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Urban Studies

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Urban Studies Major

1,478 yearly degrees
#219 in popularity
$88,000 median salary

Urban studies is a major that typically falls into the Social Sciences category.

There are 2 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in urban studies, 96 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 35 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 13 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an Urban Studies Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only 1,100 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in urban studies in 2017. The major attracts more women than men. About 57.8% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of urban studies majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 9%
  • Black or African American: 11.2%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 18%
  • White: 47.7%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 6.3%
  • Other Races: 7.7%
Urban Studies Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in urban studies. About 6.3% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending urban studies majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and India.

What Will You Learn as an Urban Studies Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to urban studies to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Urban Studies Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Urban Studies Majors

Skills for Urban Studies Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to urban studies:

Important Skills for Urban Studies Majors

Abilities for Urban Studies Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a urban studies student include the following:

Important Abilities for urban studies Majors

What Can You Do With an Urban Studies Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with urban studies:

Careers Related to Urban Studies
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Compliance Managers



Regulatory Affairs Managers






Social Sciences Professors



Investment Fund Managers



Urban and Regional Planners



Urban Studies Major Salary

Average salaries range from $76,000 to $90,000 for careers related to urban studies. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an Urban Studies Major  ( 76000 to 90000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Urban Studies Major Jobs

Some careers associated with urban studies require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to urban studies have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Urban Studies
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Urban Studies Programs

There are 96 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in urban studies, with 3 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is an Urban Studies Major Worth It?

The median salary for an urban studies grad is $88,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 126% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $981,000 after 20 years!

urban studies salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Andrew Bossi via License

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