Urban, Regional, and Global Studies

The Urban, Regional, and Global Studies specialization within the Geography major provides students with an understanding of the spatial differentiation and organization of political, social, cultural, and economic activity. Students tackle real-world problems and issues, such as the globalization of production and finance, technological change, urban planning and the built environment, transnational social movement politics, social conflict and war, and other forms of conflict around race, gender, and class, all from a geographical perspective. Students seek to link urban and regional politics and development to larger, global scale forces and trends. Research and teaching in this area emphasize a wide array of geographical theories and theoretical controversies, relevant case studies, and skills necessary to employ a variety of research methodologies.

The Urban, Regional, and Global Studies specialization provides flexibility for students to choose courses that align most closely with their academic interests. Students can take courses in cultural geography, which focus on cultural origins, the movement of peoples and cultures, and the cultural characteristics of different world regions. Students may also choose to study economic geography, taking courses that focus on the distribution of resources and economic activities within a certain region. Lastly, students could focus their studies on social and urban geography, ensuring that communities develop in an orderly way and have access to the services necessary to support them. Urban geography courses cover topics such as city planning, housing and community development, demography, transporation, and tourism.

There is no minimum GPA, required prerequisites, or application required to declare a major in Geography with a specialization in Urban, Regional, and Global Studies.

Urban, Regional, and Global Studies Curriculum

Undergraduate Curriculum

Graduate Curriculum

Issues & Topics:


  • Territory and governance
  • Geopolitics
  • Geographies of law
  • Economics and politics
  • Historical preservation

Social difference

  • Difference and democracy
  • Feminist geography
  • Geographies of racism
  • Sexuality and youth

Urban spaces

  • Cities, suburbs, and exurbia
  • Urban politics
  • Cities in the global economy
  • Social/spatial exclusion
  • Location scouting
  • Real estate analysis

Transportation and mobility

  • Routing patterns
  • Cyber-accessibility
  • Access to employment and healthcare
  • Travel/tourism planning

Spatial analysis

  • Statistical analysis
  • Cartography
  • Research design

Acquired Skills:

Critical Skills

  • Ability to critically analyze arguments and evidence
  • Oral and written communication
  • Research design, implementation, and application
  • Knowledge of moral and ethical issues

Technical skills:

  • Quantitative and qualitative data analysis
  • Graphic communication (including map reading and geovisualization)
  • Ability to develop graphical models that represent planning and development decisions


Geographers find careers in many fields both within and outside the discipline of geography. Below is a partial listing of careers for which students within the Urban, Regional, and Global Studies specialization are well-suited and where previous graduates have found employment.

  • Planner: transportation, urban development, city planning, health services, land use
  • Demographer
  • Community Organizer
  • Land Development Analyst
  • Regional Specialist
  • International Development
  • Real Estate Appraiser
  • Commodities Broker
  • Urban Research Analyst
  • Business Planning Manager
  • Public Policy Analyst
  • Market Researcher
  • Location planning for private firms
  • Economic Analyst