Special Education MA classroom
Urban & Public Affairs, MA

Program Overview

Our two-year, 33 unit Master's Urban & Public Affairs program will train you to understand and shape policy, with a focus on the urban and metropolitan histories that impact our region.

You will receive both classroom and hands-on training in the mechanics of urban policy and advocacy. The community-based research requirement will give you experience conducting applied urban research and analyzing policy alternatives. The capstone project and full-time summer internship will allow you to develop expertise in specific areas of urban, regional, or public policy, while building the personal and professional networks that will help you launch your career upon graduation.

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Colloquium

Our weekly colloquium series include visiting lecturers and presentations by faculty, along with career-development training and support. Students register for the colloquium every semester.

Schedule

Our program is full time with courses offered in the afternoons and evenings, plus occasional Saturday workshops. You are welcome to explore part-time options. Many electives are offered in the evenings from 6:30 - 9 p.m. Occasionally electives are offered in the afternoon. Required courses are offered in both the afternoons and evenings. You should be prepared to attend required classes as early as 3:30 or 4:30 p.m. a few times a week. Schedules may vary each semester.

Sample Timeline

  • Fall

    • Urban Power Seminar
    • Rhetoric of Social Controversy
    • Elective
    • UPA Colloquium

    Spring

    • Urban Public Finance
    • Community-Engaged Public Policy Research
    • Elective
    • UPA Colloquium
  • Fall

    • Capstone Research Prospectus
    • Elective
    • Elective
    • UPA Colloquium

    Spring

    • Master’s Capstone Project
    • Elective
    • UPA Colloquium

Capstone Project

Students complete a capstone project that synthesizes their expertise on a topic related to urban and/or public affairs.

    • A Defense of Rent Control: The Social Contract and Government Intervention in SF's Housing Market
    • Organizing Anarchy: Creating Meaningful Change From Local Places
    • Food Access in the Heart of the City
    • Reinventing Cities by Reviving Transportation
    • Innovations in Inclusion and Cultural Competency: The Role of SF Nonprofits in Meeting the Needs of LGBTQ Homeless
    • The Solidarity Economy: Transitioning to a Sustainable Path for an Uncertain Future
    • Access to Access: Are Immigrants Fully Served Under the Affordable Care Act?
    • Lessons from the Best Worst Job Ever