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Master (1 Subject)

SPRING – Spatial Planning for Regions in Growing Economies


Degree Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Field Engineering
Language English
Standard program duration 4 semesters
Admission restrictions None
Further information Homepage
Module Handbook

Short profile

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 legal framework set by national policies
  • The ability to use and combine various personal characteristics such as logical thinking, flexibility, creativity as well as organizational and communicative skills.

Knowledge and 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.

Professional fields

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 770 graduates from over 74 countries have completed the SPRING 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.

Further information

The first year of the SPRING program takes place at TU Dortmund University, followed by a second year at one of its five 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, “Governance and Public Policy for Sustainable Urban Agglomerations” at the Universidade Federal do ABC and “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”.

Site Map of TU Dortmund University (Second Page in English).