Urban Studies

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Why choose Urban Studies?


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

Program highlights

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

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

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

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


Courses in this program

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


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


Admission requirements
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Faculty of Arts

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

403.220.3580