The Urban Studies program introduces students to the uniqueness of urban conditions and relationships through the examination of the history, environment and structure of cities, as it explores their social, economic, cultural, political and public policy environments. Contemporary urban problems such as inadequate housing, education, health care, crime and the criminal justice system are addressed, as are challenges like ethnic, racial, class and religious diversity. Also discussed are patterns of suburbanization, as well as planning for the future of cities.
Urban studies majors obtain jobs in private industry, such as banks, corporations or planning firms, or with nonprofit agencies and foundations such as organizations that create affordable housing, or in state, local and national government agencies. Many urban studies majors enter careers that require a better understanding of the distinctive challenges of working in urban education, health care and law. Others attend law school, professional schools of social work, or graduate school in economics, political science, sociology and urban studies.