Urban Studies Graduate Programs

A graduate degree in urban studies can prepare you for career activities like conserving historical buildings or planning a safer urban environment. Find out the program options and classes offered. Schools offering Social Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Graduate Programs Are Available in Urban Studies?

Graduate degrees in urban studies are available at the master's and doctoral level. A master's degree program in urban studies prepares you to work with and on behalf of the urban community. Some colleges offer concentrations within the urban studies focus, such as community development and youth management. You might concentrate your studies on involving the community in activities, developing urban housing or conserving historical buildings and parks.

Doctoral degrees in this field aren't abundant, but they are available. They may be offered in urban studies or urban planning. A Ph.D. in urban studies can lead to a career working for a governmental agency or university. You'll be prepared to help cities and urban settings financially, historically and socially through the organization and implementation of urban planning.

Degree Levels Master's and doctorate degrees are available
Common Courses Social structures, urban growth, conservation law, municipal management
Prerequisites A bachelor's degree is required for master's degree programs; a master's degree is required on the doctoral level
Learning Environment Traditional classroom, fully online, and hybrid programs are available
Median Salary (2018) $73,050 (for all urban and regional planners
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 13% growth (for all urban and regional planners

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Will I Learn?

At the master's level, your courses will focus on how to make a difference in the urban setting. You might study such topics as inequality, ethnicity, social structures and urban poverty. You'll also learn the fundamental aspects of metropolitan development, such as financing neighborhood projects through municipal and private means, urban planning, public budgeting and urban politics. Conservation law and immigration issues will also be studied.

At the doctoral level, your courses will be more research focused. Some of the courses you'll take are urban growth, research methodologies and municipal management. You'll also learn skills in order to assess urban environments.

What Are the Requirements for Admission?

For admission to a master's degree program, an undergraduate degree is required - preferably in a social science. Most colleges prefer a GPA of 2.75 or higher. Also, most applications require two letters of recommendation from professors who are familiar with your studies.

Similarly, Ph.D. admission requires a master's degree in social sciences or urban studies. Some colleges may expect a GPA as high as 3.5. Also preferred is a master's thesis, which provides proof of your research and writing skills.

Can I Earn These Degrees Online?

Online master's degree programs in urban studies are available through a few educational institutions. Some colleges offer a hybrid format, which requires that some of your courses be completed on campus. Through these short residencies, you'll meet professors, work through questions or issues you may have, meet fellow students in your cohort and sit in on lectures. Typically, Ph.D. programs are not available online.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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