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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies

The Urban Studies major requires students to complete four types of courses totaling at least 73 units: 19 units in the core; at least 8 units of skills courses; at least 25 units in an area of concentration; and 13 units in the capstone sequence. If units in these categories total less then 73, the remaining units may be fulfilled by courses in other concentrations or in Urban Studies courses numbered 100 or higher (except URBANST 198 and 199). Majors must also complete two prerequisites: ECON 1A, Introductory Economics A; and ECON 1B, Introductory Economics B; the units for these prerequisite courses do not count toward the 73 units required for the major. URBANST 198, URBANST 199, and prerequisites for required courses and for electives also do not count towards the 73-unit minimum.

Urban Studies students interested in graduate school in business or urban planning are advised to obtain basic quantitative skills by completing MATH 19, 20, and 21, or MATH 41 and 42, preferably before the junior year. A course in statistical methods, such as STATS 60, ECON 102A, POLISCI 150A or 151B, or SOC 181B, is recommended for students interested in business or urban planning.

Urban Studies students carry out an internship in an urban organization in the public or private sector, typically by enrolling in URBANST 201A during Winter Quarter of the junior year. This internship, or an appropriate substitution where necessary, should be arranged no later than Autumn Quarter of the junior year. Urban Studies majors who wish to receive academic credit for additional internship work may enroll once in URBANST 194. Students can consult the Haas Center for Public Service for other courses with internship placements at community organizations.

Urban Studies students are encouraged to spend at least one quarter studying overseas to learn how cities vary across societies. Some Urban Studies core course requirements, as well as electives, can be satisfied at Stanford overseas campuses. Courses offered overseas vary from year to year, and students should check in advance with Overseas Studies and Urban Studies concerning which courses meet Urban Studies requirements. Students may arrange to fulfill the internship requirement through a summer placement at one of Stanford's overseas locations.

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. Qualified students may write a senior honors thesis and graduate with honors; see details in "Honors Program" below. Students interested in declaring Urban Studies as a major are required to meet first with the student services administrator and one of the program's advisers; they then declare the Urban Studies major on Axess.


Urban Studies majors should complete URBANST 110, Introduction to Urban Studies, before Spring Quarter of the junior year. The following courses, totaling 19 units, are required:

URBANST 110. Introduction to Urban Studies

URBANST 112. The Urban Underclass

URBANST 113. Introduction to Urban Design

URBANST 114. Cities in Comparative Perspective


A minimum of 8 units are required. The following courses may be used to fulfill the skills requirement; consult an adviser to determine if additional courses may be available:

ANTHRO 130B. Introduction to GIS in Anthropology

SOC 180A. Foundations of Social Research


Students must complete at least 25 units in one of the following concentrations. Courses may not be double counted. Students should consult an adviser to develop a program that meets their intellectual goals; relevant courses not listed here, including research methods courses taken in preparation for the capstone project, may be counted toward the concentration with the prior consent of an adviser.

These concentrations are declared to the department; they are not declared on Axess, and they do not appear on the transcript or the diploma.


Focus is on how cities have evolved over time, and how they are continuing to change today in societies around the world, drawing on disciplinary approaches including anthropology, archaeology, art history, geography, and history. By placing urban issues in perspective, students improve their comprehension of the present as well as the past.

Students in this concentration are encouraged to study off campus, and preferably overseas, for at least one quarter. Many courses offered through the Overseas Studies Program can be counted toward the concentration. Similarly, internships offered at many of Stanford's overseas locations can be used to fulfill the Urban Studies internship requirement. Students should also consider enrolling in one of the Stanford Overseas Seminars, intensive courses taught in September in locations which do not have overseas campuses.

The following course is required for the cities in comparative and historical perspective concentration:

ANTHRO 103. The Archaeology of Modern Urbanism

The following courses may be counted toward the cities in comparative and historical perspective concentration:

AFRICAST 107. Community Restructuring and Development in South Africa

AMELANG 177. Middle Eastern Cities in Literature and FIlm

AMSTUD 184. Cityscapes of the Imaginary: The Urban World in Literature and Film

ANTHRO 105. Ancient Cities in the New World

ANTHRO 126A. Post-Socialist City

ANTHRO 127. City and Sounds

ANTHRO 146A. The Aztecs and their Ancestors: Introduction to Mesoamerican Archaeology

ARTHIST 3. Introduction to the History of Architecture

ARTHIST 141. The Invention of Modern Architecture

ARTHIST 143A. History of American Architecture

ARTHIST 212. Renaissance Florence, 1400-1540

ARTHIST 252A. Place: Making Space Now

ARTHIST 283A. Paris and Shanghai, 1880-1940: Mediating the City

CLASSART 112. Ancient Urbanism

CLASSGEN 60. The Life and Death of a Roman City: Pompeii

CLASSHIS 60. The Romans

CLASSHIS 101. The Greeks

HISTORY 85S. Jews, Christians and Muslims in a Mediterranean Port City: Salonica, 1821-1945

HISTORY 106A. Global Human Geography: Asia and Africa

HISTORY 106B. Global Human Geography: Europe and Americas

HISTORY 110C. Introduction to Modern Europe

HISTORY 150C. The United States in the 20th Century

HISTORY 166. Introduction to African American History: The Modern African American Freedom Struggle

HISTORY 232D. Rome: The City and the World

HISTORY 234. Paris and Politics, 1600-2010

HISTORY 260. California's Minority-Majority Cities

HISTORY 276. Modern Brazil

HISTORY 281C. Urban History of the Middle East: Aleppo and Istanbul on the Eve of Modernity, 1650-1850

HISTORY 287D. Tel-Aviv: Site, Symbol, City

HISTORY 291B. The City in Imperial China

ME 120. History and Philosophy of Design

OSPBER 60. Cityscape as History: Architecture and Urban Design in Berlin

OSPCPTWN 20. Supervised Service Learning

OSPCPTWN 22. Preparation for Community-Based Research in Community Health and Development

OSPCPTWN 24. Targeted Research: Project in Community Health and Development

OSPCPTWN 40. Education in the Post-Apartheid City

OSPCPTWN 42. Race, Class, and Status: Cape Town in Comparative Perspective

OSPCPTWN 44. Negotiating Home, Citizenship, and the South African City

OSPCPTWN 65. Western Cape Sites of Memory

OSPFLOR 58. Space as History: Urban Change and Social Vision: Florence 1059-2008

OSPFLOR 115Y. The Duomo and the Piazza della Signoria: Symbols of a Civilization

OSPKYOTO 48. City and Sounds in Kyoto

OSPMADRD 21. Built Environmental History of Spain

OSPMADRD 60. Integration into Spanish Society: Service Learning and Professional Opportunities

OSPOXFRD 66. Oxford: The Culture of the City

OSPPARIS 92. Building Paris: Its History, Architecture, and Urban Design

POLISCI 110A. Sovereignty and Globalization

POLISCI 110C. America and the World Economy

RELIGST 237. Jewish and Christian Rome in the 1st to 6th Centuries

SOC 143. Poverty in Brazil: From Empirical Evidence to Anti-Poverty Policies

URBANST 115. Urban Sustainability: Long-Term Archaeological Perspectives

URBANST 161. American Urban History since 1920


The purpose of this concentration is to prepare students for a career in educational policy and practice in diverse settings. This concentration is a useful basis for graduate study in educational policy, law, or business, and for students who have been admitted by the School of Education to pursue a coterminal master's degree in the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) or the Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies Program (POLS). Students planning to pursue a coterminal master's should take one of the three practica: EDUC 103A, B, and C (for the STEP elementary coterm); EDUC 101X (for the STEP secondary coterm); or EDUC 270A (for the POLS coterm). Application and admission to a coterminal degree in these programs occurs during the Autumn Quarter of the junior year and is handled by the School of Education.

Opportunities to obtain teaching and advising experience are available in nearby schools through Upward Bound and other programs administered by the Haas Center for Public Service and through courses offered by the School of Education.

Students who choose this concentration may be eligible for the undergraduate honors program of the School of Education, in which case they should enroll in EDUC 199A, B, or C during their senior year.

