Urban Studies (BS)

Urban

This program was approved for students entering the university in the Summer 2022–Spring 2023 catalog year. For more information about catalog year, go to Catalog Year Information.

Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Urban and Public Affairs
Academic Plan Code(s): US_ _BS

Program Information

Urban Studies explores the social, economic, political, and spatial structures of cities through multiple disciplinary lenses, focusing on issues, problems, and solutions for urban areas through planning, policy, and administration.  The BS in Urban Studies is housed within the Department of Urban and Public Affairs in partnership with the Department of Geography and Geosciences and the Department of Sociology.

The undergraduate degree program in Urban Studies is designed to educate, train, and prepare students for future careers in municipal and metropolitan‐related occupations, such as public administrators, policy analysts, community development specialists, or planning technicians.  The program will also give students a strong foundation for future graduate training in affiliated disciplines, including urban planning, public administration, geography, or sociology.

The Department offers Bachelor of Science degrees in four different tracks:

  • Urban Administration: designed for students with interests in management, human resources, budgeting, and governance.
  • Urban Geography: designed for students with interests in place dynamics, human-spatial interactions, and GIS.
  • Urban Planning: designed for students with interests in land development and related topics, such as housing, design, and real estate.
  • Urban Sociology: designed for students with interests in human and group interactions within an urban or metropolitan context.

Degree Summary

General Education Requirements 131
College/School Requirements13
Program/Major Requirements27
Supporting Courses35
Track Requirements15
Minimum Total Hours121
1

Some credit hours from the General Education Requirements may be satisfied by courses defined by the program, in which case additional electives will be required to complete the minimum hours for the degree. See the Degree Requirements tab for specific coursework.


Accelerated BS/MUP in Urban Studies and Urban Planning

Urban Studies majors who are considering pursuing a master’s degree (MUP) in Urban Planning can speed up the process by applying some of their undergraduate credit hours toward a master’s degree. Students accepted in the Accelerated BS/MUP take three graduate courses (9 credit hours) as an undergraduate that apply toward both the bachelor’s degree and the eventual master’s degree.

Interested students should apply for admission to the program in their junior year. Advising to ensure the requirements are met without extraneous credit hours is imperative and strongly recommend for timely degree completion and financial considerations for the accelerated degree. Please be sure to consult with undergraduate advisors and the director of the MUP program. Applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to the Graduate School and must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better and completion of URBS 201, URBS 202, PLAN 301, and PADM 302 with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Admission Requirements

Students will be selected through the standard University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences admissions process. 

The application for major form can be found on the Arts and Sciences Advising Center website

General Education Requirements

General Education Requirements 131

All degrees require the completion of the University-wide General Education Program (link provided above).  Some General Education requirements may be met in the requirements for the major or supporting coursework, in which case additional electives may be required to complete the minimum hours for the degree. 

College/School Requirements

Arts & Sciences Requirements
GEN 100Student Success Center First Year Experience1
or GEN 101 Arts & Sciences First Year Experience
Foreign Language 26-8
Electives in Humanities or Natural Sciences at 300 level or above 36
WR-two approved courses at the 300 level or above 4
Minimum Total Hours13-15

Program/Major Requirements

Department of Urban & Public Affairs - Required Core Courses
URBS 201The Making of Urban Places3
URBS 202Discover Louisville3
PLAN 301Principles of Urban Planning3
PADM 302Foundations of Urban Administration3
SUST 303Quantitative Research Methods in Sustainability and Urban Studies 3
SOC 305Urban Sociology3
GEOG 328Urban Geography3
URBS 518Urban Demography and GIS3
URBS 404Community Engagement 3
Minimum Total Hours27
Supporting Courses
Electives in Social Sciences at the 300 level or above 521
Additional Electives14
Minimum Total Hours35
Track Requirements (see Track Requirements tab)15
Culminating Undergraduate Experience (Graduation requirement)
Requirement fulfilled by completing:
Community Engagement
1

Some credit hours from the General Education Requirements may be satisfied by courses defined by the program, in which case additional electives will be required to complete the minimum hours for the degree.

2

Completion of the second semester of a single foreign language; hours will vary depending on the language taken

3

May be incorporated into other degree requirements

4

Fulfills WR requirement.

5

Students who satisfy General Education Requirements by courses defined by the program will require additional electives to complete the minimum hours for the degree.

