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Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary major borrowing from history, public policy, government, economics, and sociology. Cities have a lot going on in them, and the study of them requires a working knowledge of many related fields.

Why are cities arranged the way they are? What are the economic and social factors that physically shape a city? What’s a city’s history, and what role does it play in a city’s continuing development or regression? These are just some of the difficult questions that Urban Studies majors try to answer. Their goal is to help us understand how and why our cities function the way they do. From the way local politics operate to problems of race and class, everything is closely scrutinized to improve municipal physical layout, education, and commerce. With the help of Urban Studies majors, we can address and resolve some of the most complicated issues affecting our cities.


  • Homelessness

  • Origins and Cultures of Cities

  • Philanthropy and the City

  • Planning Urban Spaces

  • Race and Ethnic Relations

  • Religion and Public Life

  • Social Justice and Urban Development

  • The Industrial City

  • U.S. Urban History since the Civil War

  • Urban Education

  • Urban Redevelopment


Much of what you will encounter as an Urban Studies major will be unique to your college education. The best preparation you can have is a strong background in history and economics. That civics class you thought was silly might come in handy with Urban Studies.