Program Overview

Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies StudentsThe Urban Studies major provides a strong background in the study of urban issues, institutions, and policies. The core curriculum (click for PDF) is designed with specific objectives that form the foundation for advanced study of the urban landscape. Urban Studies is open to those interested in the science of cities, both majors and non-majors alike. Completion of the major gives students a fuller understanding of contemporary cities from a variety of perspectives: social, physical, political, and economic. Through a carefully constructed curriculum that develops both qualitative and quantitative research methods and provides meaningful field work experiences through internships and studio classes, New York City becomes a vast urban laboratory and powerful learning tool.

The urban studies program is further enriched by its location in Hunter Urban Policy & Planning, which also includes graduate curricula in urban planning, policy and leadership. The sharing of faculty and facilities, the interchange among advanced and beginning students, and the cooperation of other social science departments at Hunter creates a synergy for comprehensive examination of “urban” concerns in major cities.  After graduating, urban studies alumni have pursued public or private sector careers in urban planning, social work, municipal budgeting, public administration, real estate, community economic development, law, business, and journalism.

Program Director: Prof. Owen Gutfreund

Preparation for Graduate Training

A substantial number of majors in urban studies pursue professional graduate study in urban planning, law, social work, public administration, architecture, and related fields. Students should discuss their professional goals with the adviser in their junior year in order to plan their programs accordingly.

Special Programs

Urban studies majors may apply to the Public Service Scholar Program–a competitive program open to 24 juniors/seniors each year. All Hunter students are eligible for this program, which includes an internship in a public or nonprofit agency and two weekly seminars. Participants receive credit and a stipend. For further information, contact the program director.

The University College of London/Bartlett School Exchange Program Spring 2022

Undergrad urban studies majors who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have completed 60 credits can apply to the Hunter/Bartlett exchange program for a semester abroad. The Bartlett School of Planning, a part of the University College of London, is one of Europe’s most prestigious planning schools. The exchange program begins Spring 2022 and applications for the Spring term must be completed by September 15, 2021.

Undergrad majors should: 1) complete the application available here and 2) let Professor Owen Gutfreund, the undergrad program director, know of their interest.

Students will pay the current Hunter tuition to study at Bartlett. The credits to be taken in London at Bartlett, which must be pre-approved by Professor Shipp, will be counted toward the degree.

Curriculum/Course Requirements

The Urban Studies major consists of components A, B, C, and D as listed below. All URBS courses fulfill the Hunter General Education Requirement (GER), as follows:

  • URBS 101, 102 and 201 meet writing requirement and fulfill GER 2B
  • URBS 310, 401, 402, 403 and 409 fulfill GER 3BC

Courses not listed may be selected with special permission of the urban studies program adviser.

A: Urban Studies Core (15 credits)

  • URBS 101 Urban Life: Personal and Observational View (3 cr)
  • URBS 102 Structure of Urban Region (3 cr)
  • URBS 201 Urban Plans and Policies (3 cr)
  • URBS 310 Methods of Urban Research and Policy Analysis (3 cr)
  • URBS 311 Quantitative Approaches for Urban Analysis (3 cr)

B: Urban Studies Electives (6 credits)

Any two (2) 400-level courses in Urban Studies may fulfill this requirement. Examples:

  • URBS 401 Managing Urban Physical Environment (3 cr)
  • URBS 402 Urban Studies Studio (3 cr)
  • URBS 403 Special Topics in Urban Studies (3cr)

C: Fieldwork Component (3 credits)

  • URBS 409 Internship (3 cr)

D: Basic Social Science Component (6 credits)

Select two from:

  • AFPRL 384 Poverty in Society (W) (3 cr)
  • AFPRL 420 The Black Church and Social Change
  • ECO 330 Economic Development (3 cr)
  • GEOG 227 Environmental Conservation: Urban Problems (3 cr)
  • GEOG 243 Urban Geography (3 cr)
  • GEOG 357 Geography of New York City/Vicinity (3 cr)
  • HIST 317 History of the American City (3 cr)
  • POLSC 212 Urban Politics (W) 3 cr)
  • SOC 211 Urban Sociology (3 cr)
  • SOC 217 Race and Ethnicity (3 cr)
  • SOC 218 Social Inequality (3 cr)
  • SOC 235 Community Organization and Action
  • URBS 401 Managing Urban Physical Environment (3 cr)
  • URBS 402 Urban Studies Capstone/Studio (3 cr)
  • URBS 403 Special Topics in Urban Studies (3cr)

Component D can also be met by another 300- or 400-level urban-related course if approved by the undergraduate adviser.