Urban Studies & Planning Program Overview

The mission of the Urban Studies & Planning Program at San Francisco State University is to prepare students for professional and civic involvement to improve the quality of urban life. We do this by offering an interdisciplinary curriculum that helps students understand, analyze and address the dynamics of cities and evolving urban issues and by encouraging them to be informed and engaged citizens.

  • To prepare students for professional and civic involvement to improve the quality of urban life
  • To offer a curriculum which is responsive to changing urban problems and policies
  • To contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the dynamics of urban life
  • To help Bay Area communities through applied research and other faculty and student activities

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Understanding the basic evolution and development of cities, the field of urban studies and planning and the tools and approaches practitioners in these fields uses to address urban issues.
  2. Be familiar with a range of perspectives and methods used to understand and analyze the dynamics of urban life.
  3. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze and critically evaluate urban.


  1. Demonstrate competence in writing about the dynamics of cities informed by urban theory and practice; demonstrate skills such as critical thinking and oral presentation.
  2. Demonstrate research and analytic skills used in urban studies and planning fields, including the ability to think critically, design and execute research, collect, analyze and interpret relevant evidence and formulate evidence-based and reasoned conclusions.
  3. Be familiar with basic spatial and statistical analyses of urban data.
  1. Apply subject area knowledge and skills in a wide range of professional settings.
  2. Have an ethical and proactive stance towards solving urban challenges.
  3. Demonstrate critical thinking, research, writing, presentation and teamwork skills.