Metropolitan areas are dominating the global human landscape. They are where most people live (especially the young), where almost all new jobs are created, where affluence and deprivation coexist, and where innovation, planning, and politics are unavoidable parts of the dynamic scene. Our programs help prepare students at the graduate or undergraduate levels to engage in complex challenges; solutions for urban environments; focusing on inclusive development, economic resilience, environmental sustainability.
Then join current students and faculty at the Urban Studies Institute!
The Institute focuses on research and teaching in urban studies, locally and globally.
The emphasis is on cities as economic growth engines, on inclusive urban development, and on environmental sustainability.
Do you love cities and communities? Want to learn more about urban issues? Choose an Urban Studies Minor- open to all Georgia State University majors.
This minor provides a good foundation for students contemplating graduate work in urban planning, environmental policy, economics, public administration, public policy, law, or social work. It also is an exciting interdisciplinary focus because understanding urban phenomena requires synthesizing knowledge from a broad range of subjects.
Students must take a total of 15 Credit Hours, which includes two required courses offered within the Urban Studies Institute and three courses chosen from an extensive list of possible electives.
Required Courses: (6 Credit Hours)
- URB 3010: Contemporary US Cities
- URB 3020: The Global Evolution of Cities
Eligible Electives: (9 Credit Hours)
For a list of eligible electives, please consult the academic catalog.
Interested in urban issues like inclusive development, transit, economic resilience or environmental sustainability? So are we.
Join GSU’s urban studies master’s program for a deep dive into these urban phenomena. Offering an interdisciplinary perspective on urban studies, students follow a core trajectory of shared courses and have the freedom to specialize by individually selecting from a large offer of elective courses. Students work with a faculty advisor throughout their studies and have the opportunity to join the Urban Studies student association with like minded peers.
Our flexible degree structure enables students to explore the issues and concerns shaping their interest in urban studies – from gentrification, community development, and transport equity to climate change, global pandemics, and the future of the suburbs – through a variety of perspectives. MIS graduates have the ability to conduct rigorous urban research with strong policy relevance, informed by a strong commitment to realizing more equitable and inclusive forms of urban development.
When attended full-time this program can be completed in 18 months. You can learn more by joining our mailing list here.
The Urban Studies masters program is 30 credit hours. This can be completed in 18 months, full-time.
Required Core Courses: (12 credits)
- URB 8010: Urban Theory & Praxis — in this seminar course, students examine the conceptual dilemmas presented when analyzing cities and ‘the urban’ and explore the insights offered by a variety of theoretical perspectives.
- URB 8020: Global Urban Trajectories— this course provides students with an understanding of the development of cities in time and space. Discussions compare and debate urban processes from the ancient polis to the mega-cities of the twenty-first century.
- GEOG 6532 or PMAP 8561: Geographical Information Systems —GIS is a vital and in-demand skill for urban researchers, and provides students with an adaptive methodological toolkit for data visualization and analysis.
- PMAP 8121 or SOCI 8010: Statistics for Urban Social Science – students develop their knowledge of, and ability to utilize, policy-relevant quantitative methods and statistics in the study of a range of social phenomena.
Electives: (12 credits) Elective Course Descriptions
Capstone Experience: (6 credits) Students will choose one of two capstone tracks:
- Professional Track: Students complete a masters project or research paper under the supervision of USI core or affiliate faculty (3 credits) and a 175-hour internship working with a public, private, or non-profit organization engaged in the urban research, advocacy, or decision-making (3 credits).
- Research Track: Students complete a dual paper option. The two research papers(3 credit hours each) are supervised by USI core or affiliate faculty. Research track students develop and conduct original research that rigorous investigates empirical and conceptual urban challenges in their area of interest.
Looking to further your interest in urban topics? Ready for that next level? The Urban Studies Institute’s PhD in Urban Studies prepares students for academic and research careers at the forefront of urban analysis. Our doctoral students work alongside top faculty in their fields and join future leaders passionate about solving urban community issues.
The doctoral curriculum provides a rigorous grounding in urban theory and praxis and methodological training to analyze complex challenges emerging within urban environments and processes. Our program draws from the interdisciplinary expertise of core and affiliate faculty to enable students to build core analytical competencies and translational research skills needed to interpret, evaluate, and communicate across diverse urban domains. Students work with the support of faculty advisors to build a program of study tailored to their individual interests, objectives, and future goals.
The PhD in Urban Studies emphasizes the development of fundamental research competence, flexibility in the design of special area of study, and encouragement of joint student/faculty research and teaching.
Master Courses: (12 credits)
- URB 8010: Urban Theory & Praxis
- URB 8020: Global Urban Trajectories
- GEOG 6532 or PMAP 8561: Geographical Information Systems
- PMAP 8121 or SOCI 8010: Statistics for Urban Social Science
Foundational Core: (12 credits)
- Advanced Seminar in Urban Theory—URB 9010
- Advanced Urban Analysis—URB 9020
- Methods Course (select two)– PMAP 9111, PMAP 9121, SOCI 8342, SOCI 9010, SOCI 9020 (or as approved by Grad Program Director)
Electives: (9 credits) – Elective Course Descriptions
Research/Dissertation (15 credits)
If you would like to meet with an advisor, please contact the Office of Academic Assistance.
Learn more about USI courses and program requirements.
Learn all the details about a Master in Urban Studies.
We are proud to be located in downtown Atlanta. If you’re new to our city we hope you’ll visit some of our favorite spots during your stay.