In our program students develop the insights, knowledge, and technical skills they need to address the challenges of contemporary urban life. Our graduates can make a difference in how cities and regions grow. They can influence what happens to a neighborhood in transition, a community threatened by dam construction, an endangered park or historic district, or a city faced by job loss. They can help metropolitan areas plan transportation systems, develop environmentally sound policies, and provide services on an equitable basis.
In urban and regional studies (URS) courses we ask how social and economic forces have changed cities, and what these changes mean for people in their daily lives. We also learn how citizens, community groups, and planners can work together to make productive, safe, lively, and livable places.
The program’s small size (about 25–30 graduates each year) encourages students to work closely with professors. Sharing academic interests and concerns, professors and students learn from one another both inside and outside the classroom. For more information see:
Core courses in the major focus on cities and regions — their history, governments, economies, and sociology; students elect other courses from the department and throughout the university.
Freshmen begin with two introductory courses, one on American cities and one on cities throughout the world. Sophomores take core courses on urban politics, policy, and planning. The major also requires students to take courses in the following areas:
Cornell in Rome program in which the majority of URS students participate.
URS students with special interests may participate in one of the many opportunities offered by Cornell Abroad, or in off-campus internships with the New York state government in Albany.Focusing Your URS Degree
Additional Degree Options