About the Program
Bachelor of Arts
The study of cities is a vital part of a liberal arts curriculum. During this moment of global change, such forms of knowledge are of critical importance. The world is more urban now than in any other era in human history, and with this rapid urbanization has come the crucial role of cities as sites of economic development, crucibles of civic citizenship, and spaces of cultural imagination.
The Urban Studies major is housed in the Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) of the College of Environmental Design. The major seeks to introduce students to the following bodies of knowledge:
- Historical and contemporary analysis of American and global urbanization, urbanism, urban societies, and urban political economies
- Conceptual tools, analytical methods, and theoretical frameworks to understand urban environments such as economic analysis, social science theory, and visualization technologies
- Forms, functions, and practices of urban planning and design, metropolitan governance, social movements, and social justice, including issues such as transportation planning, community development, and housing
- Ways of providing more humane, equitable, environmentally sensitive, and efficient settlements as well as ways to lead change for better urban futures
The major trains undergraduates for a variety of future careers and fields of graduate study that are related to urban studies and planning. These include practice-oriented fields such as urban planning, law, non-profit management, and public policy as well as research-oriented fields such as geography, sociology, and anthropology. Above all, the intent of the major is to produce urban citizens and global leaders.
Admission to the Major
Students must declare one of the CED majors at the time of application to the college; however, current UC Berkeley students may apply to change into CED. Transfer applicants must complete two years worth of lower division coursework to be considered for admission to CED. For information regarding admission to the major for freshmen, transfer students, and current students who wish to change majors or colleges, please see the College of Environmental Design (CED) page in this Guide or the CED website.
Minors offered by the Department of City and Regional Planning
In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.
- All lower division courses taken in fulfillment of major requirements must be completed with a grade of C- or better.
- Courses taken to fulfill lower division major requirements may also be used to fulfill seven-course breadth.
- A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.
- A minimum overall GPA of 2.0 for all courses taken at UC Berkeley is required for graduation.
- Courses used to fulfill upper division requirements may not simultaneously fulfill the breadth requirements.
- Up to two upper division courses taken at another institution, including an approved study abroad program, may be applied to the major requirements below (if transferable and approved in advance).
For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.
Summary of Major Requirements
|Lower Division Requirements: Four Courses|
|Upper Division Urban Studies Core: Six Courses|
|Upper Division Interdisciplinary Urban Studies Requirements: Two Courses|
|Upper Division Capstone Experience: One Course 1|
Students admitted to UCB prior to FL16 must complete two capstone courses
Lower Division Major Requirements: Freshman and Sophomore Year
|ECON 1||Introduction to Economics||4|
|or ECON 2||Introduction to Economics--Lecture Format|
|or ECON C3||Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy|
or AP Economics, Micro (passing score of 3 or above)
|Select one of the following:||4|
|Introduction to Statistics |
|Foundations of Data Science |
|Introduction to Probability and Statistics |
|Introductory Probability and Statistics for Business |
|Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Life Scientists |
or AP Statistics (passing score of 3 or above)
|Select two courses from the four areas below:|
|Fundamentals of Population Science |
DEV STD C10
|Course Not Available |
|Experiencing Education: Political Economy, White Supremacy, and Educational Desire |
|Alternative Sexual Identities and Communities in Contemporary American Society |
|Indigenous Peoples in Global Inequality |
|Healthy People: Introduction to Health Promotion |
