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Urban and Public Policy Studies BA

(HEGIS: 49.03 HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCI, CIP: 45.1201 Urban Studies/Affairs)

Why study Urban and Public Policy Studies BA at UB?

Urban and Public Policy Studies provides an opportunity for students to explore a number of important contemporary issues that influence life in the United States. Why do our neighborhoods and communities look and function the way they do? How are problems such as poverty, homelessness, segregation, gentrification, housing, crime, and inequality defined and addressed by policymakers and governments? What economic, social, political, and demographic factors explain why some cities thrive and others struggle? What role do public transportation systems play in urban development? When and why do governments decide to take action on a particular issue? How are policy decisions made? How do we evaluate the outcome of a given policy? What political dynamics shape our understanding of public issues? Students can explore such questions by taking courses in political science, sociology, economics, geography, and environmental design, offering a rich interdisciplinary perspective and broad exposure to different methodological approaches to the study of cities and policies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Urban and Public Policy Studies BA, students will:

  • Understand relevant principles of the social science disciplines foundational to understanding urban policy and urban problems.
  • Understand basic principles of economics, globalization and economic development, urban studies, urban social problems.
  • Possess disciplinary knowledge of urban politics, policy development, planning processes, land use and spatial organization, environmental politics.
  • Have general knowledge of the statistical methods used to evaluate data in relation to knowledge claims.
  • Understand the methodology of social science research; be able to critically evaluate social research; propose a research project that would answer a significant research question.
  • Understand formation and growth dynamics of cities; industrial, residential, environmental, planning and transportation aspects of urban systems; technological, social, and political factors that affect urban design.
  • Understand how social factors and urban space interact; social stratification; intergroup relations; urban renewal and poverty.

The Learning Environment

The Urban and Public Policy Studies major is designed to offer choice and flexibility in building the program most suitable for individual interests and career goals.

Courses in the major are taught in both large lecture and small seminar formats. Required and introductory courses for the major may enroll 100 to 300 students per class. Intermediate and upper level courses typically enroll 30 to 100 students per class.

About Our Facilities

Urban and Public Policy Studies is administered by the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Degree Program (SSC) which is located in 203 Clemens Hall on UB’s North Campus. The program holds classes in centrally scheduled space throughout the campus, which includes traditional classrooms and lecture halls that can accommodate the program’s teaching philosophies.

About Our Faculty

Students take courses from across the College of Arts and Sciences allowing them to interact with faculty from various departments such as sociology, political science and geography as well as other units at UB such as environmental design. Instruction or grading responsibilities for some of these courses may be assigned to teaching assistants.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Degree Program’s website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Urban and Public Policy Studies provides an excellent foundation for students who wish to pursue a wide range of careers including government, urban planning and development, community/nonprofit work, real estate, and business, or who seek to go on to advanced study in urban planning, public policy, public administration, social sciences, or to enroll in law school.

Students have reported obtaining employment with the U.S. Department of Labor, City of Wooster Division of Planning, HSBC Bank, Chicago Transit Authority, Syracuse Economic Development Corporation, and Teach for America. Other students have pursued graduate studies at such schools as the University at Buffalo, the University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, the University of Miami, and the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Academic Advising

Advisement for majors is coordinated through the SSC office in 203 Clemens Hall (716-645-2247). There is at least one advisor for each major area. We provide advisement for students on major and university requirements. Our advisors work closely with the CAS Advisement Office,  financial aid and student accounts to help students find answers to questions about all aspects of being an undergraduate at UB.

Academic Advising Contact Information

Please call our office at (716) 645-2247 to make an appointment with an advisor.

Scholarships and Financial Support

With the help of its alumni donors, SSC has established a Study Abroad Award to encourage undergraduate students who are in one of the SSC majors to pursue an opportunity to study abroad. The award is available for study abroad in fall, spring, or summer semesters.
Students in our program may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of other sources, including:

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Published: Nov 16, 2022 15:56:40