Urban Studies Major

Urban studies teaches you how various disciplines combine to create better societies.

Urban studies is a multidisciplinary program that covers business, economics, real estate, history, sociology, political science and historic preservationThis program will prepare you to enter the workforce as soon as you graduate or to apply to graduate school.

Why study urban studies at the College of Charleston?

Charleston is a living laboratory for urban studies students. The city blends history and modernity. The Battery, King Street, Marion Square and Waterfront Park are a few case studies for urban planning. At the College, you can create your own program of study by choosing a particular concentration. Choose between three concentrations: planning and administration, sustainable urbanism and urban policy and social problems. 

What will I learn?

In this program, you'll take a mix of practical skill-based and theoretical courses. You'll become acquainted with approaches to the study of urbanization, suburban development and rural protections. You'll learn the background, techniques, methodology and practical applications of each of these approaches. 

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Program Highlights

Learn about the ways you can make cities even better places to live. Urban studies examines history, sociology, political science, urban studies, economics and historic preservation and community planning.
  • Internship Opportunities

    As an urban studies major, you will complete an internship. As part of this course, you will intern in a variety of settings, like: 
    • local government planning departments. 
    • consulting firms. 
    • urban, suburban or rural businesses.
    • non-profit organizations. 

  • Location

    Have you ever thought about the significance of maintaining a city’s character such as Charleston’s?

    Have you ever wondered how Charleston has been able to balance the preservation of the historic character with the planning and cultivating of a city of responsible growth and development?

    Have you considered how cities can efficiently plan for diverse community interests while meeting the pressing challenges of the 21st century, including:

    • urban growth.
    • sustainability.
    • food supply decreases.
    • poverty.
    • flooding and sea-level rise.
    • other environmentally sensitive pressures.
    • demographic changes
    • housing and employment needs.
    • transportation.
    • implementing adequate service infrastructure.

    Because the College of Charleston is located in the center of such a unique city - the city of Charleston - you will learn all that goes on to ensure that these questions are properly addressed.

    The connection to the city allows you to not just learn about, but also experience how the history and background of cities and urban life began and developed over the years. you'll understand how land use laws, environmental policies and social protections are adopted through political process.

  • Faculty Expertise

    Our faculty include professors from history, political science, sociology, economics and urban studies. You'll find faculty that study and research in other disciplines as well, such as historic preservation and community planning and psychology.

Careers & Outcomes

Our graduates enter the job market in public or private sector positions, or advance to graduate schools, including public administration programs, continued urban and regional studies or law school. You'll also be prepared to join the workforce in:
  • urban design.
  • city and regional planning.
  • neighborhood revitalization.
  • housing and community development.
  • public administration.
  • economic development.
  • nonprofit organization.

About the Minor

A minor in urban studies is perfect if you want to address 21st-century concerns. It pairs well with majors such as education, political science, economics, geography, business administration and more.