Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies

Urban studies explores the social, economic, political, and spatial structures of cities through multiple disciplinary lenses, focusing on issues, problems, and solutions for urban areas through planning, policy, and administration. The Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies is housed within the Department of Urban and Public Affairs in partnership with the Department of Geography and Geosciences and the Department of Sociology.

The undergraduate degree program in Urban Studies is designed to educate, train, and prepare students for future careers in municipal and metropolitan‐related occupations, such as public administrators, policy analysts, community development specialists, or planning technicians. The program will also give students a strong foundation for future graduate training in affiliated disciplines, including urban planning, public administration, geography, or sociology.



The Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies requires completion of a minimum of 121 credit hours to graduate. This includes the Cardinal Core requirements, College of Arts and Sciences requirements, major requirements, and free electives.

Degree Requirements
Credit Hours
Cardinal Core Required Courses
Arts and Sciences Required Courses
Urban Studies Required Courses
Social Science Elective Courses
Free Elective Courses
Total Credit Hours


Urban Studies Required Courses

Course Number Course Name Credit Hours
URBS 201 The Making of Urban Places 3
URBS 202 Discover Louisville! 3
URBS 301 Principles of Urban Planning 3
URBS 302 Foundations of Urban Administration 3
SOC 305 Urban Sociology 3
GEOG 328 Urban Geography 3
URBS 504 Urban Data Analysis 3
URBS 518 Urban Demography and GIS 3
URBS 404 Community Engagement - CUE 5
Core Courses
Courses in Concentration
Total Credit Hours



Students will concentrate in one of four subfields -- Urban Administration, Urban Geography, Urban Planning, and Urban Sociology -- and must complete 15 credit hours (5 classes) of coursework in that subfield. Additional courses may be substituted for those shown with the approval of the program director.


Social Science Electives

In addition to their concentration, students must complete 21 credit hours (7 classes) in related social science fields. These courses may be in any of the social science disciplines within the College of Arts and Sciences, but a minimum of 12 of the credit hours must be completed in 300-level courses or above. The social science disciplines are: Anthropology, Communication, Criminal Justice, Geography and Geosciences, History, Pan-African Studies, Political Science, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Sociology, Urban and Public Affairs, and Women's and Gender Studies. Courses from other Departments or Schools at the University may be substituted with the approval of the program director.



Admission to the Bachelor in Urban Studies major is open to all undergraduates at the University of Louisville. Interested students are encouraged to contact the program director to discuss their particular interests and fit within the program. To apply for the major, visit the the Arts and Sciences Advising Center. If you are a new student wishing to apply to the University of Louisville, please click the link below:


Tuition/Financial Aid

Current tuition rates for University of Louisville students are here.

Tuition for Kentucky residents for academic year 2019-2020 is $5,866 per semester for full-time (9 or more credit hours) or $489 per credit hour. Tuition for out-of-state residents is $13,879 per semester for full-time or $1,157 per credit hour. Distance education courses carry a $50 per course surcharge.

The University offers a variety of financial supports for eligible undergraduate students. Interested students should visit the Student Financial Aid Office for more information.



Matt Ruther, Ph.D., Program Director
Phone: (502) 852-8151