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Urban Studies


Urban studies programs teach people about the history and growth of large cities. These programs are sometimes called urban planning.

Students learn how to make policies and design programs for urban areas. They also learn how culture, ethnic diversity, and the environment affect cities.

Urban studies programs include topics such as:

Students also take courses about their specific interests, such as transportation, public safety, or overcrowding.


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in urban studies. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in urban studies. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Several universities offer graduate degrees in urban studies. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

At some schools, you must apply to the urban studies program after you have been admitted to college and taken introductory courses.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements vary depending on what kind of graduate program you choose. They may include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate study in urban studies typically includes:

Fieldwork and internships that deal with urban issues are often required. You can work for a community group, nonprofit association, or private organization for a term.

Things to Know

Sometimes urban studies is included with other majors, such as architecture or sociology.

Graduates from urban studies programs can work as city planners, policy analysts, and real estate developers. Many work for government agencies such as the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Some people go to graduate school in programs such as architecture, public policy, sociology, business, and law.


King-Snohomish Area

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle University

University of Washington - Seattle

Tacoma Area

University of Washington - Tacoma