Urban Science: Sensing, Complexity, & Informatics, Doctoral Track | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Urban Science: Sensing, Complexity, & Informatics, Doctoral Track

On Campus

A city skyline is lit up at night.


What is it?  |  Program Highlights  |  How to Apply  |  Requirements  |  Our Students

What is the Urban Science Doctoral Track?

The doctoral track is specifically designed for students who want to focus on urban science through a cohesive array of in-class and experiential learning activities, while pursuing their PhD at NYU Tandon.

To participate in the track’s pilot program, students must be enrolled in one of the doctoral degree programs listed below:

A holistic approach to improving cities

NYU Center for Urban Science + Progress (CUSP) is introducing an interdisciplinary doctoral track in Urban Science: Complexity, Informatics, and Sensing. This pilot program offers a collaborative and inclusive environment to engage PhD students enrolled in a variety of doctoral programs at NYU Tandon with an interest in convergent research in urban science. 


PhD students and faculty seated on stools on a discussion panel

Doctoral track students will engage with CUSP’s urban science faculty, experts in methodological aspects pertaining to complexity (dynamical systems, multi-agent systems, network science, and risk engineering), informatics (AI, machine learning, and robotics), and sensing (Internet of Things, smart infrastructure, wireless). 

Program Highlights

Academically Inclusive

A unique opportunity to expand beyond traditionally narrow academic pathways and develop a broad perspective at the intersections between disciplines.

Demonstrate Unique Skills

Track students show an understanding and ability to impact the health, wellness, and daily lives of urban populations by devoting a part of their dissertation towards research with an urban focus.

Engage with Industry Leaders

Through the Urban Science Colloquium, students will meet with guest speakers and industry professionals to gain practical knowledge about timely topics.

How to Apply

Students who have matriculated into participating Ph.D. programs at NYU may choose to join the track. To apply, fill out the application form with information about your current studies. CUSP will then reach out to your advisor to coordinate permissions and guidance. Once admitted to the track, students may begin enrolling in CUSP elective courses and the Urban Science Colloquium. To join the Fall 2024 cohort of the doctoral track, apply by September 16, 2024. 

Apply Now


The doctoral track is piloting the following requirements for completion:

    For the pilot program, electives are categorized into three speciality areas: Complexity, Informatics, and Sensing. Students must focus on at least two of the specialties, by taking at least three credits (one course) in each of the chosen areas. Upon consultation with the Departmental Research Advisor and the CUSP Director, students may be able to replace a CUSP elective with a relevant course in their home department.

    The CUSP courses offered for each area of focus include the following examples. Other courses may also available as special topics based on semester offerings.

    Complexity Courses
    • Complex Urban Systems
    • Disaster Risk Analysis and Urban Systems Resilience
    Informatics Courses
    • Urban Spatial Analytics
    • Applied Data Science 
    • Machine Learning for Cities
    Sensing Courses
    • IoT Security & Privacy: A Data-Driven Perspective
    • Monitoring Cities
    • Urban Sensing

    The Urban Science Colloquium is a dynamic and interactive seminar course that intends to promote understanding of the problems that city stakeholders face and identification of innovative urban solutions. Students participating in the track are required to be enrolled in the Urban Science Colloquium for each semester of their PhD studies. 

    Throughout the course, our objective is for students to focus on topical themes, such as Violence Reduction Initiatives in Cities, Climate Change Resilience & Environmental Justice in Cities, Healthcare Equity & Access in Cities, and Applied Technological Infrastructure for Smart Cities. 

    Students in the track are required to devote a part of their dissertation credits (at least six credits) to research on urban science and related methodological aspects in complexity, informatics, and/or sensing.

    Students will be encouraged to assemble interdisciplinary doctoral committees, compatible with their individual program requirements, to ensure the scope of their dissertation aligns with urban science. Specifically, each doctoral committee must include a member from the core or affiliate faculty at CUSP.

    Doctoral Track Students

    Students who participate in the doctoral track have a unique opportunity to join and contribute to a community of researchers who are passionate about creating change in the world using their hard-earned skills. 

    Meet Our Students

    Back to Top