Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York


Degree Requirements

The Masters degree in Urban Studies focuses on a humanistic and interdisciplinary study of the society, community, culture, and history of the city and metropolitan community.

The program prepares students for successful careers in the non-profit, community development, and community-based planning sectors.  Urban Studies provides students seeking careers in the public sector with competitive training and a firm understanding of the social issues essential to promoting public policy and serving an urban population. The program offers students beginning their teaching careers- as well as experienced teachers- breadth of knowledge and hands-on experience about urban social and economic conditions. Individuals who are seeking employment in the real estate and building industries profit from an MA degree in Urban Studies as a baseline of professional training. An MA degree in Urban Studies is of great interest to students who hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture but would like to continue their urban education outside the field of architecture and design. After professional school or during their traditional careers, individuals return for a Masters degree in Urban Studies to realign their education with their core urban interests, to gather credentials for teaching, to pursue special projects in emerging areas of concern, or to seek experience in urban areas internationally.

Urban Studies offers two graduate options: the MA and the Early Admission MA.
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Master of Arts in Urban Studies

Minimum Requirements: The MA in Urban Studies requires at least 36 credits. A “B” average (or 3.0 GPA) must be maintained in courses taken for the Master’s degree.

Required courses: Three core courses establish a common base of knowledge and research skills:

USGA 5000: ISSUES IN URBAN STUDIES: Issues in Urban Studies will introduce all students to the current debates about the urban experience.

USGA 5020: URBAN POLITICAL PROCESSES: This course examines urban political systems concentrating on the primary institutions and processes that comprise the urban political milieu. 

USGA 6200: RESEARCH SKILLS IN URBAN STUDIES: This course introduces students to Urban Studies research methods, setting up research design including deriving hypotheses and conclusions, and the application of qualitative and quantitative research approaches.

Elective requirements: Seven elective courses across the program’s three areas of concentration are required. Four courses must be in the student’s chosen area of concentration. The three remaining courses must be in the two other areas of concentration.
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Internship or Field Work requirement: Students will gain hands-on, practical experience in a 3-credit field study in New York City, or a field study in another large-scale city in the United States or foreign country, depending on the student’s interests. It may be completed during the academic year or the summer. Before registering for the field study, a student must have completed 12 credits and be in good academic standing. The Urban Studies Director or designee must approve and monitor all field study research. Internships must be with an approved city, regional, or international organization. The field study may be directly related to the student’s extensive Research Project or Master’s Thesis.

Research requirement: URST 6999 Research Project or URST 6900 Master’s Thesis. Graduate training requires either an extensive Research Project (3-6 credits) related to the student’s professional interests as well as to their internship or field study or a Master’s Thesis. Each project or thesis  is approved and mentored by a faculty member specializing in the chosen field of study. Requirements for the Master’s Thesis may be found in the GSAS Policies and Procedures Guidebook. Theses must be presented to the Dean’s Office prior to graduation.

Early Admissions Option in the MA Program: This option enables academically strong undergraduate students currently enrolled in Fordham College to attain both a bachelor’s degree (either in Urban Studies or one of its related disciplines) and a master’s degree in Urban Studies in five years. Students submit their applications in the spring of their junior year, and enter the program in their senior year when they take two graduate courses that count toward the B.A. as well as the M.A. Graduate courses taken while still at the College must be approved by the Director of Urban Studies. All graduate courses taken in the early admissions option to the MA program should be at the 5000 level. 

The policy applies to FCRH, FCLC and PCS students. The minimum GPA to be eligible to apply is 3.2 or above after five semesters of work in the College. Applications do not need to include GRE scores unless the student is planning to apply for financial aid during the 5th year. 

Why Fordham? This interdisciplinary program draws on the expertise of faculty from the departments of history, economics, sociology and anthropology, and political science. The University benefits from the school's interface with New York City and partnerships in other international cities. This program is unique in its humanitarian approach to Urban Studies.
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For descriptions of recent courses please visit Fordham's Online Course Catalog or review on program website.

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