City + Regional Planning

Urban Studies

Major in Urban Studies

Image: Anita Roth

Urban studies major handbook:

The Program

The study of cities is a vital part of a liberal arts curriculum. During this moment of global change, such forms of knowledge are of critical importance. The world is more urban than in any other era in human history, and with this rapid urbanization has come the crucial role of cities as sites of economic development, crucibles of civic citizenship, and spaces of cultural imagination.

The urban studies major is housed in the Department of City and Regional Planning in the College of Environmental Design. The major 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, nonprofit 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.