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Concentration in Urban Development and Social Change

Why study urban development and social change?

Tales of the city

Since ancient times, cities have been significant engines of social change. As more and more people flock to metropolitan areas in search of opportunity, how do we assess the changes that urbanization brings?

This question is critical, because more than three-quarters of the U.S. population is currently classified as urban, and soon more than half of the world’s population will be living in cities. Clearly, urbanization will be a key factor in shaping 21st-century life.

As a student in the urban development and social change (UDSC) concentration, you’ll learn about broad patterns and notable variations in urban growth, decline, and, in some cases, revitalization; the factors that have shaped cities; and how cities have, in turn, affected the lives of their inhabitants. While focusing primarily (but not exclusively) on cities in the United States, you’ll also become familiar with the key concepts and tools used to explore and analyze urban phenomena.

While you can combine this concentration with any major, it’s an especially good complement to majors in community, youth, and education studies; economics; geography; global environmental studies; international development and social change; political science; and sociology.

Minimum number of courses to complete this concentration: 7

Requirements and Courses

Experiential Learning

As a complement to this concentration, you can engage in a variety of related experiential learning opportunities, including internships, study abroad, and research.


A foundation in urban development and social change is an asset to those seeking careers in fields such as urban and regional planning, community development, public administration, urban teaching, social work, and public policy.

Program Director

Deborah Martin       Phone: 1-508-793-7104