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Urban Studies
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  • Demography
  • Social statistics
  • Public administration
  • Policy analysis
  • Research

  • Community development
  • Program development
  • Human services
  • City planning
  • City and town management

  • Law enforcement
  • Lobbying
  • Political campaigns
  • Journalism


  • Federal departments and agencies such as:
    • Departments of Agriculture, Education, Interior, Commerce, Defense
    • Health and Human Services
    • Drug Enforcement Administration
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Housing and Urban Development Veterans Affairs
    • National Institutes of Health
    • National Institute of Aging

  • State and local government
  • Planning and development commissions
  • National, state, or local parks or recreation departments
  • National, state, or local news sources

  • Housing authorities
  • Transportation departments
  • Social service agencies
  • Peace Corps and Americorps


  • Supplement curriculum with coursework in statistics and social research. Consider obtaining a minor in political science, public administration, or other relevant field.
  • Develop exceptional computer, communication, and research skills.
  • Complete an internship with the federal government.
  • Seek leadership roles in relevant campus or community organizations (e.g., IBM SMARTER Cities).
  • Develop a specialty such as aging, family, criminal justice, or healthcare.
  • Become familiar with the government application process. Utilize applicable websites and seek assistance from your college career center.
  • There are a large number of specialized agencies within the federal government. Do extensive research to find the area that best fits your interests.
  • Earn a graduate degree to qualify for more job opportunities.


Regional and Urban Planning

  • Transportation
  • Demography
  • Housing
  • Community development
  • Program development

  • Historic preservation
  • Urban design
  • Architecture
  • Urban renewal

  • Environmental/Regulatory issues
  • Economic development
  • Land use
  • Research design


  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Architecture firms
  • Engineering firms
  • Local planning agencies
  • Real estate and development contractors

  • Investment companies
  • Transportation agencies
  • Zoning administration
  • Utility companies

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Historical restoration or preservation agencies
  • Neighborhood revitalization initiatives
  • International development organizations


  • Enhance curriculum with courses in business, social sciences, and statistics.
  • Earn a graduate degree in urban or regional planning from an accredited planning program.
  • Gain experience through internships with employers of interest.
  • Develop strong computer skills.
  • Learn another language to communicate with diverse community members or to work abroad.
  • Plan to work corroboratively with a wide array of professionals and local citizens.
  • Understand that most planners work for local governments.



  • Administration/Management
  • Fund raising/Development
  • Public relations
  • Policy analysis

  • Research
  • Grant writing
  • Community development
  • Advocacy

  • Programming
  • Direct service:
    • Counseling
    • Case management


  • Community service agencies
  • Advocacy groups
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • United Way agencies

  • Religiously-affiliated service organizations
  • Private foundations
  • Adoption and child care agencies
  • Nursing homes and retirement communities

  • Hospitals and wellness centers
  • Halfway houses
  • Vocational services
  • Educational information services


  • Gain experience and develop helping skills through volunteer positions.
  • Spend summers working at camps, The YMCA, or other social service agencies.
  • Work with diverse populations to get exposure to multi-cultural issues. Learn a second language in order to interact with non-English speakers and increase marketability.
  • Develop excellent communication skills.
  • Concentrate course work in an area of interest such as youth, gerontology, or poverty.
  • Serve as a peer mentor, resident assistant, or other student leadership position.
  • Investigate term of service or service corps positions as a way to gain entry into the field.
  • Earn a master’s degree in social work, counseling, or other related field to increase employment opportunities.
  • Most states require licensure or certification for positions involving the direct provision of therapeutic services to clients.
  • Research organizations’ values to find a good fit with yours. Become knowledgeable about and committed to the work you plan to do.



  • Real estate:
    • Construction, management, development, sales, leasing, consulting

  • Management
  • Sales
  • Finance

  • Human resources
  • Underwriting and claims management
  • Market research


  • Real estate firms
  • Rental properties
  • Construction and development companies
  • Insurance firms
  • Retail stores

  • Banks
  • Staffing agencies
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Credit management companies and organizations

  • Service industries
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Consulting firms
  • Other business corporations


  • Earn a minor in business or supplement curriculum with courses in accounting, finance, and management.
  • Gain business experience through part-time jobs, summer work, and internships.
  • Develop excellent computer skills. Learn to use software applications such as spread sheets, databases, and word processing.
  • Hone written and oral communication skills.
  • Join related professional associations.
  • Seek leadership roles in student organizations.