|Principles of Business |
|Introduction to Visual Representation and Drawing  (Formerly ENV DES 11A)|
|Introduction to Design  (Formerly ENV DES 11B)|
|Drawing a Green Future: Fundamentals of Visual Representation and Creativity |
Society and Culture
|African American Life and Culture in the United States |
|African American Life and Culture in the United States |
|Introduction to American Studies |
|Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology |
|Introduction to Social/Cultural Anthropology (American Cultures) |
|Introduction to the History of Asians in the United States |
|Asian American Communities and Race Relations |
|Introduction to Chicano History |
|Latino Politics |
|A Comparative Survey of Racial and Ethnic Groups in the U.S |
|Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Global Political Issues |
|Introduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Settlement to Civil War |
|Introduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Civil War to Present |
|Native Americans in North America 1900-Present |
|Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies |
|Introduction to American Politics |
|Introduction to Comparative Politics |
|Introduction to Sociology |
|Principles of Sociology: American Cultures |
Environmental Resources and Planning
|Engineered Systems and Sustainability |
|Environmental Issues |
|Introduction to Environmental Studies |
|Global Ecology and Development |
|Environmental Science for Sustainable Development |
Upper Division Urban Studies Core (Courses Inside CED)
|ENV DES 100||The City: Theories and Methods in Urban Studies||4|
|CY PLAN 110||Introduction to City Planning||4|
|Select four additional courses from the following: 2|
|Introduction to Urban Data Analytics |
|Introduction to Housing: An International Survey |
|Economic Analysis for Planning |
|Community and Economic Development |
|Introduction to Urban and Regional Transportation |
|Urbanization in Developing Countries |
|Urban Planning Process--The Undergraduate Planning Studio |
|Urban & Community Health |
|The Urban Community |
|Planning for Sustainability |
|Community Planning and Public Policy for Disability |
|Urban and Sub-national Politics in Developing Countries |
|Urban Design: City-Building and Place-Making |
|Research Seminar in Urban Studies |
|Advanced Topics in Urban Studies [1-4]|
Courses taken to fulfill the upper division capstone experience requirement may not also be used to fulfill this Urban Studies core requirement.
Graduate-level CY PLAN courses may be approved to satisfy the core requirement. Please see your major adviser for further information.
Upper Division Interdisciplinary Urban Studies (Courses Outside CED)
Students admitted to Berkeley FL16 and later must select two urban studies-related courses outside CED from the following list of courses. One of the two courses must have international content, marked with an asterisk (*). Students can also petition to have other urban studies-related courses count for this requirement. Students admitted to UCB prior to FL16 must select three courses from this list; at least one of the three must have international content.
|AFRICAM 107||Race and Public Policy||3|
|AMERSTD 102||Examining U.S. Cultures in Place||4|
|ANTHRO 139||Controlling Processes *||4|
|ANTHRO 148||Anthropology of the Environment||4|
|ANTHRO 157||Anthropology of Law||4|
|ASAMST 150||Gender and Generation in Asian American Families||4|
|CIV ENG 156||Infrastructure Planning and Management||3|
|CIV ENG 167||Engineering Project Management||3|
|DEMOG/SOCIOL C126||Sex, Death, and Data||4|
|DEMOG 145AC/HISTORY C139B||The American Immigrant Experience||4|
|DEV STD C100||Course Not Available *||4|
|ECON 115||The World Economy in the Twentieth Century *||4|
|or HISTORY 160||The International Economy of the 20th Century|
|ECON/ENVECON C102||Natural Resource Economics||4|
|ECON 121||Industrial Organization and Public Policy||4|
|ECON C125/ENVECON C101||Environmental Economics||4|
|ECON 131||Public Economics||4|
|ECON C171/ENVECON C151||Economic Development||4|
|ECON 174||Global Poverty and Impact Evaluation||4|
|EDUC 186AC/ETH STD 159AC/GEOG 159AC||The Southern Border *||4|
|ENE,RES C100/PUB POL C184||Energy and Society||4|
|ENE,RES 101||Ecology and Society||3|
|ESPM 102D||Climate and Energy Policy||4|
|ESPM 155AC||Sociology and Political Ecology of Agro-Food Systems||4|
|ESPM 160AC/HISTORY 120AC||American Environmental and Cultural History||4|
|ESPM 161||Environmental Philosophy and Ethics||4|
|ESPM 163AC/SOCIOL 137AC||Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Equity, and the Environment||4|
|ESPM 165||International Rural Development Policy *||4|
|ESPM 168||Political Ecology||4|
|ESPM 169||International Environmental Politics *||4|
|GEOG 110||Economic Geography of the Industrial World||4|
|GEOG 123||Postcolonial Geographies||4|
|GEOG 125||The American City||4|
|GEOG 130||Food and the Environment *||4|
|GEOG 164||The Geography of Economic Development in China *||4|
|GEOG 170||Special Topics in Geography (only “Post-Socialist Spaces” topic has been approved)||3|
|GEOG 181||Urban Field Study||4|
|HISTORY 120AC||American Environmental and Cultural History||4|
|HISTORY 134A||The Age of the City: The Age of the City, 1825-1933 *||4|
|HISTORY C139B||The American Immigrant Experience||4|
|HISTORY 160||The International Economy of the 20th Century *||4|
|or ECON 115||The World Economy in the Twentieth Century|
|L & S C180U/PUB POL 103||Wealth and Poverty||4|
|LEGALST 138||The Supreme Court and Public Policy||4|
|LEGALST 158||Law and Development||4|
|LEGALST 182||Law, Politics and Society||4|
|NUSCTX 166||Nutrition in the Community||3|
|PACS 127||Human Rights and Global Politics *||4|
|PACS 149||Global Change and World Order *||3|
|POL SCI 114A||Theories of Governance: Late 20th Century||4|
|POL SCI 139D||Urban and Sub-national Politics in Developing Countries||4|
|POL SCI 181||Public Organization and Administration||4|
|POLECON 100||Classical Theories of Political Economy *||4|
|POLECON 101||Contemporary Theories of Political Economy *||4|
|PB HLTH 150B||Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences||3|
|PUB POL 156||Program and Policy Design||4|
|SOCIOL 110||Organizations and Social Institutions||4|
|SOCIOL 124||Sociology of Poverty||4|
|SOCIOL C126||Sex, Death, and Data||4|
|SOCIOL 127||Development and Globalization *||4|
|SOCIOL 130||Social Inequalities||4|
|SOCIOL 130AC||Social Inequalities: American Cultures||4|
|SOCIOL 136||Urban Sociology||4|
|SOCIOL 145||Social Change||4|
|SOCIOL 180I||Comparative Perspectives on U.S. and European Societies: Inequality *||4|
|SOCIOL 186||American Society||4|
|UGBA 105||Leading People||3|
|UGBA 180||Introduction to Real Estate and Urban Land Economics||3|
|UGBA 184||Urban and Real Estate Economics||3|
|UGBA 192P||Sustainable Business Consulting Projects||3|
|UGBA 195S||Entrepreneurship To Address Global Poverty *||3|
Upper Division Capstone Experience (Required for Students Admitted Fall 2013 and Later)
During the junior and/or senior year, students admitted to UC Berkeley FL 16 and later are required to complete ONE of the following four capstone experiences. (Students admitted FL13-SP16 must complete TWO capstones.) Courses taken to fulfill the Capstone Experience requirement may be used for the Capstone only and may not also be used to fulfill the Upper Division Urban Studies Core Requirement above or the requirement to complete 3 “Upper Division College of Environmental Design Courses Outside of City Planning”:
- Thesis: This option requires ENV DES 195B (Thesis Research and Writing). Whether a thesis is written or a project is produced, this option should be pursued with a faculty adviser.
- Planning Studio: CY PLAN 116, an advanced synthetic educational experience.
- Research Seminar: CY PLAN 180 Research Seminar in Urban Studies.
- Field experience/internship with a written planning report: CY PLAN 197. Each student must find their own urban studies-related internship and tenure-track faculty adviser, who will be the faculty of record for a CY PLAN 197 field studies course. CY PLAN 197 must be taken for 3 units and requires a final written report (analyzing the fieldwork and internship experience) submitted to the faculty adviser. To merit 3 units, the internship should require approximately 9 hours per week for 15 weeks. If you are thinking about doing an internship in the summer, see the Urban Studies adviser in 250 Wurster Hall for details.
For College Requirements, please refer to the College of Environmental Design.
Plan of Study
Each student’s plan will vary depending on interests. Students should see an adviser if they are interested in applying for graduate school, studying abroad, attending summer school, or pursuing a minor or second major.
