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Master of Arts in Urban Studies

Transform Your World

Urban Studies homepage photo

Cities around the globe are facing complex issues in need of creative solutions. At Fordham, our solutions-oriented interdisciplinary program will prepare you to tackle the challenges confronting urban society in a range of areas:

  • Economic development
  • Inequality and social justice
  • Public health
  • Environment and sustainability
  • Urban arts and creative industries
  • Historic preservation and gentrification
  • Technology and the development of “smart” cities.

With New York City as our main laboratory, you’ll design a unique course of study tailored to your own interests. You’ll engage in fieldwork with real-world implications and emerge with a nuanced understanding of the powerful forces that are shaping our cities, as well as the problem-solving skills required to improve the quality of life for their citizens.

Program Highlights

  • Flexible, interdisciplinary program shaped by student interests and career objectives
  • Strong foundation in applied research methods and contemporary urban issues
  • Research and study abroad opportunities with our international partner universities
  • Opportunity for fieldwork with public agencies, community nonprofits, museums, architectural and engineering firms, economic development corporations, and more
  • Curricular Practical Training is available to F-1 students

Program Basics

  • Designed as a 16-month program (three to four semesters for full-time students)
  • Curriculum requirements include three core courses, seven elective courses, fieldwork, and the completion of a master’s thesis for a total of 36 units.
  • Master’s thesis topic is directly tied to research and fieldwork
  • Classes held in the evening to accommodate fieldwork


  • City and regional planning
  • Real estate
  • Historic preservation
  • Education
  • Public administration
  • Environmental regulation
  • Urban renewal and design
  • Housing development agencies
  • Business improvement districts
  • Economic development corporations
  • Museums
  • Nonprofit cultural and arts institutions

Learn more about how a master’s degree in urban studies can help you in your career.

New Series Gr8 Talks! Next Event 12/19

Quito public market

The Fall 2016 Gr8 Talks! series concludes on Monday, December 19th with Vol. 8: "Quito's Public Markets" a film by Gamar Markarian and Tait Mandler of the Parsons New School, School of Design Strategies.

Gamar Markarian is the co-founder of Atelier Hamra, an open studio for experiments in design, architecture, and landscape architecture, and is Mastering in Design and Urban Ecologies at Parsons New School.

Tait Mandler is an anthropologist, ecologist, and urbanist exploring methodologies for design interventions into socio-spatial issues of justice and inequality.

Gr8 Talks! is a new series of 8 talks aimed to enhance information sharing and collaboration among students, faculty and experts in the field of Urban Studies.

The next talk begins at 6 p.m. in 525 Martino Hall, Fordham Lincoln Center, 45 Columbus Ave, NY City.

Panel Discussion: Birds and Buildings


Birds and Buildings: Case Study for How Our Built Environment Can Better Support Urban Wildlife

More than half of the world’s people now live in ever-expanding urban environments. Historically, our built environment did not consider the ecological needs of non-human animals. The relationship of the built environment to all natural phenomena is very complex, providing multiple opportunities in the built environment for law, urban planning and design to better support ecological needs of non-human animals.


Ralph Blessing, Urban Planning, CUNY/Hunter College
J. Alan Clark, Conservation Biology, Fordham University
Susan Elbin, Director of Conservation Science, NYC Audubon Society
Stefan Knust, Director of Sustainability, Ennead Archtects
John McLaughlin, Green Infrastructure, NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection
Ellen Pehek, Principal Research Ecologist, NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation