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What Can I Do With A Major In Urban Studies?


Social Statistics
Public Administration
Policy Analysis
Program Development
Human Services
City Planning
Law Enforcement



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.



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.



Case Management
Rehabilitation Counseling
Mental Health Services



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
Human Resources



Real estate firms
Rental properties
Construction and development companies
Insurance firms
Retail stores
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.





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.



Data Analysis
Market Research
Information Sourcing



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.


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 prerequisites 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.


Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer