Urban Studies

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

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What you will learn in this program

Urban Studies scholars ask questions such as: Why do people live in cities? Can homelessness be eliminated? Does public art reduce crime rates?

Urban Studies is a broad interdisciplinary program designed to provide an integrated understanding of the social, political, economic, environmental and cultural processes that shape urban life, with particular attention paid to how these processes operate in space and time. Cities are sites of great cultural and ethnic diversity, economic innovation and inequality, cultural expression, resource consumption, wealth generation, and political conflict and cooperation. Today most developed societies are predominantly urban, even as global processes increasingly shape them. The processes that shape urban life play a critical role in shaping the sustainability of societies. Indeed, it is impossible to understand sustainability issues without understanding the organization of cities. The Urban Studies program provides a strong background for students interested in working in both public and private sector fields including urban and regional planning, public policy, architecture, environmental design, economic development, city administration, social services, cultural programming, urban politics, law, and education.

Career opportunities

​As an Urban Studies graduate, you'll be prepared for career opportunities in areas such as the civil service, the non-profit sector, and the business world. A degree in Urban Studies can also be used as a stepping-stone to graduate studies or another professional degree such as law, medicine, veterinary medicine, or education.

Courses you'll take:

Introduction to Geospatial Methods, Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology, The Gendered City, The Human Environment, ​Introduction to Cities

Admission requirements and information

Submitted by Anonymous on August 30, 2018 - 20:51 in

If you are currently in grade 12 or have recently completed high school, you must present five required grade 12 courses for your program as outlined below. Admissions averages will be calculated using either the early or standard admission processes.

Faculty

Faculty of Arts

Application Dates

October 1st 2018 to March 1st 2019

Curriculum (Education System)

Alberta curriculum

Minimum Competitive Average

Low 70s

Required Courses

  • English Language Arts 30-1
  • Three approved courses
  • One approved course or option

Required Courses Notes

  1. Alberta Mathematics 30-1 (or equivalent) is required as a prerequisite for courses in Archaeology.
  2. Biology 30 and Chemistry 30 are required as prerequisites for Biology 241 in the BA/BSc in Primatology Honours, and the BA/BSc in Archaeology with a concentration in Physical Anthropology.
  3. Only one of Art, Dance, Drama or Music can be used in calculating the admission average.
  4. A minimum grade of 70% in Alberta Mathematics 30-1 (or equivalent) is the prerequisite for first-year math courses.
  5. Equivalent International Baccalaureate (IB) or Advanced Placement (AP) courses are accepted.

Approved Courses/Options

Approved Courses

  • Indigenous Studies 30
  • Any 5-credit second language or language and culture course at the 30-level [1,2]
  • Any approved grade 12 IB diploma or AP academic subject
  • Biology 30
  • Chemistry 30
  • CTS Computer Science Advanced (5-credits)
  • English 30-1
  • Fine Arts (Art 30, Art 31, Choral Music 30, General Music 30, Instrumental Music 30, Drama 30, Dance 35)
  • Mathematics 30-1, 30-2, and 31 [1,3]
  • Physical Education 30
  • Physics 30
  • Science 30
  • Social Studies 30-1

Approved Options

  • Other five-credit 30-level courses excluding Special Projects 30 and English 30-2.
  • Three-credit courses: Two three-credit 20- or 30-level courses can be combined to fulfil ONE requirement. Courses at the 20- and 30-level CANNOT be combined to satisfy a course requirement.
  • One-credit courses: five advanced credits in Career and Technology Studies (CTS) can be used to fulfil one approved option requirement.

Approved Courses/Options Notes

  1. Two courses in the same subject area may not be presented to satisfy entrance requirements unless the courses are Mathematics 30-1, Mathematics 30-2 or Mathematics 31
  2. Only one grade 12 level course in a language stream may be used to satisfy admission requirements.: (a) one of Alberta French 30, 31A, 31B, 31C, 30-3Y, 30-9Y (or equivalent subjects); Alberta French Language Arts 30-1, 30-2 (or equivalent subjects), (b) one of Alberta Chinese Language Arts 30 (3Y, 6Y, 9Y, 12Y) (or equivalent subjects); Alberta Chinese Language and Culture 30 (3Y, 6Y) (or equivalent subjects).
  3. A minimum grade of 70% in Mathematics 30-1 is the prerequisite for first-year math courses.
  4. One-credit courses: five advanced credits in Career and Technology Studies (CTS) can be used to fulfil ONE requirement. Intermediate and Advanced Credits cannot be combined to satisfy a course requirement.

Standard Admission

If you are currently completing high school, you will automatically be considered for admission using the standard admission by calculating your admission average using final grade 11 grades and at least one grade 12 approved course (if both grade 11 and 12 grades are provided, the grade 12 grade will be used) from the required courses for your program choice. Admitted students must complete all 30-level (or equivalent) required courses outlined above, maintain the admission average required for admission in the application year and obtain the Alberta Grade 12 diploma (or equivalent).

Learn more about standard admission

Early Admission

You may be offered early admission (based on your available grade 11 or 12 results) for English, Mathematics, Social Studies and one approved course. Admitted students must complete all 30-level (or equivalent) required courses outlined above, maintain the admission average required for admission in the application year and obtain the Alberta Grade 12 diploma (or equivalent)..

Learn more about early admission

Required Documents

Alberta: There is no need to send your transcripts. The University of Calgary will obtain transcripts on your behalf from the Ministry of Education. Other Canadian Provinces and Territories: Official transcripts are documents which are sent directly to the University of Calgary's admissions office from your school or the Department of Education maintaining such records. It's your responsibility to request transcripts from any non-Alberta institutions to be sent directly to the university's admissions office.

More about required documents

ELP

English is the official language of instruction at the University of Calgary. All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency to be considered for admission.

See English Language Proficiency requirements

Diverse Qualifications

If you're a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and have achieved excellence outside of academics, or have overcome significant hardships, you may seek admission under the Diverse Qualifications Admission Process.

More information about Diverse Qualifications

Important dates and deadlines

Program Highlights

Program enhancements

Arts and Science Honours Academy (ASHA) - A six-course interdisciplinary program with a second language aspect and travel components.

Work experience

Co-operative work placement - Gain valuable full-time paid work experience that alternates with your academic studies.

Program enhancements

Honours Degree - In-depth study of a specific topic completed under the supervision of a faculty member.

Hands-on opportunities

Field school - Discipline-specific classes taken in real-world settings, and involving hands-on course work.

I appreciated the opportunity in urban studies to explore a variety of disciplines, to help me decide what kind of work I want to do, and to know how to approach problems with a number of different skill sets. The material was relevant, addressing pressing social issues. Through an internship at City of Calgary planning, I also established great connections with planners who taught in the program and fellow students now in exciting careers.

Kylee v., urban studies alum

Did you know? You can earn two degrees in five years. Learn more about combined degree program options.

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Urban Studies is a broad, interdisciplinary program that brings together all the processes that shape cities. I’ve worked as an urban planner and done urban research in Europe and North America. One of my favourite courses to teach is our annual field school, which takes students to multiple European countries to examine cutting-edge urban sustainability initiatives. It’s a great way to learn about a world of possibilities and bring new ideas back to Calgary.

​Byron Miller, PhD — Adjunct Associate Professor

Join our community in fall 2019

We'll be accepting applications to attend the University of Calgary in fall 2019 starting on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. You'll be able to submit an application until Friday, March 1, 2019. Check out our student experience page to find out more about what life is like on campus or consider visiting campus for a tour led by one of our current students.

Learn about the student experience

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Urban studies gives you the opportunity to see how many different disciplines contribute to making great cities and great places. I like how projects provide applicable experience. For example, I worked with a Calgary community on a community-visioning project. When the assignment was complete, I was able to continue volunteering with the community’s development committee and worked on their community character statement, as well as an overlay for their current area redevelopment plan.

Erin Foster, urban studies student

Faculty Information

Faculty of Arts
Arts Students' Centre, Social Sciences Building, Room 102
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4
403.220.3580