Urban studies major handbook:
- Urban Studies Major Handbook (Fall 2013 and Later Admits)
- Urban Studies Major Handbook (Fall 2012 and Prior Admits)
Launched in 2002, the undergraduate program in urban studies, leading to the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, seeks to introduce students to the following bodies of knowledge:
- Historical and contemporary analysis of American and global urbanization, urbanism, urban societies, and urban political economies.
- Conceptual tools, analytical methods, and theoretical frameworks to understand urban environments, such as economic analysis, social science theory, and visualization technologies.
- Forms, functions, and practices of urban planning and design, metropolitan governance, and social movements and social justice, including issues such as transportation planning, community development, and housing.
- Ways of providing more humane, equitable, environmentally sensitive, and efficient settlements and to lead change for better urban futures.
The major trains undergraduates for a variety of future careers and fields of graduate study that are related to urban studies and planning. These include practice-oriented fields such as urban planning, law, non-profit management, and public policy as well as research oriented fields such as geography, sociology, and anthropology. Above all, the intent of the major is to produce urban citizens and global leaders. Currently, there are over 50 students enrolled in the urban studies major.
While the urban studies major does not specify particular concentrations or specializations, students may design such "tracks" in consultation with faculty advisors. Possible tracks include community development; global and comparative urban studies; housing; environmental sustainability and planning; and urban design. These tracks are well represented in the various classes that constitute the urban studies core. The urban studies electives and interdisciplinary urban studies courses also include classes that speak to these tracks.
Students in the urban studies major are encouraged to undertake a capstone experience, which can take one of three forms:
- Thesis: This option should be pursued with a faculty adviser. ENV DES 195, the senior thesis course, also provides important training in research design and analysis. Students may also complete a thesis via independent studies. Speak with an urban studies major adviser for more information.
- Studio: CY PLAN 116 is available to majors as an advanced synthetic educational experience.
- Field experience/internship with a written planning report: Students may sign up for CY PLAN 197 with a faculty adviser and submit a written report that analyzes fieldwork and internship experience.