An Introduction To Urban Studies

An academic field of study that deals with city life and issues surrounding cities is called urban studies. So if you ever wanted to know more about the suburbs.

the people who live there, their behavior and problems such as poverty or crime, then a course in urban studies will help you.



This field of academic study helps in understanding the life pattern in a city, the city culture that develops over a period of time, the problems faced by the city and how the city responds to these problems.

It tries to analyze every minute detail about a city, such as its different and difficult neighborhood, its layout and building design and how all these have an effect on the people living there. On a broader note this particular field of study covers topics such as urban planning, the development of communities within the city, managing the environment etc.

Urban studies is related to the fields of sociology, social sciences and even economics. This field of study is essential multi disciplinary that depends on many academic areas.

To study the phenomenon of the urban life, one has to complete an internship, conduct many seminars, and finish atleast one project work based on real research apart from the regular course requirements. Some of the important areas of specialization in urban studies include the following – urban education, urban society and change, cities in historical perspective etc.

To earn a degree in urban studies a student can go for full time as well as part time programs. The undergraduate degree program is usually available as Bachelor of Arts degree which can be completed in three years. Then there is the ‘honors’ degree program – BA Honors – which is usually completed in four years.


Since urban studies depends on many disciplines, the degree program can be combined with either communication studies or social studies. At the graduate level, urban studies can be completed through a Master’s degree program. It can be either a Master of Arts degree program or a MS in urban studies. A prospective student of urban studies can also pursue PhD or doctoral degree program in urban studies.

University of Colorado, North Eastern University, Tufts University, University of Virginia, Cleveland State University, Temple University, University of Illinois etc have some very good programs in urban studies.

Career options in urban studies can be in the real estate sector, government sector, healthcare, education sector etc. Possible designations include Senior Project Officer, Development Manager, Policy Analyst, Community Planning Director, Research officer etc.



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