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The Urban Policy Lab is Milano’s oldest and largest client-centered course. It requires teams of students to advise clients in government and the nonprofit sector on pressing policy and management issues. Working under the supervision of a faculty supervisor, students research the issue, identify possible solutions,
and analyze them. The students present their recommendations to the client in a formal briefing and afterward submit a written report incorporating client feedback.
This is a core requirement for the Urban Policy program. Students from other programs are also welcome to participate in the Urban Policy Lab. While Urban Policy students work on two projects in the lab and earn six credits, students from other programs have the option of participating in a
single client project, earning three credits. With the three-credit option, students work on their client project during the first half of the course.
Urban Policy Lab is offered in the spring semester only. The prerequisite is
Policy Analysis, a course in which students build critical decision-making skills through case-based analytical exercises.
Lab clients include a wide array of public agencies and nonprofit organizations.
See lists of recent Lab projects by year:
The Lab has been featured recently in several external and internal publications, including a recent article in Nonprofit Press; a description of
a collaboration with Parsons School of Design; an article about a Lab project that inspired a
law promoting locally grown food; and an
article by Professor Rachel Meltzer about the Urban Policy program's client-based curriculum.
"CEC has worked closely with Milano's Urban Policy Lab over the last decade, and we have been consistently impressed with the quality of the students' research, analysis, and formal presentations. From a project to mitigate the presence of reusable building materials in NYC's waste stream to our most recent project, which involves sustainable reconstruction in Hurricane Sandy's wake, CEC has consistently received incisive analysis and actionable recommendations from Milano students. CEC currently employs two graduates from Milano's Urban Policy program, and it is gratifying how often we get to work with other graduates we know who are employed by organizations in the sustainability sector. I recommend participating in the Lab to any non-profit or governmental agency that might appreciate a fresh perspective on any challenges or opportunities they face."
Richard M. CherryPresident and CEO
"MillionTreesNYC was impressed by the New School team’s high level of professionalism, dedication, and enthusiasm for the project. The team offered insightful analysis of the issue and new opportunities to explore, while always being thoughtful about our needs and concerns. They helped us see things in a new light and helped us to improve our messaging. It was a pleasure to work with the New School team, and we look forward to implementing their proposal to engage more schools in the MillionTreesNYC initiative."
Director, MillionTrees NYC
"The Department of Probation was very impressed with the high quality work done by the Milano students, who helped us think through options for developing and implementing staff and client feedback surveys. Not only did they do a thorough review of current practices in the field; we also used their recommendations as the foundation for our own planning process."
Vincent N. Schiraldi
Tuition and Fees
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Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management (MS)
International Affairs (MA/MS)
Nonprofit Management (MS)
Organizational Change Management (MS)
Urban Policy Analysis and Management (MS)
Public and Urban Policy (PhD)
Leadership and Change (Post-Master's Certificate)
Organization Development (Post-Master's Certificate)
Sustainability Strategies (Post-Master's Certificate)