  • Prosecution
  • Defense
  • Contractual

  • Corporate
  • Nonprofit or public interest
  • Government

  • Mediation
  • Law assistance
  • Other specialties


  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Private practice
  • Corporations

  • Special interest groups
  • Universities and colleges
  • Legal aid societies

  • Nonprofit and public interest organizations, (e.g., ACLU, NAACP) Legal Defense Fund, Legal Services Corporation
  • Legal clinics
  • Other private legal services


  • Develop strong research skills and attention to detail.
  • Participate in debate or forensic team to hone communication skills.
  • Choose courses or a minor to specialize in a particular area of law, (e.g., a minor in business for a career in corporate law).
  • Shadow an attorney to learn more about the field and various specialties.
  • Get involved in pre-law organizations.
  • Plan to attend law school and earn a law degree (J.D.).
  • Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations. Prepare for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test).
  • Obtain specialized certification for paralegal positions.



  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Library sciences

  • Student affairs:
    • Student activities, leadership development, admissions, orientation, career services, residence life, multi-cultural affairs, study abroad, international student services

  • Academic affairs
    • Academic support services
    • Advising
    • Educational advancement programs
    • Honors programs


  • Colleges and universities

  • Vocational-technical educational programs

  • Adult education providers


  • Earn a graduate degree for post-secondary teaching & research.
  • Assist a professor with research and take extra courses in research and statistics.
  • Develop exceptional written and oral communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Secure strong personal recommendations, particularly from professors, and maintain a high GPA.
  • Earn a master’s degree in a specialized area (e.g., College Student Personnel, Higher Education Administration, or Library and Information Sciences to work in other roles at post-secondary institutions).
  • Seek campus leadership positions such as peer mentor, orientation leader, or resident assistant.


Social Science Research

  • Data analysis
  • Demography

  • Market research
  • Clinical research

  • Information sourcing
  • Publishing


  • Universities
  • Government agencies
  • Research institutes
  • Non-profit organizations

  • Private industries
  • Advertising and marketing firms
  • Consulting organizations

  • Information brokers
  • Newspapers, magazines, news agencies
  • Public opinion research polls


  • Develop exceptional quantitative, statistical, and writing skills through coursework and research projects.
  • Learn to use statistics software packages as well as database and spreadsheet programs.
  • Earn a minor in statistics to assist in research analysis.
  • Volunteer to help a professor with research or complete an independent study.
  • Gain experience working on teams.
  • Network with professionals working in areas of interest.
  • Consider earning a graduate degree in one of the social sciences, statistics, or related field to qualify for more positions.

General Information

  • Urban Studies majors develop an understanding of modern cities, as well as the social, historical, political, economic, and cultural forces shaping urban areas.
  • Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary program that draws upon fields such as sociology, economics, and political science.
  • Consider earning a second major or minor in another field of interest.
  • Many transferable skills such as analytical, organizational, research, interpersonal, computer, leadership, teamwork, and oral/written communication are associated with the urban studies degree.
  • Internships, part-time jobs, summer jobs, and/or volunteer experiences are critical for gaining experience and developing a career path.
  • An undergraduate degree is sufficient for entry-level positions in business, non-profit, and government sectors, however a graduate degree is likely to be more desirable in a competitive market.
  • An undergraduate degree in urban studies is good preparation for graduate or professional education in law, planning, architecture, business, public policy, social sciences, and other related fields. Research pre-requisites for graduate or professional programs of interest.
  • To enhance graduate or professional school opportunities, maintain a high grade point average, secure strong faculty recommendations, join student or professional organizations, and gain relevant experience outside of the classroom through work, internship, volunteer, and research opportunities.
  • A Ph.D. is required for teaching at four-year universities.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals working in areas of interest.