For more detailed information regarding the courses listed below (e.g., elective information or GPA requirements), please see the Major Requirements tab.
|ENV DES 1||3||ECON 1 (fills Breadth #3, SBS)||4|
|Reading & Composition A||4-6||MATH 16A||3|
|Breadth #1||3-4||Reading & Composition B||4|
|Breadth #2||3-4||ENV DES 4A, 4B, or 4C (2 of 3 must be completed to graduate)||3|
|ENV DES 4A, 4B, or 4C (2 of 3 must be completed to graduate)1||3||ENV DES 4A, 4B, or 4C (or Lower Division US Major Elective 2 of 2)1||3|
|Lower Division US Major Elective (1 of 2)||3-5||Breadth #5||3-4|
|Breadth #4||3-4||Breadth #6||3-4|
|STAT 2 or C8||4||Breadth #7||3-4|
|CY PLAN 110||4||ENV DES 100||4|
|Urban Studies Core #1||3-4||Urban Studies Core #2||3-4|
|CED Upper Div Non-Major #1||2-4||Interdisc Urban Studies – Outside CED #1||3-4|
|Elective, if needed to reach 12 units||3||Elective, if needed to reach 12 units||2|
|Urban Studies Core #3||4||Urban Studies Core #4||4|
|Interdisc Urban Studies – Outside CED #2||4||CED Upper Div Non-Major #3||2-4|
|CED Upper Div Non-Major #2||3-4||Capstone Experience||3-4|
|Elective, if needed to reach 12 units||1-4||Elective, if needed to reach 12 units||3-4|
|Total Units: 100-123|
Students must complete 120 units to graduate.
Student Learning Goals
Learning Goals of the Major
The Urban Studies major seeks to introduce students to the following bodies of knowledge:
- Historical and contemporary analysis of American and global urbanization, urbanism, urban societies, and urban political economies. Conceptual tools, analytical methods, and theoretical frameworks to understand urban environments such as economic analysis, social science theory, and visualization technologies.
- Forms, functions, and practices of urban planning and design, metropolitan governance, social movements, and social justice including issues such as transportation planning, community development, and housing.
- Ways of providing more humane, equitable, environmentally sensitive, and efficient settlements as well as ways to lead change for better urban futures.
The CED Office of Undergraduate Advising provides a wide array of programmatic and individual advising services to prospective and current students as well as to students in other colleges who are pursuing CED minors or taking CED courses. The professional advising team assists students with a range of issues including course selection, academic decision-making, achieving personal and academic goals, and maximizing the Berkeley experience.
Architecture Major Adviser Rhommel Canare
250 Wurster Hall
Landscape Architecture Major Adviser Omar Ramirez
250 Wurster Hall
Sustainable Environmental Design Major Adviser Nancy Trinh
250 Wurster Hall
Urban Studies Major Adviser Omar Ramirez
250 Wurster Hall
College Evaluator Nancy Trinh Chieng
250 Wurster Hall
Undergraduate Advising Director Susan Hagstrom
250 Wurster Hall
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies TBD
Fall/spring: Monday through Friday, 10 to noon (office opens at 9 a.m.) & 1 to 4 p.m.
Summer: Monday through Friday, 10 to noon & 1 to 3 p.m.
Office of Undergraduate Advising
College of Environmental Design
250 Wurster Hall #1800
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-1800
CED Career Services
The CED Career Services Center (CSC) offers personalized career counseling, a yearly CED Career Fair, and a wide variety of professional development workshops on topics such as licensure, internships, and applying for graduate school. To schedule an appointment with the Career Counselor or for more information on CED CSC, please click here.
- Newly-Admitted Students
- Current Students
- Graduation and Commencement
- Services and Contract
- Policies and Resources
- Forms and Documents
The College of Environmental Design (CED) Office of Undergraduate Advising helps students graduate in a timely way with a meaningful educational experience at Berkeley. In alignment with the College's vision and principles, the Office of Undergraduate Advising collaborates with CED faculty, deans, and student service units across campus toward the common objective of supporting students as they achieve their educational and career goals. The office seeks to achieve the following:
- Attract a highly-motivated, diverse pool of applicants
- Connect students with resources that match their goals and aspirations
- Support the development and transformation of undergraduates as they become educated, active, and socially just citizens of the world
- Prepare graduates who are uniquely qualified and highly sought after in their field of choice
Above all, the CED Office of Undergraduate Advising dedicates itself to maximizing student potential and to helping students succeed in their University experiences. The office encourages students to explore their minds and their hearts, challenges them to do their best work, and helps them realize their talents and passions and achieve their goals.
