Program Overview

Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies Students

Urban Studies is open to those interested in cities, both majors and non-majors alike. Completion of the major gives students a robust understanding of contemporary cities from a variety of perspectives: social, physical, political, cultural, environmental, and economic. Through a flexible multi-disciplinary curriculum New York City becomes a vast urban laboratory and powerful learning tool.  Students come away from this major as strong problem-solvers capable of taking on complex challenges, and with finely honed communication skills.  Our graduates are sought after by a wide range of employers citywide.

The urban studies program is housed in Hunter’s renowned Urban Policy & Planning department, which also includes highly regarded graduate programs  in urban planning, urban policy and leadership, and non-profit management. The sharing of faculty and facilities, the interchange among advanced and beginning students, and the cooperation with other urban-focused departments at Hunter fosters an unusually broad, deep, and comprehensive examination of “urban” concerns.  Each of our majors gets to assemble their own customized mix of urban courses, while also coming together in the core courses that anchor the  major.

After graduating, urban studies alumni have pursued public and private sector careers in government, non-profit leadership, urban planning, social work, municipal budgeting, advocacy, real estate, economic development, law, business, and journalism.

Program Director: Prof. Owen Gutfreund

Preparation for Graduate Training

Some urban studies majors go on to pursue professional graduate study in urban planning, law, social work, public administration, architecture and design, and other 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 application deadline for Fall/Year program is February 15 and for the Spring program the application deadline is September15.

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 Gutfreund, will be counted toward the degree.

Departmental Honors Eligibility Criteria

Overall GPA: 3.5 and above. Major GPA: 3.7 and above.

Curriculum/Course Requirements

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

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

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

A: Multidisciplinary Foundation (12 credits)

  • URBS 10100 Urban Life: Personal and Observational View
  • HUM 20100- Arts in New York City/Exploration in the Arts

And any two of the following basic urban-content courses:

  • AFPRL 10200 – Latino Communities in the U.S.
  • AFPRL 20500 – African American Politics of Social Change
  • EDU 25000 – Diversity and Equity in Education
  • GEOG 24100 – Population Geography
  • GEOG 24300 – Urban Geography
  • JS 21500 – Mapping Jewish New York
  • POLSC 21200 – Urban Politics
  • SOC 21100 – Urban Sociology
  • SOC 21700 – Race and Ethnicity
  • SOC 21800 – Social Inequality
  • SOC 24100 – Social Statistics

B Urban Studies Core (9 credits)

  • URBS 20100 Metropolitan Landscapes
  • URBS 31000 Research Methods and Policy Analysis
  • URBS 40200 – Urban Studies Capstone/Studio (should be taken in final semester)

C: Upper Level Electives (9 credits) 

Any three of the following upper-level electives

  • AFPRL 32100 – Caribbean Migration and NYC
  • AFPRL 38400 – Poverty in Society
  • ANTHC 30251 – Space, Place and Culture: NYC
  • ANTHC 30252 – Space and Place
  • ANTHC 31300 – Race, Culture, and Power
  • ANTHC 32000 – Urban Archaeology
  • ARTH 35100 – New York City Architecture
  • ECON 33000 – Economic Development
  • GEOG 32800 – Urban Environmental Problems
  • GEOG 35700 – Geography of NYC and Vicinity
  • GEOG 37000 – Sustainable Development
  • GEOG 38300 – Environmental Economics
  • HIST 31700 – History of the American City
  • HIST 3412L – Civil Rights, Hip-Hop and Racial Justice
  • HIST 35300 – History of New York City
  • HIST 35900 – Immigration and Ethnicity
  • NFS 36100 – Food Policy
  • PH 30100 – Community and Public Health
  • SOC 31900 – Criminology
  • SOC 32500 – Criminal Justice and Public Policy
  • SW 37000 – Community Organizing Internship
  • URBS 40900 – Urban Studies Internship
  • URBS 403xx – Special Topics in Urban Studies