Welcome to study Urban Studies and Planning

The Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning (USP) invites our newly admitted Master’s students starting their studies in autumn 2021 to take a moment to explore this page and get to know us better. Our students, staff and faculty welcome you!

The admission results for the application round that took place between 1 Dec 2020 and 15 Jan 2021 have been sent to the applicants to the e-mail address given on their application form. The results can also be found by logging into your My Studyinfo –service.

The USP programme warmly welcomes you to study with us at the University of Helsinki!

The Master's Programme in Urban Studies and Planning is a joint programme with Aalto University. The programme has been running since 2017 with interest towards characteristically Nordic urban features and global increasingly complex urban challenges. The uniqueness of the programme is based on multidisciplinary teaching combined with the aim for professional identities for each degree.

Despite the continuing exceptional circumstances in the world, we are planning beyond and excited to start the next academic year with a new group of students. We want to offer our students a high-quality learning environment, and teach you the knowledge and skills needed to understand and address various urban phenomena in your professional life.

During spring and summer, we will be sending you a few letters by email to keep you updated about the start of your studies. We are really looking forward to meeting you this autumn. Until then, stay safe!

The University of Helsinki continuously monitors the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and takes measures following the instructions by the authorities. Our top priority is always the health, welfare and safety of our students and staff. You can follow the general coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki and current arrangements on the University website.

The circumstances might also cause uncertainty when it comes to your future studies. Therefore, we have put together a page with coronavirus (COVID-19) related questions and answers for admitted students. It is updated when new information is available.

Mesta ry is the official student organisation of the Master's Programme in Urban Studies and Planning.

Founded in 2017, Mesta ry represents the interests of all USP students both from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University. Our board and members are all current USP students and alumni.

Our main aim is to promote transdisciplinary cooperation between different fields related to urban studies and planning. We advocate for students in both universities, organise recreational events and take part in public discussion on urban topics. We also provide our members with opportunities to further their learning and develop their skills both as students and practitioners. During the orientation period, Mesta will be hosting a number of events and activities tailored to new USP students.

You can also chat directly with our students to find out more about student life in Helsinki (please note that for questions related to admissions you should contact the Admission Services):

We warmly welcome our new members of the USP family and look forward to meeting you all soon!

The USP programme aims to provide inspiring learning environments. Besides traditional teaching in the classroom, students are encouraged – when the situation allows – to visit different urban environments as shown by the examples below.

"In April 2019 students and teachers from the USP programme were invited to participate in a workshop in Luoyi village in the Chengmai district of Hainan, China. Luoyi is a typical example of the impacts of global rural-to-urban migration trends on small rural villages, and the associated loss of traditional lifestyles. As a growing global trend and a particularly acute problem throughout China, the multidisciplinary workshop spanned several themes concerning the revitalisation of rural villages, involving projects of varying size and time-scale. Students conducted field research and interviews whilst in Luoyi, and combined their different experiences in order to propose some development strategies for the village."

An international team of USP students created a student guide book, which aims to make the academic journey of new USP students easier. They collected all the information they believed new students might need in the new university environment and provide links to places where to find more information. The book is a great tool for new USP degree students. Enjoy! (Please note that this guidebook version is for the USP students who started their studies in autumn 2020. The updated guide book for 2021 will be published in Aug 2021).

The teaching for the USP programme starts on 13 September 2021, but we highly recommend you to participate in the orientation activities for the new students already before the classes begin.

In the USP programme, the orientation activities are organised jointly with Aalto University and the student organisation Mesta ry. You will also be assigned a student tutor from the University of Helsinki. During orientation, you will learn more about studying in our programme, get support with administrative matters and get introduced to the university campuses and facilities. This will make it easier for you to start your studies and life in Helsinki.

The detailed information concerning the orientation and tutoring will be published in the Instructions for students during summer. Make sure the USP programme is selected on the dropdown menu to access the correct information.

Please note that depending on the coronavirus situation, the orientation activities might be organised partly or entirely online.

The international students in the Master's Programme in Urban Studies and Planning (USP) can apply to the HelsinkiUNI International Talent Programme. It is designed to support international students in building professional networks in Finland and to gain insight into local working life. Students take part by attending monthly group meetings with a company mentor for a period of seven months. During the programme, the University Career Services also provides training in career management skills.

More information about the HelsinkiUNI International Talent Programme and how to apply in autumn 2021.

If you have questions related to the admissions and accepting your study place, please contact:

If you have questions related to the content of the programme, please contact:

We suggest you also take a look at the People page and meet the people in the programme!

Useful links for the University of Helsinki applicants: