Economics for Smart Cities and Climate Policy Master


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

The Economics for Smart Cities and Climate Policy Master’s Degree (ex-Smart Cities and Urban Policy Master) is a two-year program entirely taught in English. It is designed for highly qualified and internationally oriented students.

This course will provide you with the economics know-how to navigate the current trends shaping 21st-century metropolitan economies. It involves applying economics quantitative methods to the study of new and transforming metropolitan areas and their competitive environments. This program in fact involves a strong involvement and interest for economics and econometrics applied to urban subject (Urban economic, Environmental and  Energy  Economics, Evaluation of Public policy , Econometrics,  Traffic and Transportation systems, Geographical Information System,  Big data,...).

The teaching is firmly oriented towards the business world, and relies on a combination of economics theoretical methodology and real-world case studies. The ESCLiP Master’s Program has developed strong links with industrial and academic partners from various related fields, namely electricty, finance, energy, international organizations, transportation and ministries. Institutions and companies partnered with the Program include the City of Paris, EDF and SNCF, to name a few.

In an increasingly global economy, metropolitan areas are the basic components of economic competition and growth. Capital, labor pools, knowledge, infrastructures, and their distribution within and across geographical space play a major role in the economic development and prosperity of a metropolitan area.

As highlighted by the Economist, a report from the American think-tank Brookings Institution shows that “the world's largest 300 metropolitan economies account for 19% of the global population and almost half the world's GDP. In the past decade, incomes and jobs tended to grow faster in these urban areas than their national averages”.

Despite international competition and free mobility of inputs like assets, raw materials, and knowledge, location still plays a fundamental role as a competitive edge. As rail, port, and road infrastructures were amongst the key factors when determining where to locate a new business or a new branch, scarce human resources are now part of the decision-making process.

As Joel Kotkin wrote in his book The New Geography (2012), “these changes profoundly alter the very nature of the place and its importance by de-emphasizing physical factors and placing greater emphasis on the concentration of human skills in dense concentrations of the population”.

More resourceful than their non-metropolitan counterparts, metropolitan economies take advantage of bigger markets for goods and services, have more specialized workers pools, and benefit from more advanced and reliable transportation and telecommunications services. In this context, metropolitan areas tend to be the main generators of economic prosperity and a breeding ground for innovative tech companies.

The 21st-century metropolitan regions are being transformed and are embracing new technological, urban, and mobility challenges. In order to successfully fit into the metropolitan booming transformation, a lot of existing cities will have to implement an effective, sustainable, and tailor-made economic strategy. Shaping new urban patterns, preserving and enhancing their environment, and striking a balance between fast rates of urbanization and people’s quality of life are among the challenges to overcome.

The Economics for Smart Cities and Climate Policy program provides an in-depth understanding of new and transforming metropolitan areas and their competitive environments.


Joel Kotkin, "The New Geography" (2012)

"Metro economies", The Economist - December 4, 2012

"Global MetroMonitor 2012: Slowdown, Recovery, and Interdependence" by Emilia Istrate and Carey Anne Nadeau, The Brookings Institution - November 30, 2012

Program Description

Following the École Polytechnique’s tradition of excellence in the applied sciences, the Economics for Smart Cities and Climate Policy Master's is designed for students with a strong mathematical background and an interest in economics.

For those who wish to obtain a rigorous, in-depth knowledge of metroeconomics challenges and are looking to use their technical skills in strategy and leadership-oriented roles, this degree will provide the know-how to navigate the trends shaping the 21st metropolitan economies. The program involves applying advanced quantitative methods to the study of new and transforming metropolitan areas and their competitive environments.

Teaching is resolutely professional-oriented, relying on a combination of methodological teachings and real-world case studies to uncover the hidden trends guiding the evolution of specific market segments and business models.

Courses include high-level scientific master classes taught by faculty from École Polytechnique and our partner school Ecole des Ponts ParisTech.

The Economics for Smart Cities and Climate Policy program emphasizes hands-on, experimental learning by inviting you into with the worlds of research and industry, notably through four to six-month internships.

The professional orientation of the program is strengthened by the strong and mutual links with industrial and institutional partners from various and relevant fields: real estate, finance, energy, international organizations, and ministries. Institutions and companies such as The World Bank, SNI, EDF, and SNCF are among the program partners – to name just a few.

Career Outcomes

The Economics for Smart Cities and Climate Policy program is tailored for students who intend to embark upon careers as executives, in the public and private sectors. The program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and experience they need to gain to succeed in their career paths.

Different career paths are available upon degree completion:

  • Managerial positions in various industries such as transportation, energy, environment, commercial real estate, urban and infrastructure management, and services.
  • Economic advisory positions in local, regional, governmental, and international institutions.
  • Consultancy positions, in which case the market knowledge gained from the program will be invaluable.

Application requirements and deadlines

Applicants must hold or expect to hold a Bachelor's degree in Economics, Mathematics, Civil Engineering and/or Transportation Studies, or "Diplôme d'ingénieur" prior to the beginning of the program.

English Language requirements

Applicants must demonstrate full English-language proficiency. The tests that we accept are the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ibt), and the following Cambridge General English Tests: First (FCE), Advanced (CAE) and Proficiency (CPE).

The minimum scores required are:

  • TOEFL IBT 90
  • IELTS 6.5
  • Cambridge Test - First (FCE) Grade B - 176

Scores must date no earlier than two years prior to the start of the program.

Application deadlines

  • Round 1: 4th November 2020 to 4th December 2020
  • Round 2: 12th January 2021 to 12th March 2021
  • Round 3: 23rd March 2021 to 23rd April 2021

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are €12,000 per academic year.

Health Insurance

Please note that registration with a health insurance scheme is compulsory in France when you enroll at a Higher Education Institution.

If you come from any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland and are already registered with a national health insurance provider, you must apply for the European health insurance card. This card is free and will give you access to state-provided healthcare during your stay in France under the same conditions and at the same cost as nationals.

Students from Quebec are exempt from joining the French Student Social Security upon presentation of Form #SE401Q106.

Room & Board

Ecole Polytechnique is pleased to provide accommodation on campus for all graduate degree students given that they request it within the timeframe.

The rent is 617 euros per month (including housing insurance). You will also be required to pay a security deposit of 617 euros upon arrival. All residences are equipped with a shared-kitchen but you may also have your breakfast, lunch, and dinner at our university restaurant from Monday to Saturday. A lunch meal costs approximately 2 to 4 euros thanks to our student discount rate. Monthly expenses for meals usually range from 200 to 350 euros.

Financial aid

Students receive assistance from the Housing Office to apply for the French National Housing Benefit "CAF". Students usually obtain a financial aid of 150-200 euros per month.

All our students receive the ISIC card (International Student Identity Card) automatically and for free. They gain preferential and discounted access to over 150,000 products, services, and experiences relevant to all aspects of student life.

Additional scholarship opportunities can be found at CampusFrance website (e.g. French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development for international students). Please note that the French scholarship "CROUS" is not compatible with our degree.

Last updated Nov 2020

About the School

École Polytechnique is a leading French institute which combines top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its curriculum promotes a culture of excel ... Read More

École Polytechnique is a leading French institute which combines top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its curriculum promotes a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science, anchored in humanist traditions. The school produces socially responsible professionals who excel in leading complex and innovative projects which address current and future challenges facing our society. Read less