Urban Studies & Planning

Program Overview

The mission of the Urban Studies and 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

Subject Area SLOS

  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.

Research Methods/Basic Skills SLOs:

  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.

Applied Professional SLOs:

  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.

Urban Action Journal

Published at SF State since 1979,  the Urban Studies and Planning Program publishes an annual journal called Urban Action. It is edited and produced entirely by students and consists of high quality student research papers, interviews, photo-essays, and related material of interest. 


Urban Studies & Planning is currently open to all students admitted through the University admissions process.

Degree Requirements

Review the degree requirements for the major and minor.  Contact pace@sfsu.edu with any questions.


Review the road map for the program.  Contact pace@sfsu.edu with any questions.


Advising for majors is provided by faculty members in the program. If you have questions about non-major requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Advising Center.

The Urban Studies and Planning Program provides sample syllabi of it courses for students to gain a understand of the scope of a course.

View a flyer regarding the Urban Studies and Planning program.

View a flyer regarding the tentative USP 2020 Summer course offerings.

Undergraduate Advising Center 

For advising on undergraduate non-major courses - GE requirements, etc. - please visit the Advising Center. This is a university service staffed by professional counselors, interns, and peer advisors committed to providing guidance and information to help undergraduate students enjoy a successful college experience.
Location: Administration building 211
Visit their website for more information

Urban STUDIES and planning PROGRAM

1600 Holloway Avenue - HSS Building, Room 133
San Francisco, CA 94132-4161

Phone Number: (415) 405-3483

Email: dusp@sfsu.edu