Department: Urban Policy and Planning


Since its creation by advocacy planner Paul Davidoff in 1965, the Urban Policy and Planning Department has consistently upheld a vision of urban planning  as a multi-disciplinary field.  As component of the department, the Urban Studies undergraduate major gives students an understanding of contemporary cities economically, socially, politically and physically. Urban studies provides answers to questions about why America is car dependent, New York housing is expensive, the number 6 train is always late and crowded, or how you can make your neighborhood better.  .

Going beyond the walls of Hunter, the major provides field-work courses: an internship which gives job experience and a studio class, which take students into a neighborhood to solve urban problems such as the increase of clubs and noise pollution on the Lower East Side, street vending along busy streets in Jackson Heights, or lack of park space in East Harlem. 

In keeping with this vision of the major, the urban studies faculty represents a wide range of disciplines including architecture, economics, history, political science, public policy, sociology, social work and urban planning. The program also benefits greatly from a distinguished part-time faculty who bring practical experience and knowledge in both public and non-profit sectors into the classroom.

What can I do with my degree in Urban Studies?

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in urban studies have found work at real estate development firms, community non-profits, local government or social service agencies. Many urban studies majors go to graduate school, most often in urban planning. Others have pursued advanced degrees in law, social work and public administration. The range of graduate school choice reflects the flexibility of the urban studies curriculum and its focus on a myriad of issues from a variety of perspectives. Urban studies graduates have completed Master’s degrees at Harvard, Cornell, MIT, Rutgers, and other prestigious universities across the country.


Overall GPA: 3.2 and above. Major GPA: 3.5 and above.


The Public Service Scholar Program seeks to improve our cities and the lives of people by preparing talented students particularly women, minorities and immigrants for public service careers through internships with elected officials, government, and nonprofit organizations. The program runs for a full academic year and combines internship placements in the offices of senior officials and administrators with intensive seminars on public policy issues, social change, government and nonprofit organizations. The program is open to any Hunter College student, regardless of major, who has a minimum 3.0 GPA and who is within 45 credits of graduation at the beginning of the program in the fall semester. Admission of up to 24 students is competitive. Applications are accepted starting in November with a deadline of March 15th. Students accepted as Public Service Scholars receive 12 academic credits and a $6,000 stipend. Because women, minorities and immigrants have been traditionally underrepresented in public policy making and leadership positions, special efforts are taken to encourage them to apply for the program. Interested students should contact the Public Service Scholar Program, Room 1643 Hunter West, (212) 772-5599 or email


John Chin
1612A Hunter West
(212) 772-5603

Department Office:

1611 Hunter West
(212) 772-5518
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Undergraduate Adviser:

Professor Owen Gutfreund
1616a Hunter West
(212) 396-6248