Advising for Potential Majors and Minors


Urban Studies is still able to declare your major or minor this semester! Just write to, and we will schedule you to meet over the phone with Elaine Simon, who advises all of the majors and minors (except for the minor in urban education, which is advised by Amy Stornaiuolo).

In the meeting, try to have Penn InTouch open in front of you if possible, and you and Elaine will begin to fill out a major proposal form or minor proposal form that will orient you to the requirements and how they fit together in a sequence. You will also have a chance to ask questions and clarify your interests.

If you decide to declare the major, Urban Studies staff can add Urban Studies to your official worksheet in Penn InTouch and enter you as a major in the system so that it will shows up on your transcript. (One does not automatically trigger the other.) After your initial meeting, you should plan to meet regularly with Elaine Simon to make sure you are on track in the major and to update your worksheet.

Contact Urban Studies to make an appointment with Elaine Simon:

* Please note that each student is required to first meet with his or her assigned academic advisor (freshman/sophomore) to create an official worksheet in Penn InTouch before the major or minor declaration process can be completed. For information about courses to fulfill the General Requirement outside of the major, you should consult the College webpage.

  • MAP - Major Advising Program

The Major Advising Program at Penn is a peer advising system that assists students in their decision to declare a major. Freshmen and Sophomores may contact a MAP Urban Studies advisor to find out more about the program from a student's perspective. Students who wish to become MAP advisors should apply using the MAP website (PennKey login required).

  • Transfer Credit 

Students requesting credit in Urban Studies for courses taken at another institution must submit the request electronically through XCAT (External Course Approval). Please note that it may take several weeks for courses to be processed through the XCAT queue, and it is helpful to provide as much information as you can about the course - title, description, syllabus, etc.

  • Study Abroad

Urban Studies majors who are planning a semester abroad are encouraged to do so in the fall term of their junior year, to accommodate the fieldwork requirement in the spring term.

The Office of International Programs coordinates all international activities for the university. 

Penn currently has an exchange program with University College London, Urban Studies - Bartlett School of Planning. To read more about this program, check the link from OIP's website, above.

If you would like to know whether a course is eligible for Urban Studies credit in advance of signing up for it, email Elaine Simon with as much information on the course as you can provide - title, description, syllabus, etc. Once you have signed up for the course, you may then submit it into the XCAT system, and email Dr. Simon to alert her that you have submitted your chosen courses. Classes taken abroad typically do not appear on your Penn InTouch worksheet until you have completed the course and earned a grade.

Please note that no more than 3 abroad courses can be applied to the Themes section of your Urban Studies major.