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What is 4CITIES? 4CITIES is an immersive, two-year, interdisciplinary Erasmus Mundus Master Course in urban studies, incorporating geography, sociology, history, cultural studies, and governance studies. Organised within UNICA, the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe, and co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, 4CITIES brings together 25–30 students each year from around the world and across the academic spectrum. The language of instruction is English and proof of fluency is required. Graduates receive a master of science (MSc.) degree in urban studies.
There are three separate tracks that students in 4CITIES follow: Classical, Research, and Practice. The first year is the same for all three tracks. Students in the Classical Track spend the third and fourth semesters together, following a shared curriculum in Copenhagen and Madrid. This is how 4CITIES has been organized since it began in 2008, hence “classical.” Students in the Research and Practice tracks spend their second year interning at an approved research institution or work-placement, respectively, and completing 25 ECTS of self-chosen coursework at a 4CITIES partner institution. These tracks have been designed for students who intend to pursue careers in research and practice, respectively. Regardless of the track pursued, all students are expected to complete a written academic thesis, and all graduates will receive the same degree.
4CITIES is, however, much more than the formal description of its three tracks. Because of the exploratory nature of a program in which travel is a constant, because of the diversity of each cohort of students, and because of the intention of the program to provide an interdisciplinary education in urbanism, 4CITIES is also a crossroads where academic research, professional practice, urban exploration, and civic activism overlap and intersect.
4CITIES bridges disciplinary limitations to provide students with an array of means and methods for analyzing and understanding the specific character of cities. Students are prepared to participate in the resolving of urban problems and the development of new strategies to describe and address the ongoing processes and consequences of globalization and urbanization. Core elements of the program include academic courses, fieldwork, excursions, exams, and a written master thesis. The division of the program after its first year into three tracks allows students to pursue either a classical course-based education or a hybrid internship-courses approach focused on either research or practice. The teaching language of 4CITIES is English.
4CITIES is a two-year master program organized in three tracks: Classical, Research, and Practice. All three tracks follow a shared core curriculum in the first year, with the first semester spent in Brussels and the second in Vienna. Classical Track students continue to Copenhagen and Madrid for a second year of shared coursework. Research and Practice Track students follow largely self-designed second-year curricula, with each student expected to conduct an internship or work-placement (15 ECTS) and to complete 25 ECTS of coursework at a partner university. Students apply for, and are accepted into, a specific track. This means that changing from one track to another is not possible. All students are to submit and defend a written thesis in Vienna after the fourth semester.
Each year, 40 students are chosen by the 4CITIES academic board from approximately 600-800 qualified applicants. Successful applicants combine a stellar academic record and excellent recommendation letters with a strong statement of motivation that clearly expresses their perspective on urban studies and specific areas of interest and engagement. Because the first two criteria are assumed, it is the statement of motivation that is perhaps most critical. The final selection of applicants also aims for both geographic and academic diversity.
Many successful applicants have gained relevant life experience, whether through additional academic study, professional employment, or civic engagement, before applying to 4CITIES. The average age of enrolled students is approximately 25, with students in each cohort typically ranging from their early 20s to early 30s.
Opportunity is About:
Candidates should be from:
Description of Ideal Candidate:
4CITIES seeks students who are informed, engaged, experienced, and highly motivated, and recognizes that aspiring urbanists travel many different roads. Applicants can come from anywhere in the world and are eligible for 4CITIES if they have at least a 180 ECTS academic bachelor degree or its equivalent in geography, planning, architecture, history, criminology, political science, sociology, demography, media & communication studies, cultural studies, or a similar discipline. Admission to 4CITIES will be based on equivalence of diploma, i.e. the diploma must be equal to at least a 180 ECTS bachelor degree (three years of full-time studies). Students with a background in engineering are also welcome to apply but must explicitly mention in their motivation letter how their former studies prepared them for 4CITIES.
Additionally, proof of fluency in English is required and should be sought well in advance of the application window (see all requirements in our How To Apply section).
