BA in Urban Studies

Degree Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from UIC, students must complete university, college, and department degree requirements. The Department of Urban Planning and Policy degree requirements are outlined below. Students should consult the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs section for additional degree requirements and college academic policies. Elective courses may have prerequisites.

Summary of Requirements
General and Basic Education Requirements33-34
Required for the Degree36
Selectives for the Degree24
Free Electives26-27
Total Hours120

General and Basic Education Requirements

Required Courses
ENGL 160Academic Writing I: Writing in Academic and Public Contexts3
ENGL 161Academic Writing II: Writing for Inquiry and Research3
Foreign Language (8 hours or equivalent in a single language)8
ECON 120Principles of Microeconomics a4
Analyzing the Natural World course b3
Exploring World Cultures course b3
Understanding the Creative Arts course b3
Understanding the Past course b3
One elective course from any General Education Core category b3
DLG 120UIC First-Year Dialogue Seminar c1
Total Hours33-34

This course fulfills the General Education course requirement for Understanding the Individual and Society.


See the General Education section of the catalog for a list of approved courses in this category.


Required for new freshmen only.

Required for the Degree

Required Courses
PPOL 300Introduction to Urban Policy Processes3
PPOL 309Public Budgeting and Financial Management3
US 101Introduction to Urban Studies a3
US 130Principles of Urban Sustainability a3
US 202Planning Great Cities a3
US 301Political Economy of Urban Development3
US 304Visualizing the City: Methods and Tools for Representing the City3
US 306Urban Policy Analysis Methods3
US 308Globalization in Urban Studies3
UPP 403Planning Practices for Great Cities3
UPP 405Researching the City3
US 495Senior Capstone Experience in Urban Studies3
Total Hours36

This course is approved for the Understanding U.S. Society General Education category.

Selectives for the Degree

Select 24 hours from the list of courses below or from the US or UPP rubrics. Students are encouraged to work with an advisor to take a cluster of three courses in a specialization of their interest.24
Independent Study in Urban Studies
Cinema and the City
Mapping the Urban: Cartography and its Alternatives
Latin American Cities in a Global Context: Environment, Employment, and Housing
Great Cities Internship
Great Cities: London and Chicago
Introduction to Geospatial Analysis and Visualization
Geographic Information Systems for Planning
Intermediate GIS for Planning
Complexity-based Models for Planning and Policy
Advanced Visualization Techniques
Topics in Geospatial Analysis and Visualization
Topics in Urban Planning and Policy
Independent Study in Urban Studies
Race and Urban Life
Urban Cultural Problems
History of Chicago Architecture
Global Environmental Change
Economic Demography
Concepts in Geography
Introduction to Cultural Geography
Elements of Spatial Analysis
Remote Sensing of the Environment
Geographic Information Systems I
Geographic Information Systems II
The World Since 1400
History of Chicago
Introduction to Latino Urban Studies
Latinos in Chicago
Introduction to Policy Process
Policy Analysis and Alternatives
Nonprofit Organizations in U.S. Society
Bureaucracy and Public Policy
Managing Government Partnerships
Public Management
Introduction to American Government and Politics
Introduction to Urban Politics
Chicago's Future
Introduction to Sociology
Urban Sociology
Total Hours24


Free Electives26-27
Total Hours26-27

Sample Course Schedule

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
Fall SemesterHours
US 101 Introduction to Urban Studies 3
DLG 120 UIC First-Year Dialogue Seminar 1
ENGL 160 Academic Writing I: Writing in Academic and Public Contexts 3
Foreign Language 101 4
Exploring World Cultures course 3
Spring Semester
ENGL 161 Academic Writing II: Writing for Inquiry and Research 3
Selective for the degree 3
Understanding the Creative Arts course 3
Understanding the Past course 3
Foreign Language 102 4
Sophomore Year
Fall Semester
US 130 Principles of Urban Sustainability 3
ECON 120 Principles of Microeconomics 4
Analyzing the Natural World course 4
Elective 3
Spring Semester
US 202 Planning Great Cities 3
Selective for the degree 3
Elective 4
Elective 3
Elective 3
Junior Year
Fall Semester
PPOL 300 Introduction to Urban Policy Processes 3
US 301 Political Economy of Urban Development 3
Selective for the degree 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Spring Semester
US 306 Urban Policy Analysis Methods 3
US 308 Globalization in Urban Studies 3
UPP 403 Planning Practices for Great Cities 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
Senior Year
Fall Semester
UPP 405 Researching the City 3
US 304 Visualizing the City: Methods and Tools for Representing the City 3
Selective for the degree 3
Selective for the degree 3
Elective 3
Spring Semester
US 495 Senior Capstone Experience in Urban Studies 3
PPOL 309 Public Budgeting and Financial Management 3
Selective for the degree 3
Selective for the degree 3
Selective for the degree 3
 Total Hours120