The following course is required for the urban education concentration:

EDUC 112X. Urban Education

The following courses may be counted toward the urban education concentration:

AFRICAST 111. Education for All? The Global and Local in Public Policy Making in Africa

EDUC 101. Undergraduate Teaching Practicum

EDUC 103A. Tutoring: Seeing a Child through Literacy (Same as SOC 103A)

EDUC 103B. Race, Ethnicity, and Linguistic Diversity in Classrooms: Sociocultural Theory and Practices

EDUC 103C. Educational Policy, Diversity, and English Learners

EDUC 104X. Conduct of Research with and in Communities

EDUC 115Q. Identities, Race, and Culture in Urban Schools

EDUC 116X. Service Learning as an Approach to Teaching

EDUC 144. Child Development in and Beyond Schools

EDUC 148X. Critical Perspectives on Teaching and Tutoring English Language Learners

EDUC 149. Theory and Issues in the Study of Bilingualism

EDUC 177. Education of Immigrant Students: Psychological Perspectives

EDUC 178X. Latino Families, Languages, and Schools

EDUC 179. Urban Youth and Their Institutions: Research and Practice

EDUC 189. Language and Minority Rights

EDUC 198X. Tutoring with Adolescents: Ravenswood Writes

EDUC 201. History of Education in the United States

EDUC 201B. Education for Liberation

EDUC 202. Introduction to Comparative and International Education

EDUC 204. Introduction to the Philosophy of Education

EDUC 207X. School: What Is It Good For?

EDUC 216X. Education, Race, and Inequality in African American History, 1880-1990

EDUC 220A. Introduction to the Economics of Education

EDUC 220B. Introduction to the Politics of Education

EDUC 220C. Education and Society

EDUC 220D. History of School Reform: Origins, Policies, Outcomes, and Explanations

EDUC 221A. Policy Analysis in Education

EDUC 233A, B. Adolescent Development and Mentoring in the Urban Context

HUMBIO 142. Adolescent Development

or PSYCH 60. Introduction to Developmental Psychology

OSPCPTWN 40. Education in the Post-Apartheid City

SOC 132. Sociology of Education: The Social Organization of Schools


Focus is on issues in contemporary urban society and the tools and concepts that planners, policy makers, and citizens use to address those issues. Topics include environmental challenges, racial and class inequality, and the provision of adequate urban infrastructure. Students learn how community action, urban planning and design, and organizations in nonprofit, for-profit, and government sectors address urban social and environmental problems. This concentration prepares students to enter graduate programs concerned with urban affairs, community service, and public policy, and to work with local governmental agencies and for-profit and nonprofit organizations engaged in community service and development.

The following course is required for the urban society and social change concentration:

POLISCI 133. Ethics and Politics of Public Service

The following courses may be counted toward the urban society and social change concentration:

ANTHRO 32. Theories in Race and Ethnicity

CEE 64. Air Pollution: From Urban Smog to Global Change

CEE 100. Managing Sustainable Building Projects

CEE 115. Goals and Methods of Sustainable Building Projects

CEE 124. Sustainable Development Studio

CEE 129. Engineering and Policy Responses to Climate Change Impacts on Seaports

CEE 131. Architectural Design Process

CEE 141A. Infrastructure Project Development

CEE 142A. Creating Sustainable Development

CEE 171. Environmental Planning Methods

CEE 172. Air Quality Management

EARTHSYS 124. Environmental Justice: Local, National, and International Dimensions

EARTHSYS 133. California Climate Change Law and Policy

ECON 150. Economic Policy Analysis

ECON 155. Environmental Economics and Policy

EDUC 270A. Learning to Lead in Public Service Organizations

ENGR 150. Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

HISTORY 105. Gandhi, King and Non-Violence

HISTORY 255. Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Social Gospel and the Struggle for Justice

HISTORY 259A,B. Poverty and Homelessness in America

HISTORY 260. California's Minority-Majority Cities

HUMBIO 122S. Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, Health

HUMBIO 127A,B. Community Health: Assessment and Planning

HUMBIO 128. Community Health Psychology

OSPCPTWN 20. Supervised Service Learning

OSPCPTWN 22. Preparation for Community-Based Research in Community Health and Development

OSPCPTWN 24. Targeted Research: Project in Community Health and Development

OSPCPTWN 42. Race, Class, and Status: Cape Town in Comparative Perspective

OSPMADRD 20. Sustainability of the Natural, Built, and Social Environments of Spain