Track Requirements 

Track in Urban Administration

Academic Plan Code(s): US_BS_ADM

Select five courses from the following:15
Introduction to Urban Communication
Globalization and Diversity
Urban Policy
Economic Development
Peace, Justice & Conflict Transformation
Mediation & Conflict Transformation
State Government
Diversity and Inequality
Criminology
Environmental Management
Behavioral Dimensions of Environmental Decision-Making
Policy and Governance in Sustainability

Track in Urban Geography

Academic Plan Code(s): US_BS_GEO

Select five courses from the following:15
Human Geography in a Changing World
Globalization and Diversity
Race and Place
Economic Geography
Population Geography
Environmental Conflict in the United States: Historical Foundations & Contemporary Problems
Introduction to Spatial Statistics
Qualitative Methods for Undergraduates

Track in Urban Planning

Academic Plan Code(s): US_BS_PLA

Select five courses from the following:15
Twentieth-Century Architecture
Introduction to Urban Communication
Race and Place
Economic Geography
Introduction to Spatial Statistics
Urban Policy
Mediation & Conflict Transformation
Dogs in Society: An Interdisciplinary Examination of the Human-Canine Connection
Urban Economics
Diversity and Inequality
Environmental Sociology
Sustainable Built Environment
Sustainable Societal Systems

Track in Urban Sociology

Academic Plan Code(s): US_BS_SOC

Select five courses from the following:15
Introduction to Sociology
Environmental Sociology
Social Theory
Diversity and Inequality
Sociology of Gender
Sociology of Families
Sociology of Deviant Behavior
Medical Sociology
Faces of Global Poverty
Race and Ethnicity
Sociology of Education

Flight Plan

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallHours
GEN 100
Student Success Center First Year Experience
or Arts & Sciences First Year Experience
1
ENGL 101 Introduction to College Writing 3
Foreign Language 3-4
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - B 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
General Elective 3
 Hours16
Spring
Foreign Language 3-4
ENGL 102 Intermediate College Writing 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences - S 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Natural Sciences Lab - SL 1
General Education: Cardinal Core Arts & Humanities - AH 3
General Elective 3
 Hours16
Year 2
Fall
URBS 201 The Making of Urban Places 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Social & Behavioral Sciences - SB 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Oral Communication - OC 3
Social Sciences Elective 3
General Elective 3
 Hours15
Spring
URBS 202 Discover Louisville 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Quantitative Reasoning - QR 3
General Education: Cardinal Core Historical Perspectives - SBH 3
Social Sciences Elective 3
Natural Science/Humanities Elective (300 level or above) 3
 Hours15
Year 3
Fall
PLAN 301 Principles of Urban Planning 3
GEOG 328 Urban Geography 3
Social Sciences Elective 3
SUST 303 Quantitative Research Methods in Sustainability and Urban Studies 3.0
Natural Science/Humanities Elective (300 level or above) 3
 Hours15
Spring
PADM 302 Foundations of Urban Administration 3
URBS 518 Urban Demography and GIS 3
SOC 305 Urban Sociology 3
Social Sciences Elective 3
Natural Science/Humanities Elective (300 level or above) 3
 Hours15
Year 4
Fall
URBS: Concentration 3
URBS: Concentratation 3
Social Sciences Elective 3
URBS 404 Community Engagement 3
Elective 2
 Hours14
Spring
URBS: Concentration 3
URBS: Concentration 3
URBS: Concentration 3
Social Sciences Elective 3
Social Sciences Elective 3
 Hours15
 Minimum Total Hours121

Degree Audit Report
Degree Audit reports illustrate how your completed courses fulfill the requirements of your academic plan.  What-if reports allow you to compare the courses you have completed in your current academic plan to the courses required in another academic plan.  Should you have questions about either report, please consult with your academic advisor.

To create either report:

  1. Log into your ULink account.
  2. Click on the Academic Progress tile.
  3. Next, click on "View my Degree Audit" to run a Degree Audit report in the Undergraduate Advising area. 
  4. To create a What-if report, click on "Create a What-if Advisement Report."

Click here to run a Degree Audit report, or create a What-if report.

Flight Planner
Based on your major, the Flight Planner tool may be available for you to create a personalized Flight Plan.  The Flight Planner can be found in the ULink Student Center.  Consult with your advisor for assistance with the Flight Planner.