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Office: Building 120, Room 160
Mail Code: 94305-2048
Phone: (650) 725-1731
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Courses offered by the Program on Urban Studies are listed under the subject code URBANST on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

The Program on Urban Studies treats urbanism as an interdisciplinary field; it brings together students, faculty, and outside specialists concerned with cities, and the impacts of cities on society and people's lives. The Urban Studies major encourages students to inquire deeply into the nature of cities and the techniques used to modify urban environments. It prepares students to address urbanization, and gives students a knowledge base and theoretical, analytical, and practical skills to understand urban social systems and effect social change.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program on Urban Studies

Cities are now home to more than half of humanity. The mission of the undergraduate Program on Urban Studies is to develop students' understanding of the nature of cities and their impact on the world. The dynamic and complex nature of cities challenges traditional disciplinary boundaries, so the program is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing from fields in the social sciences, the humanities, engineering, and education. Courses in the program focus on issues in contemporary urban society, and on the forces and practices that shape urban life. Courses also address how cities have changed over time and how they continue to change today in societies around the world. Through a comprehensive program that includes course work, community engagement, and independent research, a major in Urban Studies prepares students for careers and graduate study in fields including architecture, business, education, environmental planning, law, public policy, real estate development, social services, urban design, and urban planning. It also prepares students to be critical thinkers, engaged citizens, and informed leaders who can help to transform cities for the better.

Coterminal Programs for Urban Studies Majors

Undergraduates in Urban Studies may enter coterminal master's degree programs in a number of departments and schools in the University. In recent years, Urban Studies majors have developed coterminal programs in the fields of African Studies, Anthropology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Communication, Community Health and Prevention Research., Earth Systems, Education, Public Policy, Sociology, and Sustainability Science and Practice. Information and applications for coterminal degree programs are available at Undergraduate Advising and Research. Students should discuss the coterminal program with a program director during their junior year.

University requirements for the coterminal master’s degree are described in the "Coterminal Master’s Program" section. University requirements for the master’s degree are described in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin.

Overseas Studies

Urban Studies students are encouraged to spend at least one quarter studying overseas to learn how cities vary across societies. Some Urban Studies concentration courses, as well as electives, can be satisfied at Stanford overseas campuses. Courses offered overseas vary from year to year, and students should check in advance with Overseas Studies and Urban Studies concerning which courses meet Urban Studies requirements. Students may arrange to fulfill the service learning requirement through an internship placement at one of Stanford's overseas locations.


Director: Tomás Jiménez (Sociology)

Co-Director: Michael Kahan (Senior Lecturer, Sociology)

Executive Committee: David Grusky (Sociology), Michael Lepech, (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Ato Quayson (English), Jennifer Trimble (Classics)

Affiliated Faculty: Michelle Anderson (Law), Asad Asad (Sociology), Arnetha Ball (Education, African and African American Studies), Eric Bettinger (Education), Sarah Billington (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Bryan Brown (Education), Scott Bukatman (Art and Art History), Samuel Chiu (Management Science and Engineering), Matthew Clair (Sociology), Rebecca Diamond (Business), Paulla Ebron (Anthropology), Paula Findlen (History), James Fishkin (Communication), Shelley Fisher Fishkin (English), Charlotte Fonrobert (Religious Studies), Richard Ford (Law), Zephyr Frank (History), Angela Garcia (Anthropology), Sharad Goel (Management Science and Engineering), David Grusky (Sociology), Thomas Hansen (Anthropology), Gabrielle Hecht (History), Allyson Hobbs (History), Ian Hodder (Anthropology), Jackelyn Hwang (Sociology), Miyako Inoue (Anthropology), Rishee Jain (Civil and Environmental Engineering), S. Lochlann Jain (Anthropology), Tomás Jiménez (Sociology), Kincho Law (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Michael Lepech (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Tanya Luhrmann (Anthropology), Ramón Martínez (Education), Pamela Matson (Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences), Doug McAdam (Sociology, Emeritus), Raymond McDermott (Education, Anthropology), Daniel McFarland (Education, Sociology), William McLennan (Business), Jisha Menon (Theater and Performance Studies), Ian Morris (Classics, History), Josiah Ober (Classics, Political Science, Philosophy), Leonard Ortolano (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Nicholas Ouellette (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Grant Parker (Classics), Francis Pearman (Education), Peggy Phelan (Theater and Performance Studies, English), Walter Powell (Education, Sociology), Ato Quayson (English), Sean Reardon (Education, Sociology), Rob Reich (Political Science, Education), Jonathan Rodden (Political Science), Jonathan Rosa (Education, Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity), Michael Rosenfeld (Sociology), Walter Scheidel (Classics, History), Michael Shanks (Classics), Forrest Stuart (Sociology), Jennifer Trimble (Classics), Fred Turner (Communication), Guadalupe Valdes (Education), Barbara Voss (Anthropology), Ali Yaycioglu (History), Steve Zipperstein (History)

Lecturers: Deland Chan, Brian Coyne, Melanie Edwards, Dehan Glanz, Michael Kahan, Patricia Karlin-Neumann, Jennifer LeSar, Lawrence Litvak, Carol McKibben, Laura Scher, Frederic Stout, Mark Wolfe