Equity & Inclusion
The College of Environmental Design (CED) is committed to creating an inclusive environment in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued. CED aspires to provide fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all students and to identify and eliminate barriers that prevent the full participation of all.
Health & Well-Being
CED collaborates with campus partners to keep the CED community healthy by helping students balance the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, occupational, spiritual, and environmental aspects of life.
In all that the office does, it strives to deliver personalized advising services of the highest quality. The CED Office of Undergraduate Advising seeks to continuously educate itself on developments in the field and to evaluate, improve, and streamline its services to support students in obtaining the best education and experience possible.
Student Groups and Organizations
The college provides opportunities for students to be involved in student chapters of professional organizations such as the American Institute of Architects (AIAS) as well as other student groups like the Berkeley Urban Studies Student Association (BUSSA), the Chican@/Latin@ Architecture Student Association (CASA), Global Architecture Brigades, and more. For information regarding student groups, please see the Getting Involved page of the CED website.
The College of Environmental Design (CED) encourages all undergraduates in the college to study abroad. Whether students are interested in fulfilling general education requirements, taking courses related to their major/career, or simply living and studying in a country that is of interest to them, CED will work with students to make it happen. For information about study abroad programs, please see the Berkeley Study Abroad website.
CED Career Services
The CED Career Services Center (CSC) offers personalized career counseling, a yearly CED Career Fair, and a wide variety of professional-development workshops on topics such as licensure, internships, and applying for graduate school. For further information, please see the CED Career Services website.
Prizes and Awards
CED offers a number of annual prizes, awards, scholarships, fellowships, and grants to its currently enrolled students. Some of these prizes and awards are college-wide, and some are geared toward students in specific majors. For general information regarding CED prizes and awards, including application instructions and a deadline calendar, please click here.
CED Events and Exhibits Calendar
CED and Wurster Hall is home to a variety of events, lectures, and exhibitions that welcome professors, professionals, and friends to the college to discuss and celebrate the community and professions. Through events and media, CED is constantly creating ways to keep the college connected and up-to-date. To view this calendar, please click here.
Cal Design Lab
The Cal Design Lab at Wurster Hall is an experimental studio space to promote hands-on, interdisciplinary design activities. Faculty and students from UC Berkeley's many schools and departments can come together at the Cal Design Lab to work on critical design challenges. The goal of the lab is to be a nexus for design research and practice and to facilitate discourse that transcends different design disciplines. For further information, please see the Cal Design Lab's website.
CED Lecture Series
The Departments of Architecture, City and Regional Planning, and Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning each sponsor lecture series which offers students the opportunity to hear internationally-acclaimed speakers. These speakers often also participate in classes and seminars as part of their visit to campus. For a schedule of speakers and events in these lecture series, please see the CED website.
CED CONNECTS is an online LinkedIn networking resource connecting CED students with alumni who might provide advice, information, and support. As a student, you can gain perspective on your long-term career goals; acquire advice on balancing education, career, and extracurricular activities; and receive honest feedback and encouragement.
Research Opportunities, Internships, Public Service, and Volunteer Opportunities
Check out the CED Office of Undergraduate Advising website for additional opportunities.
Faculty and Instructors
+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.
Charisma Acey, Assistant Professor. Water, sanitation, basic services delivery, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability, environmental justice, urban governance, participatory planning, community-based development, international development, development planning, sustainable development, African studies.
+ Nezar Alsayyad, Professor. Virtual reality, urban history, Architectural history, Middle Eastern Studies, cross-cultural design, cities and cinema, cultural studies of the built environment, environmental design in developing countries, housing and urban development, Islamic architecture and urbanism, traditional dwelling and settlements, urban design and physical planning.
