Minor in Urban Studies

Download our Urban Studies Minor brochure [.pdf]

As our nation and the world are becoming increasingly urban in character, there is a growing interest in urban studies. The main concerns of the field of urban studies are with the critical issues of urban and regional growth and change, as well as environmental and social balance. Those involved in urban studies try to encourage orderly growth and development responsive to the present and future needs of society.

Career opportunities in urban studies exist in city, county, regional, state and national government, private consulting firms, non-profit organizations, and research and academic institutions.

Objectives of the Urban Studies Program

The Department of Urban and Regional Planning offers study leading to the undergraduate Minor in Urban Studies.

This professionally oriented program is designed to:

  1. Familiarize students with the social, economic, political, and physical aspects of the major urban issues of our time; and

  2. Introduce students to the basic professional skills and strategies used to improve the urban environment.

Requirements for the Minor in Urban Studies

The program leading to the undergraduate Minor in Urban Studies consists of 14 semester units. There are two required courses (URBP 101: The City and URBP 136: Introduction to Land Use and Facilities Planning). In addition students must take 4 elective units from approved Urban and Regional Planning courses, and 3 elective units from approved courses in other departments.

To apply for the Minor in Urban Studies, please download and complete the application form [.pdf] and schedule an appointment with the department's Graduate Adviser, Professor Hilary Nixon at hilary.nixon@sjsu.edu.

If you have questions about the how the Urban Studies minor and general education/SJSU studies fit together, you can find advising at ACCESS, in Clark 240.

The detailed program requirements are as follows (all individual courses are 3 units unless otherwise specified):


  • URBP 101: The City (3 units)
  • URBP 136: Introduction to Land Use and Urban Planning (4 units)


  • URBP 120: Introduction to Housing Economics and Policy
  • URBP 123: Introduction to Historic Preservation Planning
  • URBP 133: Introduction to Social Issues in Planning 
  • URBP 142: Introduction to Environmental Planning 
  • URBP 143: Introduction to Private Development and Planning
  • URBP 148: Computers in Urban Design
  • URBP 151: Introduction to Urban Design 
  • URBP 152: Introduction to Urban Design Studio
  • URBP 156: Introduction to Local Transportation Planning
  • URBP 160: Environmental Planning Topics: Introductory Level (specific course topics vary by semester) 
  • URBP 175: Urban Studies Topics (specific course topics vary by semester) 
  • URBP 178: Introduction to Regional Transport Planning
  • URBP 179A: Fundamentals of GIS for Urban Planning
  • URBP 179B: Advanced GIS for Urban Planning
  • URBP 185: Environmental Impact Analysis

Other courses may be substituted with permission of adviser


  • AFAM 145: Urban Policy and Its Impact on Inner City Residents
  • ANTH 125: Urban Anthropology 
  • ANTH 132: Creating Built Worlds
  • ARTH 163: Twentieth Century Urban Design
  • CE 121: Transportation Engineering 
  • ECON 166: Urban Economics 
  • ENVS 010: Life on a Changing Planet 
  • ENVS 124: Introduction to Environmental Law 
  • ENVS 187: Environmental Restoration 
  • ENVS 190: Advanced Environmental Impact Analysis (4 units)
  • GEOG 105: Urban Geography 
  • POLS 103: Local Government & Politics 
  • SOCI 161: City Life 
  • STAT 095: Elementary Statistics

Other courses may be substituted with permission of adviser