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Urban Studies and Planning

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Degree Programs

  • Undergraduate:
  • B.A., Urban Studies and Planning
  • Graduate Certificate in Urban Studies and Planning

Mission Statement

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning prepares students, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, for professional careers in urban studies and planning. It provides a broad-based educational experience, set in the context of the social sciences that develops informed, thoughtful and able individuals prepared to contribute to society. The Department faculty supports the mission through teaching, research and publication, community outreach and University service.

Department Programs

Urban Studies and Planning is an Interdisciplinary Program providing an undergraduate course of study that focuses on solutions to the major problems stemming from the complexities of contemporary urban life. The Urban Studies and Planning curriculum is designed for students who:

  1. 1. Wish to enter professional graduate schools in such fields as urban planning, urban design, environmental planning, social welfare, law and public administration, and international development;
  2. 2. Intend to begin their professional careers at the end of their Baccalaureate education through employment in various governmental agencies, private firms or non-profit organizations concerned with urban issues, regional planning, real estate development and community development; or
  3. 3. Desire a social science degree that emphasizes the study of the historical and modern city.

The Major in Urban Studies and Planning requires all students to complete a set of Lower Division introductory courses and Upper Division Core courses. This part of the curriculum is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the urban environment and training in the appropriate principles and methods of planning and urban analysis. In addition to the Lower Division and Core course requirements, students must complete a set of elective courses within 1 of 4 designated specializations.

As a complement to the course work, students are required to complete supervised field research and an internship with a public agency, a non-profit organization or a private-sector organization conducting planning-related work. These experiences help to provide students with professional experience to begin careers in planning and with the skills to find solutions to urban problems and situations.

The Department of Urban Studies and Planning supports the concept of international education and encourages students to investigate opportunities of overseas study. The Department supports campus-wide initiatives to increase international learning opportunities and offers Independent Studies courses that entail field trips abroad. Certain courses taken at CSU International Program Study Centers in foreign countries are equivalent to courses in Urban Studies and Planning and may be used to fulfill some of the requirements for the Degree and/or General Education requirements. Students should consult with the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the International Programs Bulletin available in the Office of International and Exchange Programs, a program advisor or the campus International Programs Advisor for information.


Urban Studies and Planning provides professional training that prepares majors for careers in such fields as urban and regional planning, community development, environmental analysis, public administration and resource management.

Academic Advisement

Students are required to seek advisement as early in their academic careers as possible. This is especially necessary if a student wishes to pursue a double major or prepare for specific job opportunities. Students must call the Department Office at (818) 677-2904 to make an advisement appointment.

Graduate Certificate in Urban Studies and Planning

The Department offers a Graduate Certificate in Urban Studies and Planning in collaboration with the Tseng College of Extended Learning. For more information, see the Certificates section in the Catalog.