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Overseas Programs

Students in Beijing

Urban Studies encourages students to consider studying abroad, to learn firsthand how cities vary across societies. 

If you are considering spending a quarter or more off campus, please meet with an Urban Studies advisor to find the best way to fit your plans into your academic program.  Timing is important; Urban Studies majors should try to be on campus to take the required senior seminar (URBANST 203) and the required junior seminar (URBANST 202).  Many students find that they can count some courses taken off-campus or overseas toward their Urban Studies major, making their time away from campus more academically productive and rewarding. 

The following descriptions outline some of the most common options for Urban Studies majors to study off campus.  For more details, see the website of the program you are interested in.

Stanford Overseas Studies Program

Bing Overseas Studies Program
First Floor, Sweet Hall
590 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 723-3558

Through the Bing Overseas Studies Program, Urban Studies students have the opportunity to study and, in many cases, to intern at locations around the world. 

Non-Stanford Overseas Programs

We include here a short list of overseas programs offered by other universities that may be of particular interest to Urban Studies students.  For more comprehensive information on study abroad through non-Stanford programs, consult website or visit the offices of Stanford’s Overseas Resource Center.

Note that, in order to receive credit at Stanford, courses taken at another university’s overseas program must be approved by the External Credit Evaluation section of the Office of the University Registrar.  External coursework must be approved by the registrar’s office for credit before it can be considered for credit toward the Urban Studies major.

Columbia University

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation 

The Shape of Two Cities: New York-Paris

The Shape of Two Cities: New York-Paris is a program for undergraduates enrolled in other universities that offers a year's exposure to architecture, urban planning and historic preservation in New York and Paris. A full year of academic credit is offered through a carefully constructed program of history, theory and studio courses conducted in English. Directed by the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation of Columbia University, the program offers a two-semester curriculum whose intention is to immerse participants in the rich physical and intellectual urban environments of New York and Paris. Instruction draws on the resources of Columbia University and its faculty and the architectural communities of New York and Paris.

Cornell University

Art, Architecture, and Planning Department

Program in Rome

Cornell’s program in Rome offers courses in architecture, art, and urban studies, architecture history, art history, drawing, photography, architecture theory, contemporary Italian culture, European politics and Italian language.  The Urban Studies component of the program is offered spring quarter. 

In addition to taking classes with architecture and art students, Urban Studies participants engage in field research, and assist civic leaders and municipal officials in developing workable solutions to challenging problems confronting contemporary Roman neighborhoods. Students meet with professional planners; government officials; community activists; leading architects; and researchers and others responsible for urban policy-making in the areas of economic development, neighborhood stabilization, urban design, regional planning, city management, agricultural development, tourism, historic preservation, and immigration.

International Honors Program

Cities in the Twenty-First Century: People, Planning, and Politics
Established in 1996, Cities in the 21st Century was developed through the leadership of Janice Perlman of The Mega-Cities Project, based in New York City. Cities in the 21st Century combines an innovative urban studies academic curriculum with fieldwork involving public agencies, planners, elected officials, NGOs, and grassroots groups.  IHP has developed programs in a group of important world cities where exciting changes are happening, including New York City, Sao Paulo/Curitiba, Capetown, Auckland, Bangalore, Beijing, Buenos Aires, and Istanbul.  We build each semester’s itinerary from among these cities.

The International Honors Programs are offered in affiliation with the School for International Training (SIT), the accredited higher education division of World Learning.  The Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) is a partner in the Cities in the 21st Century program.


Have a question about how overseas study might fit with your Urban Studies interests?  Talk to a faculty advisor.