Program of Study

Important Note for New Certificate Students

Please be aware that we strongly advise you to take the core required courses as soon as possible (URB 201 along with ARC 205 or ARC 204). This will provide you with foundational knowledge in the discipline and help you to discover where your future interests might lie, informing your elective choices and the urban element of your thesis. Be sure to review this page in its entirety, and email [email protected] with any questions.

The requirements for the certificate include two core courses and three electives, as well as engagement with urban studies in the student’s senior thesis research. 

Students must take URB 201 along with ARC 205 (or ARC 204 for students planning to major in architecture) to satisfy the core course requirement. With approval of the program director, students may substitute URB 388 for URB 201. Students must pass all required courses with a grade of B or above.

In addition to the two core courses, students must complete three electives: one from social sciences; one from the humanities; and one from engineering or the natural sciences. A list of approved electives is posted on the website. Courses not on the approved list may be used as electives with the approval of the program director. However, each selected course must contain substantial urban content to fulfill the requirements of the certificate program.

As soon as possible after applying for admission to the Urban Studies undergraduate certificate program, students meet with the program director or Urban Studies adviser to establish an approved course of study. Every student is strongly encouraged to take the two required courses as soon as possible, although the courses can be taken at any time. The core courses are designed to be accessible to all majors. 

These courses must be completed in addition to course work taken to fulfill the requirements of the student's department of concentration, although they may be used to fulfill distribution requirements.

Students may double count one of the three electives toward their major and the certificate. All certificate courses must be taken for a grade. Course overlap with another certificate program is permitted.

While urban studies students' senior theses/projects are conducted in their home departments, the work must contain an urban component, approved by the program director. A faculty member from the student's home department serves as the primary adviser and first reader. Students' urban studies advisers selected from the program's associated faculty list provide additional consultation and layer of expertise as they write their thesis and think about potentially urban-related careers. The thesis title and abstract must be sent to the program director for final approval. The program provides additional support for independent student research through offering methods workshops, and through participating in a May thesis colloquium.