The state of futures and foresight tertiary education globally


After researching government agencies that use foresight as well as futurist associations, Ross Dawson and I have compiled a list of all the known university programs focused on strategic foresight and futures studies. Although we may have missed some courses that feature a class or two related to futures and foresight, we believe we have a comprehensive list of all the accredited tertiary futures and foresight degrees and diplomas that are active for 2018 plus a few short courses.

The list covers:

In addition to the 49 total tertiary courses majoring in futures and foresight, we also found 7 programs that are not expressly futures or foresight but are related in some manner. In the academic world, the focus is obviously on teaching foresight to long-term students. Post-graduate diplomas are less common than masters degrees, but even they outnumber the undergraduate courses.


European universities are the most engaged in the space, with 24 programs across 8 countries plus 4 of the related programs that were found. France boasts 4 programs, while between Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, futures and foresight are also well represented in Scandinavia. The Corvinus University of Budapest in Hungary is the only Eastern Bloc university, while universities in the UK, Germany, and Portugal round out the rest of Europe. Malta is also represented in the related programs.


North America has 8 courses, including two of the best-known programs globally, at University of Texas – Houston and University of Hawaii at Manoa, and 2 of the undergraduate programs, while Latin America – including courses in Costa Rica and Mexico – boasts a total of 9 programs. Across South America Colombia is a clear leader in tertiary futures and foresight programs with 3 masters degrees and a graduate diploma at 4 different universities. Argentina and Peru also have masters degrees, giving the continent 6 futures and foresight (la prospectiva) programs.

Australia, Asia and Africa

With the recent closure of Swinburne University’s Master in Strategic Foresight, Australia’s universities have only 2 programs, one of which is half design futures and half strategic foresight. Another related course at the Institute for Sustainable Futures in Australia teaches sustainability along with aspects of foresight.

Only 4 current programs were found in all of Asia from Iran to India and Taiwan. However, it shows that progress is being in Asia for futures and foresight, at least academically.

The University of Stellenbosch is the only African university represented, but their reach is extensive. Established in the 1970s the program has alumni all over Africa and much of the world.

Please help improve the list

Greater insight on the programs is provided in the complete list. Please browse through, and let us know if we may have missed a program.

Several discontinued programs were found. Also, 4 other programs were found that we were unable to verify information for. We would appreciate any insight you can give about the futures and foresight programs at University of Tehran, Leonardo Da Vinci Online University, Fo Guang University, and University of Lisbon. Are they still active?

Image: John Walker