Requirements for the Major

The 14 required courses for a major in Urban Studies, divided into 7 categories; U, A, B, C, D, E and F, are as follows:

U  (1 course)

 

Introduction to Urban Studies (UN1515) 


A (3 courses)

Social Sciences (with a substantial urban focus)

For students who declare the Urban Studies major after Spring 2018, one A course must be History.

One course chosen from the following disciplines: Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Sociology. The three courses must be selected from three separate disciplines and they must appear on the Urban Studies approved list to fulfill the 'A' requirement for the major.  Highest priority. You must complete at least two of your three ‘A’ courses before taking the Junior Seminar.

Barnard College students can double-count one of their ‘A’ courses toward their specialization.

Columbia University and General Studies students cannot double-count.


B (1 course)

Humanities (with a substantial urban focus)

 

One course from a discipline not listed under Requirement ‘A’ (such as Africana Studies, American Studies, Art History, Dance, Education, English, Religion, etc.) dealing primarily with urban subject matter.

  • The course must appear on the Urban Studies approved list to fulfill the 'B' requirement for the major.
  • You can complete this requirement at any point in your undergraduate career.
Barnard College students can double-count a 'B' course toward their specialization. 
Columbia University and General Studies students cannot double-count.

C (1 course)

Methods of analysis

 

One methods course, such as URBS UN2200 — Intro to GIS: Methods (other GIS by petition)

Many other departments offer quantitative analysis courses that fulfill Requirement C, including:

  • Economics
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
Barnard College students can double-count their 'C' course toward their specialization (Requirement D). 
Columbia University and General Studies students cannot double-count.

D (5 courses)

Specialization

All Urban Studies majors choose a particular disciplinary approach as their academic concentration.  Please see course requirements by area of specialization for Barnard College students here.

The requirements for Columbia College, General Studies, and Barnard students vary somewhat.  Barnard College students can double-count one ‘A,’ ‘B,’ or ‘C’ course toward this requirement (only one of five), with the approval of the Director.  Columbia University and General Studies students cannot double-count.

You must take at least five courses from one of the following departments, and you must fulfill the department requirements as outlined below.

  • Africana Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Architecture
  • Economics
  • Education
  • English
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Religion
  • Sociology

Your selection of courses must be approved by your adviser.  If you wish to specialize in a different department, consult with the Urban Studies Director, Prof. Aaron Passell.


(1 course)

Junior Seminar

URBS UN3545 — You must complete at least two of your ‘A’ courses before taking the Junior Seminar.


(full-year course equal to 2 courses)

Senior Research Seminar + Thesis 
(Director's approval required)
 
 

A senior thesis written in conjunction with a two-semester research seminar in the area of your specialization chosen from the following four options:

URBS UN3992-93 — The Built Environment

URBS UN3994-95 — New York Undergraduate Field Research

URBS UN3996-97 — International Topics in Urban Studies


REQUIREMENTS FOR COLUMBIA STUDENTS

Columbia College students please see requirements on the Columbia University website.

  • Your selection of courses must be approved by the Columbia University Adviser, Prof. Kathryn Yatrakis.

General Studies students please see requirements on the General Studies website.

  • Your selection of courses must be approved by the General Studies Advisor/Urban Studies Director, Prof. Aaron Passell.