Welcome New URS Students

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Welcome to the Department of City and Regional Planning

Tom CampanellaThomas J. Campanella

We are very pleased to welcome you to the Urban and Regional Studies program at Cornell University. Here in West Sibley Hall, we educate young urbanists — the future professionals who will help humankind across the threshold of this still-fresh urban century.

Cities are the ultimate expression of civilization, and never in history have they been more vital to the future of humankind. We are in the midst of the greatest surge of urbanization the world has ever seen. In China alone, 250 million people have moved from the countryside to cities like Shanghai and Beijing in just the last 25 years. Cities are also our most sustainable form of settlement. The greenest town in America is also its most dense — Manhattan — where people walk or take the subway, where a mile of utility line serves thousands of families, not just three or four.

The global urban revolution is not without immense challenges. Getting it right will require visionary ideas, creativity, and imagination on a massive scale. And this is where you come in. Having read all your applications, I know you have the brains, ambition, and sheer moxie to help bring about a better urban world.

You will find here and on the Cornell AAP website a multitude of links to resources and information of use in your transition to campus. You are also welcome to email me if you have specific questions or concerns about the program.

I wish you the best for senior year and truly look forward to meeting you all in the fall.

Best wishes,

Thomas J. Campanella
Associate professor and director of undergraduate studies

Fall 2020 URS Student Schedule

All first-year URS students will enroll in the following classes, totaling 15–17 academic credits, in the fall semester:

  • CRP 1100 The American CityIntroductory course on the evolution of urban problems and opportunities facing the majority of this country's population as we enter the first decade of the 21st century. Readings, discussions, and brief papers explore topics ranging from suburban development to central city poverty, from environmental threats to downtown revitalization, and from municipal finance to the new position of women in the urban economy. (3 credits)
  • ECON 1110 Introductory Microeconomics (3 credits)
  • First-Year Writing Seminar (3 credits)
  • Distribution Requirement (3–4 credits)
  • Elective (3–4 credits)
  • Physical Education (1 non-academic credit)

Class Enrollment Procedures

Required classes: AAP's Office of Student Services will enroll all URS students in CRP 1100 and ECON 1110 by July 1. After that date, students will be able to confirm their enrollment in Student Center.

Distribution requirement: URS students should enroll in at least one class that can be applied toward the distribution requirement through Student Center from Monday, July 13, through Friday, July 17. The URS distribution requirement consists of nine classes outside of the Department of City and Regional Planning. Four classes must be completed in the areas of physical and biological sciences (PBS), and mathematics and quantitative reasoning (MQR). The remaining five classes must be taken in the areas of cultural analysis (CA); historical analysis (HA); knowledge, cognition, and moral reasoning (KCM); literature and the arts (LA); and social and behavioral analysis (SBA). A comprehensive list of MQR and PBS classes is available in Courses of Study. If a class has been categorized as CA, HA, KCM, LA, or SBA, the classification will be included in its course description in Courses of Study. Please refer to the fall 2020 Course and Time Roster for current class offerings. Be sure to enroll in a class that does not conflict with required classes.

First-Year Writing Seminar: URS students are required to complete two First-Year Writing Seminars (FWS) in the first year of study. Students enroll in their FWS through a ballot process. Ballots can be submitted from Monday, July 13, through Friday, July 17, using the FWS ballot page. Additional information is available at the Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines. Be sure to ballot for a seminar that does not conflict with required classes.

Physical Education (PE): All Cornell students are required to complete two PE classes in the first year of study. Students will enroll in PE using Student Center from Monday, July 13, through Friday, July 17. A complete listing of PE classes is available in the fall 2020 Course and Time Roster. Be sure to enroll in a PE class that does not conflict with required classes or FWS.

How to enroll in classes:

Step-by-step enrollment instructions, including tutorials, are available online. Please review this information before the enrollment period begins.

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