from the viewpoint of strength and durability. Lectures and laboratory demonstrations identify the mechanisms of degradation and cover techniques for condition assessment and quality assurance.
3 Credits Bridge Engineering CE-GY6063
The course covers types of bridges; geometric design of bridges; construction materials and techniques; simplified bridge analysis; special problems in the design of steel and reinforced-concrete bridges; bridge inspection policies; bridge rehabilitation procedures; bridge management systems; and the effects of wind and earthquakes on long-span bridges.
Prerequisites: undergraduate structural analysis and steel design.
3 Credits Urban Geotechnology CE-GY8433
The course looks at case histories on geotechnical design, construction and rehabilitation in the urban environment. Topics covered: Special construction problems and innovative solutions; unforeseen ground conditions; performance monitoring; remedial planning and implementation; and geotechnical design and construction issues from a practicing engineer's perspective.
Prerequisite: undergraduate soil mechanics and foundations, CE-UY 4173 or equivalent.

Approved Technical Electives

3 Credits Steel Structures CE-GY6143
This course explores compression members; elastic and inelastic buckling of columns and plates; lateral support of beams; torsion of open and closed sections; warping; lateral torsional buckling of beams; and bi-axial bending. Other topics include: Plate girders, including stability of webs and flanges; combined bending and axial load; instability analysis; and design of rigid and semi-rigid mechanisms of continuous beams and rigid frames. Both elastic and plastic design criteria are discussed.
Prerequisite: Undergraduate steel design.
3 Credits Urban Geotechnology CE-GY8433
The course looks at case histories on geotechnical design, construction and rehabilitation in the urban environment. Topics covered: Special construction problems and innovative solutions; unforeseen ground conditions; performance monitoring; remedial planning and implementation; and geotechnical design and construction issues from a practicing engineer's perspective.
Prerequisite: undergraduate soil mechanics and foundations, CE-UY 4173 or equivalent.
3 Credits Environmental Geotechnology CE-GY8493
The course covers: Clay mineralogy; soil-water interaction processes; chemical transport through soils; hydraulic conductivity, diffusion and attenuation mechanisms; water-disposal systems; design of land-fills, seepage barriers and cut-off walls; geo-environmental site characterization techniques; and soil-remediation techniques.
Prerequisite: undergraduate soil mechanics, CE-UY 3153 or equivalent.

*This course is part of the Exec21 program. Special requirements apply (see Civil Engineering Program), or permission of adviser is required.

You can fulfill the requirement for a meaningful capstone experience by completing an independent case study in urban systems management and engineering (3 credits) or a master’s thesis on a topic of independent study (6 credits).