Teresa Caldeira, Professor. Comparative urban studies, urbanization in the global south, social theory, ethnography. qualitative methodology.
Karen Chapple, Professor. Poverty, economic development, regional planning, metropolitan spatial patterns, labor markets, community development, neighborhood change, gentrification.
Daniel Chatman, Associate Professor. Transportation, urban planning, travel behavior, immigration, housing, agglomeration.
Jason Corburn, Professor. Urban health, informal settlements, global public health, urban climate change, environmental impact assessment, mediation, environmental justice.
Karen T. Frick, Assistant Adjunct Professor.
Carol J. Galante, Adjunct Professor.
Malo Hutson, Associate Professor. Urban and regional planning, community development, urban policy, population health.
+ Raymond Lifchez, Professor. Architecture, patronage of the arts, post revolutionary France.
Elizabeth S. Macdonald, Associate Professor. Urban design.
John Radke, Associate Professor. City and regional planning, landscape architecture and environmental planning, geographic information systems, database design and construction, spatial analysis, pattern recognition computational morphology.
Carolina K. Reid, Assistant Professor. Affordable housing, access to credit, foreclosures, community development, the Community Reinvestment Act, poverty, neighborhood change, homeownership and mortgage finance (with a focus on low-income and minority households).
Daniel Rodriguez, Professor.
Annalee Saxenian, Professor. Innovation, information management, entrepreneurship, Silicon Valley, regional economic development, high skilled immigration, Asian development.
Paul Waddell, Professor. UrbanSim, land use models, transportation models, urban sustainability.
Jennifer Wolch, Professor. Sustainable urbanism, urban design and public health, poverty and homelessness, human-animal studies.
Sara Hinkley, Lecturer.
Moira O'Neill-Hutson, Lecturer.
Kimberly Suczynski Smith, Lecturer.
David Waldron, Lecturer.
Edward J. Blakely, Professor Emeritus.
Peter C. Bosselmann, Professor Emeritus. Urban design, architecture, city and regional planning, landscape architecture.
Manuel Castells, Professor Emeritus.
Robert B. Cervero, Professor Emeritus. Transportation planning, city and regional planning, transportation and land use, transportation and urban development, international transportation.
Karen Christensen, Professor Emeritus. Evaluation, intergovernmental relations, city and regional planning, housing policy, planning theory, organizational theory.
Stephen Cohen, Professor Emeritus.
Frederick C. Collignon, Professor Emeritus. Urban economics, metropolitan planning, city and regional planning, urban recreational space, passive recreational parkland, urban redevelopment, public assistance, disability.
Elizabeth A. Deakin, Professor Emeritus. Urban design, city and regional planning, transportation policy, planning and analysis, land use policy and planning; legal and regulatory issues, institutions and organizations, energy and the environment, new technologies.
Michael James Dear, Professor Emeritus. Social theory, disability studies, urban theory, comparative urbanism.
David Dowall, Professor Emeritus. City and regional planning, urban and regional development, international comparative urban development policy, domestic and international land management, housing policy, economic development strategy, infrastructure planning, management and finance.
Judith E. Innes, Professor Emeritus. Innovation, governance, collaborative planning and policy making, regionalism, interpretive methods, complexity and adaptation.
Allan B. Jacobs, Professor Emeritus.
Michael Southworth, Professor Emeritus. Management, analysis, design, city and regional planning, landscape architecture, environmental planning, morphology of the post-industrial city, design of public space.
Michael Teitz, Professor Emeritus.
Irene Tinker, Professor Emeritus.
Martin Wachs, Professor Emeritus.
Department of City and Regional Planning
228 Wurster Hall
Undergraduate Major Head, Minor Program Faculty Adviser
Urban Studies Major Adviser, City Planning Minor Adviser
250 Wurster Hall
Nancy Trinh Chieng
250 Wurster Hall
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
C. Greig Crysler
354 Wurster Hall
Director, Office of Undergraduate Advising
250 Wurster Hall
CED Career Services
CED Counseling Services