Urban Studies Minor

Declaring a Major or Minor

Students wishing to declare a major or minor in Urban Studies must first meet with co-director Dr. Elaine Simon to discuss their planned course of study. Prior to the meeting, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the information provided below. Students may directly schedule a meeting with Elaine via this Calendly link: https://calendly.com/elaine-simon-urbs, or by writing to urbs@sas.upenn.edu.

After meeting with Dr. Simon students will then fill out the “Declare/Update Field of Study Form,” which can be accessed through either Path@Penn, or Path Forms.

Major and minor applications will take some time to process. If a student has submitted a form, and they are uncertain if it has been fully processed, they can reach out to Coordinator Vicky Karkov: vkarkov@sas.upenn.edu.


A minor in Urban Studies consists of six course units:

  • One Urban Studies course from the themes of either History of Cities or Comparative and Theoretical Dimensions. You can find a list of courses by theme by clicking here.
  • Three Urban Studies electives. One of these can be a relevant course outside of Urban Studies which must be approved by your minor advisor.
  • Fieldwork - URBS 300 (a two cu course), or an advisor pre-approved alternative plan.

Because this minor requires an credit-bearing, unpaid internship (URBS 300), it is advised that students formally declare no later than the beginning of junior year. You will be formally admitted to the minor only after receiving approval from Dr. Simon.