Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary BA - Urban and Public Policy Studies Concentration

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Degree Programs (SSC)

203 Clemens Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-4670
716-645-2245 x0
Shelley Kimelberg, PhD
(HEGIS: 49.03 HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCI, CIP: 45.0101 Social Sciences, General)

Why study Social Sciences Interdisciplinary BA - Urban and Public Policy Studies Concentration at UB?

Urban and Public Policy Studies is one of six concentration areas in the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary major. It 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 this concentration students will:

  • Understand fundamental 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 knowledge of the foundational 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 SSC/Urban and Public Policy major is designed to offer choice and flexibility in building the program most suitable for individual interests and career goals. There are approximately 10 students enrolled currently as SSC/Urban and Public Policy majors.

Courses in the major are taught in both large lecture and small seminar formats. Prerequisite and introductory courses for the major typically enroll 200 students per class. Intermediate and upper level courses enroll 30 to 100 students per class.

About Our Facilities

SSC/Urban and Public Policy is housed in 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 departments 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 Programs department 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, the YMCA, Town of Wheatfield Planning Board, HSBC Bank and Teach for America and going on to advanced studies as such schools as the University at Buffalo and the University of Miami.

Academic Advising

Admission to the major and advisement for students are coordinated through the program’s office in 203 Clemens Hall. There is at least one advisor assigned to each major area. We provide advisement for students on major and university requirements. Our advisors work closely with the general advising 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) 645-2245 ext. 0 to make an appointment with an advisor in your major area of interest.

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 six 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:

  • UB Financial Aid, including Scholarships
  • Nationally Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships
  • UB College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships and Awards
Published: August 16, 2018 09:20:02 AM