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Urban and Regional Studies B.A.

Program Type: 
Bachelor of Arts
Geography and Philosophy

The Urban and Regional Studies Program is an interdisciplinary major that prepares students for a variety of different careers in cities. URS Majors work as urban planners, community activists, city officials overseeing parks and other city departments, and for housing and real estate development companies. This is a great major for students who want to be involved with changing what the world around them looks like!

  • Interdisciplinary –Take classes in a variety of different departments 
  • Applied and Skills-based education – Learn the skills needed to get a job 
  • One on one interaction with faculty – Small classes mean you learn from people who really know cities
  • Lots of opportunities to to get out of the classroom – Intern with organizations making a difference in their community

Acquired Skills

  • Knowledge – learn about the ecological, economic, political, and social factors that affect our urban environment.
  • Research Skills – Learn how to collect and interpret data about cities.
  • Problem Solving skills – as cities around the world get bigger, how will we create housing and access to clean water?
  • Identify Solutions – Learn to design streets that are safe for both buses AND cyclists to use!

Career Possibilities

As the world becomes more urban there is a critical need for skilled professionals to help plan and administer cities. URS graduates work as urban planners all over the country and also find jobs as housing developers and at community organizations that address problems such as homelessness and drug addiction. This is a great degree program for students who want to play an active role in solving the problems people face in their communities.

Admissions and Scholarships

  • Matti Kaups Scholarship Award
  • Emma Goldman Scholarship in Geography
  • Carlson/Amys Family Scholarship

Student Clubs

Gamma Theta Upsilon


We seek students who are creative, inquisitive, and ambitious and, most importantly, interested in the world around. Many of our students enjoy spending time in the outdoors, others are interested in cities and urban environments. What they have in common is an interest in thinking about how humans affect environments and how choices today affect future generations. All of our students do internships at local organizations, from urban planning agencies to environmental firms. We stress the real-world application of skills.

Graduate Report

Recent UMD Graduates Job Placement Data & Employers

Here's a sampling of positions Urban and Regional Studies grads have attained six months to one year after graduation.

  • Assistant Planner - City of Plymouth, Plymouth, MN
  • Transit Planner - SouthWest Transit, Eden Prairie, MN
  • Park Ranger - U.S. National Park Service, St. Mary, MT
  • Planning & GIS Technician - St. Croix County, Hudson, WI

For more data see the Urban and Regional Studies Graduate Follow-Up Report.
For ideas about Urban and Regional Studies and other majors visit Career & Internship Services.