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What is Urban Studies?

Stanford students tour San Francisco by bicycle.

Students take a bicycle tour as part of Urban Studies 150, From Gold Rush to Google Bus: The History of San Francisco.

An interdisciplinary, undergraduate program at Stanford that combines academic approaches with real-world experience to understand cities, suburbs, and other settlements.  

Why the Urban Studies program?

If you’ve ever wondered why people live in cities (or suburbs), how the built environment shapes behavior, or how to address complex problems like urban poverty, gentrification, climate change, or educational inequality, Urban Studies may be for you. 

Classes Types and Concentrations

Our students take a common set of prerequisite and core classes, as well as skills classes in research methods and Geographic Information Systems.  This work provides the basis for a specialization in one of our six concentration areas

Service Learning and Capstone

Students also complete an approved service-learning course or internship, as well as an original research capstone project.


Our graduates go on to graduate schools in urban planning, architecture, law, business, education, and public policy; others go into careers in the non-profit sector, consulting, government, and real estate development.

Find out more About the future careers of urban studies majors

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