OSPMOSC 57. Social Inequality in Socialist and Post-Socialist Societies

POLISCI 221F. Race and American Politics

POLISCI 236. Theories of Civil Society, Philanthropy, and the Nonprofit Sector

PUBLPOL 135. Regional Politics and Decision Making in Silicon Valley

PUBLPOL 183. Philanthropy and Social Innovation

SOC 118. Social Movements and Collective Action

SOC 119. Understanding Large-Scale Societal Change: The Case of the 1960's

SOC 135. Poverty, Inequality, and Social Policy in the United States

SOC 140. Introduction to Social Stratification

SOC 141. Controversies About Inequality

SOC 141A. Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, Health

SOC 143. Prejudice, Racism, and Social Change

SOC 145. Race and Ethnic Relations

SOC 160. Formal Organizations

or MS&E 180. Organizations: Theory and Management

SOC 161. The Social Science of Entrepreneurship

SOC 164. Immigration and the Changing United States

SOC 166. Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and Chicanos in American Society

URBANST 115. Urban Sustainability: Long-Term Archaeological Perspectives

URBANST 123. Approaching Research and the Community

URBANST 126. Spirituality and Nonviolent Urban and Social Transformation

URBANST 127. Community Planning Workshop

URBANST 131. Social Innovation and the Social Entrepreneur

URBANST 132. Concepts and Analytic Skills for the Social Sector

URBANST 133. Social Entrepreneurship Collaboratory

URBANST 137. Innovations in Microcredit and Development Finance

URBANST 162. Managing Local Governments

URBANST 163. Land Use Control

URBANST 165. Sustainable Urban and Regional Transportation Planning

URBANST 171. Urban Design Studio


Students who wish to concentrate in an area of urban studies other than one of the above concentrations must complete the Urban Studies core, skills, and capstone requirement, and design additional units to bring the total to at least 73 units. The self-designed portion of the major should concentrate on a particular area of urban study, such as urban health care or urban environmental management. Additional units must be approved by both the Director of Urban Studies and an academic adviser who is a member of the Academic Council and has expertise in the particular area of interest to the student. Proposals for courses in the self-designed portion of the concentration should include a list of courses and a description of how each course meets the student's educational objectives. A proposal for a self-designed concentration must be accompanied by a letter to the Director of Urban Studies indicating that the academic adviser has examined and approved the student's plan.

Students pursuing a self-designed concentration must submit proposals for approval by the Director of Urban Studies by the beginning of the third quarter of the student's sophomore year. Applications received after that deadline are not considered. Students interested in designing their own concentration are strongly encouraged to meet with the Director of Urban Studies before the end of their sophomore year.


All majors are required to complete an internship and a sequence of two seminars, totaling 13 units, in which students participate in the work of an urban organization related to their area of interest, design a senior project, and write the results of their project. The capstone seminars can be used to satisfy the Writing in the Major requirement and to complete some work on an honors thesis. URBANST 201A and 201 or 202 should be taken in the junior year, and URBANST 203 in the senior year.

URBANST 201. Preparation for Senior Project

or URBANST 202. Preparation for Honors Thesis

URBANST 201A. Capstone Internship in Urban Studies

URBANST 203. Senior Seminar (WIM)


The honors program offers qualified students an opportunity to conduct independent research and to write a thesis summarizing the results. Before being accepted to the honors program in Urban Studies, a student must

  1. declare a major in Urban Studies and complete at least 30 of the 73 required units including all prerequisites and core classes
  2. complete URBANST 201 or 202 (offered Winter Quarter)
  3. have an overall GPA of 3.3 and a GPA of at least 3.5 in Urban Studies
  4. submit an application, including a one-page abstract and the signatures of an adviser and, if applicable, a second reader. If the adviser is not a member of Stanford's Academic Council, the student must have a second reader who is an Academic Council member. The application must be submitted to the program office no later than April 30 of the junior year, and it must then be approved by the Director of the Urban Studies honors program.

Honors students are expected to complete a portion of their honors work in URBANST 203, Senior Seminar, in Autumn Quarter. Additionally, they must register for 5-10 units total in URBANST 199, Senior Honors Thesis, over the course of their senior year. The units of URBANST 199 do not count towards the 73-unit requirement for graduating with a B.A. in Urban Studies. Honors work is considered to be above and beyond regular graduation standards.

URBANST 201 or 202 should be taken during the junior year. Students who plan to be away during Winter Quarter of their junior year are advised to take URBANST 201 or 202 in the Winter Quarter of their sophomore year. All honors students are required to present their theses at the Senior Colloquium in Spring Quarter of senior year.

To graduate with honors, students must receive a grade of at least 'A-' in the honors work and have a GPA of at least 3.5 in courses for the Urban Studies major at the time of graduation.

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