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Urban Studies Major Careers

Urban Studies Career Information




  • Demography
  • Social Statistics
  • Public Administration
  • Policy Analysis
  • Research
  • Program Development
  • Human Services
  • City Planning
  • Law Enforcement
  • Politics
  • Federal departments and agencies such as:
    • Departments of Agriculture, Education, Interior, Commerce, Defense
    • Health and Human Services
    • Drug Enforcement Administration
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Housing and Urban Development
    • Veteran’s Administration
    • National Institutes of Health
    • National Institute of Aging
  • Peace Corps
  • State and local government
  • Planning and development commissions
  • National, state, or local parks or recreation departments
  • Housing authorities
  • Social service agencies
  • Transportation departments
  • Supplement curriculum with coursework in statistics and social research.
  • Develop exceptional computer, communication, and research skills.
  • Gain work experience via government internships, part-time jobs, or summer work.
  • Develop a specialty such as aging, family, criminal justice, or healthcare.
  • Learn the federal job application process.
  • Obtain a graduate degree for advanced positions.
  • Consider obtaining a minor in political science, public administration, or other relevant fields.

Regional and Urban Planning

  • Transportation
  • Demography
  • Housing
  • Historic Preservation
  • Urban Design
  • Urban Renewal
  • Environmental/Regulatory Issues
  • Economic Development
  • Land Use
  • Research Design
  • Program Development
  • Architecture firms
  • Engineering firms
  • Local planning agencies
  • Real estate and development contractors
  • Investment companies
  • Transportation agencies
  • Zoning administration
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Utility companies
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Historical restoration or preservation agencies
  • Neighborhood revitalization initiatives
  • International development organizations
  • Enhance curriculum with courses in business, social sciences, and statistics.
  • Earn a graduate degree in urban or regional planning from an accredited planning program.
  • Find a related internship, part-time, or summer job.
  • Develop strong computer skills.
  • Learn another language to communicate with diverse community members or to work abroad.
  • Plan to work collaboratively with a wide array of professionals and local citizens.
  • Understand that most planners work for local governments.

Human Services

  • Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Advocacy
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Mental Health Services
  • Programming
  • Administration
  • Community service agencies
  • Advocacy groups
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • United Way agencies
  • Local branches of national non-profit organizations
  • Religiously-affiliated service organizations
  • Private foundations
  • Adoption and child care agencies
  • Nursing homes and retirement communities
  • Hospitals and wellness centers
  • Halfway houses
  • Vocational services
  • Educational information services
  • Gain experience and develop helping skills through volunteer positions.
  • Spend summers working at camps, YMCA’s, or other social service agencies.
  • Gain experience working with diverse populations.
  • Develop excellent communication skills.
  • Concentrate course work in an area of interest such as youth, gerontology, or poverty.
  • Learn a second language in order to interact with non-English speakers and increase marketability.
  • Serve as a peer mentor, resident assistant, or other student leader.
  • Earn a master’s degree in social work, counseling, or other related field to increase employment opportunities.
  • Most states require licensure or certification for positions involving the direct provision of therapeutic services to clients.


  • Real Estate
    • Construction Management
    • Development
    • Sales
    • Leasing
  • Management
  • Human Resources
  • Sales
  • Real estate firms
  • Rental properties
  • Construction and development companies
  • Insurance firms
  • Retail stores
  • Banks
  • Staffing agencies
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Credit management companies and organizations
  • Service industries
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Earn a minor in business or supplement curriculum with courses in general business, accounting, and finance.
  • Gain business experience through part-time jobs, summer work, and internships.
  • Develop excellent computer skills.
  • Learn to use software applications such as spreadsheets, databases, and word processing.
  • Hone written and oral communication skills.
  • Join related professional associations.
  • Seek leadership roles in student organizations.


  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Colleges and universities
  • Adult education providers
  • Earn a graduate degree for post-secondary teaching.
  • Assist a professor with research.
  • Take extra courses in research and statistics.
  • Develop exceptional written and oral communication skills.
  • Secure strong personal recommendations, particularly from professors.

Social Science Research

  • Data Analysis
  • Demography
  • Market Research
  • Information Sourcing
  • Universities
  • Government agencies
  • Research institutes
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Private industries
  • Advertising and marketing firms
  • Consulting organizations
  • Information brokers
  • Newspapers, magazines, news agencies
  • Public opinion research polls
  • Develop exceptional quantitative, statistical, and writing skills.
  • Learn to use statistics software packages as well as database, spreadsheet, and desktop publishing programs.
  • Volunteer to help a professor with a research project.
  • Obtain an advanced degree for research administration positions.
  • Network with professionals working in areas of interest.
  • Gain experience working on teams.

General Information and Strategies

  • Many transferable skills such as analytical, organizational, research, interpersonal, computer, leadership, teamwork, and oral/written communication are associated with the urban studies degree.
  • Internships, part-time jobs, summer jobs, and/or volunteer experiences are critical for gaining experience and developing a career path.
  • An undergraduate degree is sufficient for many entry-level positions in business, industry, and government; however, a graduate degree is likely to be more desirable in a competitive market.
  • An undergraduate degree in urban studies is good preparation for graduate or professional education in law, business, and other related fields. Research pre-requisites for graduate or professional programs of interest.
  • To enhance graduate or professional school opportunities, maintain a high grade point average, secure strong faculty recommendations, join student or professional organizations, and gain relevant experience outside of the classroom through work, internship, volunteer, and research opportunities.
  • A Ph.D. is required for teaching at the four-year university level.
  • For human or social service positions, gain experience with a population of interest (i.e., children, college students, elderly adults) and develop multicultural sensitivity and understanding. Plan to earn a graduate degree in counseling, social work or related field.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals working in areas of interest.


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