Requirement B

The 'B' Course Requirement


A ‘B’ course is a non–social science course with a substantial urban focus from any discipline except those listed in Requirement A.

‘B’ courses can come from nearly any department in the College (except Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, or Sociology). For example, the Director has approved ‘B’ courses in:

  • American Studies

  • Architecture

  • Art History

  • Comparative Literature and English

  • Dance

  • Environment and Sustainability

  • Religion

Also, several courses offered by the Urban Studies program, such as URBS UN3530 — Urban Development and URBS UN3562 — The City in Beta, count as ‘B’ courses in Urban Studies.

You can complete this requirement at any point in your undergraduate career.


  • You are required to take at least one ‘B’ course.
  • The course must have a substantial urban focus, and must be reviewed and approved by the Director.
  • Since Requirement B is not a prerequisite for the Junior Seminar, you should consider this a lower priority than completing your ‘A’ courses. Many students take their ‘B’ course during the fall or spring of their junior year.
  • To help you plan your schedule, the Urban Studies program publishes a list of all known ‘B’ courses being offered each semester on this website.

    This list is always subject to change. If you see a new urban course being offered, or a course that has been accidentally left out, email and the Director will determine whether it should be added to the list.

  • Many courses offered by the Urban Studies program count as ‘B’ courses. For example:

URBS UN3530 — Urban Development counts as a ‘B’ course in Urban Studies.

URBS UN3562 — The City in Beta counts as a ‘B’ course in Urban Studies.

On double-counting:

Barnard College students can double-count a 'B' course toward their specialization. For example, an Urban Studies major specializing in Dance can count DNCE BC2570 — Dance in New York City toward both the 'B' requirement and one of the five required 'D' courses.

Columbia University and General Studies students cannot double-count.