SPRING stands for Spatial Planning for Regions in Growing Economies and is a two-year Master’s degree program that addresses current spatial planning topics in developing and emerging countries. SPRING students discuss, for example, the challenges of rapid urban growth, reflect on the conflict between environmental protection and economic development, develop concepts to improve transport systems or define strategies to cope with the impacts of climate change.
The SPRING program seeks to teach students the following knowledge and skills:
- Broad intersectoral knowledge and skills across three major areas of regional development planning: Natural resource planning, physical infrastructure planning and socio-economic development planning
- The ability to design regional development activities in a pragmatic, problem-solving and proactive way
- Expertise in the three main phases of the planning cycle: Analysis, planning and implementation
- The ability to reconcile bottom-up participatory planning with top-down planning requirements and the framework set by national policies
- The ability to combine various personal characteristics such as logical thinking, flexibility, creativity as well as organizational and communicative skills.
Applicants should hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a field related to regional or urban planning with grades significantly above average. They need to have a high level of proficiency in written and spoken English: TOEFL (550 paper-based points or 213 computer-based points or 80 internet-based points), IELTS (6.0) or MELAB (76). Two years’ professional experience prior to starting the program would be advantageous. A firm intention of pursuing a career in regional development and urban planning after completing the program is also desirable. This can favorably influence an applicant’s prospects of being admitted to the program.
The SPRING program prepares regional development planners and managers for employment in the public sector at national, regional or local government level, in the private sector, NGOs and international organizations.
To date, about 700 graduates from over 70 countries have completed the program. They now hold senior positions in a wide variety of fields, such as teaching and research, regional development and urban planning as well as in ministries and in national and international development.
The first year of the SPRING program takes place at TU Dortmund University, followed by a second year at one of its four partner universities in Ghana, Tanzania, the Philippines or Chile. The language of instruction is English.
Each of the SPRING partner institutions has special academic expertise, which is reflected in the respective curriculum and course offer. These specializations range from urban planning at Ardhi University in Tanzania to sustainable development planning and management at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, environmental economics in planning at the Universidad Austral de Chile and special issues in regional planning (climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management) at the University of the Philippines.
The SPRING program awards a M.Sc. degree in “Regional Development Planning and Management”. Both final documents – certificate and transcript – are jointly issued by TU Dortmund University and the respective partner university for the second program year. This Master’s degree entitles graduates to continue their academic career and pursue doctoral studies worldwide.
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Location & approach
The campus of TU Dortmund University is located close to interstate junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dortmund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dortmund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Campus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dortmund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Campus). Signs for the university are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dortmund.
To get from North Campus to South Campus by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Campus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.
TU Dortmund University has its own train station (“Dortmund Universität”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dortmund main station (“Dortmund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The university is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.
You can also take the bus or subway train from Dortmund city to the university: From Dortmund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dortmund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dortmund main station to the stop “Dortmund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dortmund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dortmund Universität S”.
The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.
The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dortmund University. There are two stations on North Campus. One (“Dortmund Universität S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the university directly with the city of Dortmund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Campus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Campus and offers a direct connection to South Campus every five minutes.
The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.