In order to better facilitate the academic and aspirational diversity of our students, 4CITIES offers a Research Track and a Practice Track in addition to the Classical Track. The idea is to enable students with an advanced interest and skill-set in either research or practice to dig deeper into a particular specialization of urban studies while also getting “real-world” experience outside the classroom. Students in these tracks combine an internship or work-placement with self-selected courses relevant to their focus area during the second year of 4CITIES.

Research Track

For those students who intend to pursue a PhD and/or research career after their master’s degree, we offer a Research Track that allows for more specialization during the second year of 4CITIES. Students in this track will spend part of their second year in 4CITIES interning at a research institution (for which they will receive 15 ECTS) and part completing 25 ECTS of coursework relevant to their research focus. The organization of this second year is flexible. A student could choose to spend the third semester doing the internship and the fourth semester taking courses, or else to spread both the internship and coursework across both semesters. The internship and coursework can be conducted in Brussels or Vienna, or in different cities across Europe and beyond. 4CITIES maintains a growing list of academic and practice partner universities, institutions, and organizations.

Practice Track

For students with a particular interest in gaining relevant work experience, we offer a Practice Track. Whereas the Research Track guides students towards a research career, the Practice Track caters to students who want to apply their urban expertise to settings such as city administrations, NGOs and associations, cultural organisations, consultancy work, or architectural and urban design offices. Practice track students will choose a work placement (15 ECTS) in a non-academic organisation engaged in urban issues. This work placement can be with an organization in Brussels or Vienna, or anywhere else in Europe or beyond. Students in this track will also choose 25 ECTS of elective courses at the University of Vienna, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, or one of our partner universities.


Students must decide which track(s) they would like to join during the application process for 4CITIES. Once accepted and enrolled, changing tracks is not allowed. Please be aware that students are expected to find their own internship and to select and apply for their preferred additional coursework. 4CITIES will assist with coordinating internships, but students are expected to be proactive and engaged in the process. The Research and Practice Tracks require a high degree of self-motivation, self-organization, and independent work.

Students can complete their coursework at the University of Vienna, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, or – possibly – one of our partner universities in Aachen, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bern, Bordeaux, Budapest, Esch-sur-Alzette, Espoo, Frankfurt am Main, Gdánsk, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Lausanne, Lille, Lund, Malmö, Milan, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Stockholm, Tartu, Trondheim, Utrecht, Warsaw, or Weimar (list is based on exchange agreements and is subject to change). It is up to students to explore the course offerings and include in their proposal a list of courses totaling 25 ECTS. Exact details are discussed with students during the first semester. Once the proposal is approved, much of the coordination of internships and course enrollment will take place during the second semester, while students are in Vienna.

Please be aware that the universities in Copenhagen and Madrid that Classical Track students attend are not among our exchange partners.

4CITIES Study Exchange Partners

Students in the Research and Practice tracks can complete their 2nd year coursework at the University of Vienna or Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and can also apply to continue their studies for one semester at one of our Erasmus+ study exchange partner universities across Europe. Please find below a selection of 4CITIES study exchange partners (list subject to change) :

Aachen, Germany
RWTH Aachen
Master in Transforming City Regions

Amsterdam, Netherlands
University of Amsterdam
Research Master in Urban Studies

Barcelona, Spain
University of Barcelona
Master of Sociology: Social Transformations and Innovation

Bern, Switzerland
University of Bern
Master in Geography

Bordeaux, France
Sciences Po Bordeaux
Master of Metropolitan Strategies and Governance

Budapest, Hungary
Eötvos Loránd University (ELTE)
Master in Geography

Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
University of Luxembourg
Master in Geography and Spatial Planning

Espoo, Finland
Aalto University
Master of Spatial Planning and Transportation Engineering

Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Göthe Universität
Master in Geographies of Globalization: Markets and Metropolises

Gdánsk, Poland
Gdánsk University of Technology
Master of Architecture & Master of Studies in Spatial Development

Hamburg, Germany
HafenCity University
Master of Urban Design, Master of Architecture & Master of Urban Planning

Lausanne, Switzerland
University of Lausanne
Master in Geography, orientation Sustainable Urban and Spatial Planning

Lille, France
University of Lille
Master of Urbanism and Planning

Malmö, Sweden
Malmö University
Master in Urban Studies

Oslo, Norway
University of Oslo
Master in Human Geography

Paris, France
University of Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne
Master of Geography, Master of Urbanism & Master of Environment

Prague, Czech Republic
Charles University
Master of Geography

Stockholm, Sweden
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Master in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design

Tartu, Estonia
University of Tartu
Master in Geoinformatics for Urbanised Society

Trondheim, Norway
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Master in Urban Ecological Planning

Utrecht, Netherlands
Utrecht University
Master in Sustainable Development & Master in Human Geography and Spatial Planning

Weimar, Germany
Bauhaus University Weimar
Master in European Urban Studies & Master in Urbanism


What is 4CITIES?

4CITIES is an international, interdisciplinary, immersive master programme in urban studies. Supported by Erasmus Mundus, its perspective is European while its context is global. Students learn to see the city, to hear it, to understand it, to engage it, and to choose their role in shaping it.

Discover what 4CITIES is all about »


Come Study with 4CITIES

Ready to apply? Want to know how the process works and what you'll need to complete your application? Just wondering whether you're eligible or how to get your visa? We've got you covered.

Application and admissions information »