Urban Studies is a new major at Yale College. In the context of the growing opportunities and challeges of urbanization that confront us today, this new major positions urban studies as an inherently spatial discipline with the capacity to transform the world around us. Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary field grounded in the physical and social spaces of both the city and the larger built environment. It is within the broader context of the urban world - instead of just the “city” - where we see the spatial and material ramifications of complex social, political, economic and environmental issues.
The Urban Studies major introduces students to the following bodies of knowledge:
- History, theory and contemporary analysis of urban morphologies, spaces, societies, and political economies.
- Conceptual tools and analytical methods to understand urban environments and issues through spatial terms.
- Practices of and speculative approaches to urban planning and design.
The major will prepare students for a variety of future careers and fields of graduate study related to urban planning, design and development. These include professional and practice-oriented fields like urban planning, law, non-profit management, public policy, real estate development, and architecture; as well as research-oriented fields such as geography, sociology, anthropology, urban planning and architecture.
As an interdisciplinary field of study, Urban Studies major also shares many courses with many different departments, particularly African American Studies; American Studies; Architecture; Ethics, Politics, and Economics; History; Political Science; and Sociology. The introductory course Study of the City is also offered each year; details about this course and other urban studies classes may be found in the classes section of this guide.