Most questions concerning eligibility (as well as required documents and the entire application process) are answered in the online application module. After registering, please read through the module carefully and in its entirety before contacting us with questions.
If your field of studies is not mentioned (AND is not from a similar discipline), please contact us. BRIEFLY explain how your degree has helped prepare you for graduate-level urban studies and provide a full markslist. Emails that do not fulfill both requirements will be disregarded.
Students who have not completed their undergraduate degree at the time of applying but will do so before the enrollment deadline if admitted to 4CITIES are also eligible. In such cases offers of admission are conditional, meaning that successful completion of an undergraduate degree must be demonstrated before the offer of admission can be finalized.
In order to be considered, your application must be completed in full, in accordance with all stated specifications, and submitted before the application deadline.
Erasmus scholarship eligibility
- EMJMD student scholarships can be offered to students from any region of the world, taking geographical balance into account. No more than 3 candidates from the same country (with the same nationality) should be awarded an EMJMD scholarship during the same intake.
- Student scholarship candidates who have already benefited from a JMD scholarship or from an EMMC scholarship are not eligible for another scholarship in the framework of a JMD program.
- Furthermore, EMJMD scholarship holders cannot at the same time be beneficiaries of a grant for student or staff mobility in the framework of higher education credit mobility projects, and vice versa.
- Scholarship candidates must have already obtained a first higher education degree or demonstrate a recognized equivalent level of learning according to national legislation and practices.
- EMJMD students scholarships are awarded exclusively for full-time enrollment.
- Students holding an EMJMD scholarship must commit themselves to participate in the master’s program in accordance with the terms defined by the consortium in the Student Agreement. Failure to do so could lead to the cancellation of the scholarship.
Deadline: January 15, 2022
Cost/funding for participants:
Approximately 20 Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree (EMJMD) scholarships are offered each year. All students who apply for 4CITIES during the October-January application window are automatically considered for a scholarship. EMJMD scholarships are good for two years (maximum 24 months) and provide the following:
- full coverage of all participation fees
- 4500 EUR per year for EU nationals
- 4500 EUR per year + 4500 EUR partial tuition waiver per year for non-EU Programme Country nationals
- 9000 EUR per year for Partner Country nationals
- subsistence costs
- 1000 EUR per month for both Programme and Partner Country nationals
- travel costs
- 1000 EUR per year for Programme Country nationals
- 2000 EUR per year plus one-time 1000 EUR for installation costs for Partner Country nationals located less than 4000 km from the EMMC coordinating HEI (Brussels)
- 3000 EUR per year plus one-time 1000 EUR for installation costs for Partner Country nationals located more than 4000 km from the EMMC coordinating HEI (Brussels)
Programme & Partner Students
Programme Country Students
Students whose nationality is one of the Erasmus+ Programme Countries (EU 28) count as Programme Country students. Additionally, Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway entered the Erasmus+ Programme as Programme Countries. Successful applicants who are nationals of these countries will be considered as Programme Country students and will receive the corresponding scholarships.
Partner Country Students
Students whose nationality is one of the Erasmus+ Partner Countries, i.e. non-EU countries with exception of Turkey, FYROM,Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway AND who fulfill the residency & 12-month rule are considered Partner Country students.
Partner Country students must not be current residents of a programme country nor have carried out their main activity (studies, training or work) for more than a total of 12 months over the last five years in a Programme Country. The five-year reference period for this 12-month rule is calculated backwards from the submission deadline.
Students with a Partner Country nationality who do not fulfil the Partner Country criteria defined above (residency + 12-month rule) count as Programme Country Students. The 12-month residency rule will not be applied to Partner Country candidates who for various reasons and under various circumstances have sought refuge and received a refugee status in a Programme Country.
Students with a double nationality (of a Partner and of a Programme Country) must specify the nationality under which they submit their scholarship application. This means you can freely choose the nationality under which you want to apply.