Curriculum Requirements

Requirements of the Major

Students majoring in Urban Studies must take thirteen course credits approved by the DUS. The major is organized around survey courses, methods courses, related electives, and a one- or two-term senior requirement.

Thirteen term courses are required for the major, including the senior requirement. Each student, in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) or a departmental faculty adviser, bears the responsibility for designing a coherent program, which must include the following elements: 3 surveys, 3 methods courses, 4 or 6 electives, depending on the senior requirement; and a one- or two-term senior requirement. All students are required to take either URBN 360 or 362, one of the Urban Lab courses. 

Surveys courses: 

Students choose three survey courses from the following list, of which one course in ARCH is required. Surveys should be completed by the end of the second year.

See Course Overview for all Surveys courses available.

Methods courses:

Students choose either URBN 360 or 362 (Urban Labs) as one of the three required courses from the following list that introduces various methods of understanding and analyzing urbanism and the city. Students should consider completing at least two of these courses by the end of their junior year.

See Course Overview for all Methods Courses available.


Students choose five electives if enrolling in the two-term senior requirement; 6 electives if opting for the one-term senior requirement. Each student is responsible for selecting their elective courses from the approved list available on the Urban Studies website or by petition of the DUS. Students who take two Urban Labs (1.5 credits each) may take 4 electives.

See Course Overview for all Electives available.


No course taken Credit/D/Fail may be counted toward the Urban Studies major.

Senior Requirement

All majors must satisfy a senior requirement undertaken during the senior year. Students have the option of pursuing a yearlong senior project, which includes the ARCH 490, Senior Research Colloquium in the fall and URBN 491, Senior Project in the spring. The senior project may be a written paper or a project that could encompass a variety of media. The primary adviser must be a member of the architecture faculty. Students not choosing a yearlong project may enroll in an advanced seminar (ARCH 400–490), and produce a final paper of twenty to twenty-five pages in addition to existing course work. The seminar should be selected in consultation with the DUS. Note that students pursuing this option must also take an additional elective.