Program Overview

The 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 though 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 the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, which also includes graduate curricula in urban planning and urban affairs. 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: Professor Sigmund C. Shipp

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.

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 Plans and Policies for Contemporary Urban Community (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 400-level URBS course will fulfill this requirement (3 cr)
  • Another 400-level URBS course approved by adviser (3 cr)

C: Fieldwork Component (3 cr)

  • URBS 409 Internship (3 cr)

D: Basic Social Science Component (6 cr) [Any 300-400 level social science classes fulfill this requirement - suggested courses are listed below]

  • AFPRL 304 Leaders and Movements Of Black Urban Communities (3 cr)
  • ASIAN 390.1 International Migration (3 cr)
  • ECO 330 Economic Development (3 cr)
  • ECO 335 Urban Economics (3 cr)
  • GEOG 221 Economic Geography (3 cr)
  • GEOG 321 Transportation Geography (3 cr)
  • GEOG 341 Urban Geography (3 cr)
  • GEOG 357 Geography of New York City/Vicinity (3 cr)
  • GEOG 370 Geography of Sustainable Development in Developing Countries (3 cr)
  • HIST 250.45 History of New York City (3 cr)
  • HIST 317 History of the American City (3 cr)
  • HIST 318 History of the American Working Class (3 cr)
  • HIST 368 From Frontier to City (3 cr)
  • PLSC 212 Urban Politics (3 cr)
  • SOC 211 Urban Sociology (3 cr)
  • SOC 217 Race and Ethnicity (3 cr)