Master of Transportation and Urban Systems (MTUS)


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

The Department of Transportation, Logistics, and Finance offers a master's degree and a graduate certificate in Transportation and Urban Systems. The degree is awarded through the College of Business in collaboration with the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute. The program's interdisciplinary approach attracts students with backgrounds in transportation and logistics, agribusiness, applied economics, engineering, construction management, finance, emergency management, geosciences, and supply chain management.



Master of Science in Transportation and Urban Systems – targeted at students with strong research interests
This degree focuses on:

  • Urban transportation systems;
  • Relationships between transportation, land use, environment, emergency response, and logistical delivery systems;
  • Coordinated planning, operations, and security; and
  • The spatial dimensions of urban systems.

The curriculum is built around the topics of public transportation systems, geographic information systems, freight transportation, and logistical delivery systems, urban geography and land use, the environmental impacts of transportation systems, transportation cyber-physical security, and the sustainability of transportation and urban systems. The M.S. degree requires a thesis and is targeted at students with strong research interests.

Master of Transportation and Urban Systems – targeted at professional planners and engineers.

This is a non-thesis degree that is primarily intended for professional planners and engineers. Students in the M.S. and MTUS programs select from the same set of core courses. However, students enrolled in the non-thesis (MTUS) program have more opportunities for synthesis of practice and additional course work, with less emphasis on research.

Certificate in Transportation and Urban Systems – targeted at practicing professionals

The Certificate in Transportation and Urban Systems is primarily targeted at practicing professionals who wish to gain additional knowledge in the emerging fields of transportation and urban systems.

Top 5 benefits of earning your Master’s Degree:

  • More in-depth knowledge of the field of study
  • More career opportunities and advancements
  • Opportunities for increased responsibility
  • Employees with a master’s degree typically earn 30% more than employees that don’t
  • Industry tends to favor applicants with a higher level of education over those with lower degrees


Admission Requirements

The Transportation and Urban Systems programs are open to qualified graduates of universities and colleges of recognized standing. To be admitted with full standing, the applicant must:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an educational institution of recognized learning with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or equivalent;
  • Have adequate preparation in one or more of the disciplines comprising transportation and logistics and must have professional experience or interests in community practice;
  • Have shown the potential to undertake advanced study as evidenced by prior academic performance and have a stated interest in transportation and (for the M.S.) the capability to conduct transportation research;
  • Submit official transcripts;
  • Submit a two-page resume;
  • Submit a one-page "Letter of Intent" outlying your reasons for pursuing the Transportation and Urban Systems degree/certificate;
  • Submit three letters of recommendation (NA for Certificate Option);
  • Submit an online application through the NDSU Graduate School website;
  • International applicants whose first language is not English and who do not possess a U.S. bachelor's degree or higher are subject to additional requirements when they apply for admission. They must meet the minimum requirements on measures of general English language proficiency. The accepted measures of language proficiency are the TOEFL ibT 71 and IELTS 6.

Students who do not meet all requirements for admission or have deficiencies in prerequisite course work, but show satisfactory potential for graduate study, may be admitted conditionally. The conditional status may be changed to full graduate standing after the first or second semester of study, based on the student's academic performance.

Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Transportation & Urban Systems (MS)

Minimum 30 credits:

  • 21 credits must be core courses
  • 3 credits of elective courses
  • 6-10 credits for masters paper (thesis)

*All students will be administered a final exam that will cover all core courses and the thesis topic.

Thesis topics will contribute to one of the following and be of sufficient depth and quality:

  • New models – may be achieved through the synthesis of several techniques, the modification of existing models, or new applications of analytical techniques to transportation/urban problems.
  • Knowledge – may be accomplished through the collection and analysis of original data or the development of innovative planning techniques.

Master of Transportation & Urban Systems (MTUS)

  • 30 credits of required courses: Tl 751-757, 786, 787, 789

*MTUS is a non-thesis degree.

Every student must complete a creative component, which can be a case study, journal article, practicum, presentation, or paper. The creative component is developed and approved by the student’s advisor.

Examples of the creative component may include a study on a metropolitan region, transit system, or public program, and may also include the following:

  • Comprehensive transportation planning processes in metropolitan areas
  • Urban transit systems or operations
  • Emergency or disaster response case studies or plans
  • Security programs or issues
  • Integrated transportation/environmental plans

Certificate in Transportation & Urban Systems

Minimum 9 credits:

  • Courses must be from the core courses of the program.

The Transportation, Logistics & Finance department is accredited through the College of Business by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which places it in the top 5 percent of business schools worldwide.

Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

We are a nearly 14,000 student-focused, land-grant, research university located in Fargo, North Dakota. NDSU offers 100 undergraduate majors, more than 50 doctoral programs and more than 80 master's d ... Read More

We are a nearly 14,000 student-focused, land-grant, research university located in Fargo, North Dakota. NDSU offers 100 undergraduate majors, more than 50 doctoral programs and more than 80 master's degree programs. Read less


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