Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Urban Studies

About the Program

The Urban Studies 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 urban sustainability.

The world is becoming a smaller place and metropolitan areas dominate the global human landscape. It is 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.

Learning Objectives

1. Acquisition of knowledge of current and emerging urban issues, opportunities, and challenges in the U.S. and globally, particularly with regard to themes of economic resilience, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability;

2. Mastering skills to analyze complex urban questions;

3. Ability to conduct translational research with strong policy relevance.

MIS in Urban Studies Flyer

*Online applications must be submitted and all materials received by the deadline to be reviewed for admission.

Application Requirements:

A completed application includes:

  1. Submitted Online Application. All online applications must be submitted by the deadline. Paper applications are not available.
    1. Create a new account
    2. In the drop-down menu of Please select a college, select University Wide.
    3. In the drop-down menu of Please select a program, select Interdisciplinary Studies, Master of Interdisciplinary Studies.
    4. In the drop-down menu of concentration, select Urban Studies.
  2. Application fee: A nonrefundable fee of $50 is required for each application. This fee must be paid online by credit card.
  3. Goal statement: The goal statement is your means of presenting yourself to the Graduate Admissions Committee. You should submit a short typed statement of personal and professional goals as they relate to the certificate or degree program you are seeking. Most applicants write two typed pages, summarizing their work experience, the reasons they have chosen the program, why they want to attend Georgia State and how the degree fits in with their career goals.
  4. Official GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores: Official scores must be reported to institution code 5251. More information can be found at our Admissions FAQ page or, to schedule the test, at Applicants may be considered for a waiver of the GRE with departmental approval. Applicants eligible for a GRE waiver must have (1) a Master’s degree; or (2) a minimum of 4-years professional work experience in the public and/or nonprofit sectors and a minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0. For consideration, applicants should complete the waiver form here.
  5. TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores (International applicants only): All international applicants are required to submit official TOEFL or IELTS Academic scores.
  6. Two letters of recommendation: All letters should be submitted through the online application.
  7. Copies of Official Transcripts from each post-secondary college/university attended:
    • Official transcripts are not required at this stage of application review.**
      Transcripts should be uploaded to the Academic History section of the online application and must be copies of university transcripts. This can either be an official electronic transcript, or a paper copy that you have scanned and uploaded.
      Copy of transcript must have one or more of the following features: registrar’s seal, registrar signature or watermark of the institution.
      Documents such as self-printed academic histories, web-based academic evaluations and anything hand-written are not acceptable for review process and should not be uploaded. Doing so will significantly delay the review of your application.
      Submit one copy of transcript for each post-secondary institution attended, regardless of length of time you attended, your status, whether grades are listed, or where your final degree(s) were received. This would include community colleges, study abroad programs and AP credit. If you received college-level credit, a transcript should be submitted for review.
      **Official transcripts will only be required if an applicant is admitted to the program.

Begin Application 

The program is structured as a MIS of 30 credit hours. The MIS in Urban Studies will prepare students for professional or academic careers with skills in urban studies, theory, analyzing complex challenges within urban environments, and the process of urbanization.

30 credit hours compromised of:

(1). 12 credits in required core courses:

  • Urban Theory & Praxis—URB 8010: The course teaches students to understand the conceptual dilemmas presented when analyzing ‘the urban’ and explore the insights by a variety of contemporary urban theoretical perspectives.
  • Global Urban Trajectories—URB 8020: The course compares and debates the main trajectories or pathways of cities, from past to present and future. In understanding the evolution of cities, historical and comparative global perspectives must be considered.
  • GIS Course - GEOG 6532 or PMAP 8561
  • Methods Course– PMAP 8121 or SOCI 8020

(2). 12 credits in electives- Elective Course Descriptions

(3). 6 credits in capstone experience:

Students will choose one of two capstone tracks, each amounting to six credit hours:

  • Research Track: Students choosing the research track will be able to complete a dual paper option. The two research papers (3 credit hours each), each supervised by USI core or affiliate faculty or by other faculty approved by the chair of the USI curriculum committee.
  • Professional Track: Students choosing the professional track have to meet two requirements: a masters project or research paper (3 credits) and an internship (3 credits). The project and internship must be pertinent to urban studies and requires approval by the chair of the USI curriculum committee.