The Urban Studies major requires students to complete four types of courses totaling at least 73 units:

If the units in these categories total less than 73, the remaining units may be fulfilled by electives, drawn from other concentrations or from Urban Studies courses numbered 100 or higher (except URBANST 198 and 199.)  

Majors must also complete one prerequisite:

  • ECON 1 Introductory Economics


The core includes four required courses, totaling 19 units:

  • URBANST 110. Introduction to Urban Studies,
  • URBANST 112. The Urban Underclass (same as SOC 149),
  • URBANST 113. Introduction to Urban Design, and
  • URBANST 114. Urban Culture in Global Perspective (same as ANTHRO 126). 


Minimum of 3 courses of at least 3 units each are required (this policy was updated in January 2014; previous policies were 8 units prior to 8/1/11, 12 units 8/1/11 to 1/15/14).  *The third skills course will vary, depending on a student's needs and interests.  The following two courses are recommended for most Urban Studies majors:

  • SOC 180A. Foundations of Social Research
  • EARTHSYS 144. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science

Please note: Anthro 130D, Spatial Approaches to Social Science is an approved substitute for EARTHSYS 144.

*The following courses are acceptable for the Research Skills requirement in Urban Studies:

ANTHRO 91, Method and Evidence in Anthropology

ANTHRO 93B, Prefield Research Seminar: Non-Majors

ANTHRO 102. Urban Ethnography (URBANST 140)
ANTHRO 116, Data Analysis for Quantitative Research
ECON 102A, Introduction to Statistical Methods (Postcalculus) for Social Scientists
EDUC 191X, Introduction to Survey Research
HUMBIO 82A, Qualitative Research Methodology
HUMBIO 82B, Advanced Data Analysis in Qualitative Research
MED 147, Methods in Community Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
OSPCPTWN 22, Preparation for Community-Based Research in Community Health and Development
POLISCI 150A, Political Methodology I
SOC 180B, Evaluation of Evidence


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Urban Studies majors must complete at least 25 units in a concentration.  Each student must consult with a faculty advisor to develop a program that meets their intellectual goals.

Students choose one of the following concentrations:


All Urban Studies majors are required to complete a 3-credit internship with an urban organization related to their area of interest and a sequence of two 5-credit seminars in which students design a senior research project and write the results of their project. The capstone seminars can be used to fulfill the Writing in the Major requirement and to complete some work on an honors thesis.

The Capstone courses are:

  • URBANST 201A.  Capstone Internship in Urban Studies
  • URBANST 202. Preparation for Senior Research (WIM)
  • URBANST 203. Senior Seminar (WIM)


URBANST 201A and 202, should be taken in the junior year, and URBANST 203 in the senior year.

Courses counted toward the 73-unit graduation requirement for the major (except URBANST 201A) must be taken for a letter grade, and a minimum grade of 'C' is required.

For more details on the Urban Studies major, consult the entry on Urban Studies in the Stanford Bulletin. (pdf)

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