Major & Minor Requirements

Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Major in Urban Studies


There are five (5) subject area concentrations in Urban Studies: neighborhoods and community development; urban education; cities of the world; social policy/public policy; and public health. Urban Studies majors must complete Urban Studies 299, one introductory course in math or applied statistics (e.g. L55#2200 non Math Majors or #3200 Math Majors), one 400-level independent study or an internship, located locally, nationally or internationally and a Senior Thesis/Senior Honors Thesis in Urban Studies [or Senior Seminar when offered], advised by a core (not an affiliated) faculty member in Urban Studies. Overall, students must complete 33 units of coursework for the major, of which 21 must be 300-level or above. Of these 21 advanced units, no more than 6 may be from independent study courses.

Because of the nature of the major and requirements of the nonresidential components, majors are strongly encouraged to declare by their third semester in residency.

Study Abroad:

The program offers the International Urban Scholars Study Abroad Program through Oxford University, the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Cape Town in South Africa, and Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Senior Honors:

As an Urban Studies major, you are encouraged to work for Senior Honors, for which you may apply in your junior year. Acceptance into the program is based on your previous academic performance and a proposal to a core (not an affiliated) faculty member in Urban Studies who agrees to supervise your honors research. You must complete honors thesis research which is evaluated by a three-member faculty committee.

Undergraduate Minor in Urban Studies

The Minor in Urban Studies facilitates the study of urbanization across the globe, from multiple disciplinary perspectives, and is designed to complement any major field of study. Students are encouraged to pursue course work, in companion with their major field of interest, that is distinctive yet complementary to the study of urbanization, which impacts all fields of inquiry. Courses must be selected in consultation with the program director/adviser in Urban Studies.

Required Units:


Required Course:

URST 299: The Study of Cities and Metropolitan America

Elective Courses:

12 units at the 300 level or above. All courses for the minor must be taken for a letter grade, with a passing grade of C or better. These courses must be home-based in three different departments or programs, and may not include courses in the student’s major field. A complete list of general courses that count toward the Urban Studies minor is published each semester in WUCRSL. No more than 3 units may be counted from among the following: Directed Readings, Independent Study, Internships, University College or credits from another institution including study abroad.