The Program

The program combines core coursework in urban studies, public policy and research methods taught by USF faculty, complemented by elective courses offered by prominent practitioners in the field.

It includes an innovative community-based research requirement, which gives students direct experience with conducting applied urban research, analyzing policy alternatives and working extensively with community-based organizations. All students complete a Capstone Project and Internship, by which they develop expertise in particular areas of urban policy and build personal and career networks. A professional Urban Affairs Internship is completed either in the summer or second year (internship can be waived with prior work experience). The Urban Affairs program culminates in a Master’s Capstone Project.

The two-year, 36-unit program is comprised of seven Required Courses and four Elective Courses.

Sample Timeline

Year One Year Two
Fall Semester Fall Semester
History of Urbanism Seminar
Policy Analysis Seminar
Community Based Research
Research Prospectus
Elective or Urban Affairs Internship
Spring Semester Spring Semester
Research Methods in Urban Affairs
Urban Politics and Sociology Seminar
Master’s Capstone Project
Elective or Urban Affairs Internship
Urban Affairs Internship  

Required Courses

  • History of Urbanism Seminar
  • Issues in Urban Policy
  • Community-Based Research Methods in Urban Affairs
  • Global Cities
  • Prospectus and Community-Based Research Practicum
  • Urban Affairs Internship
  • Master’s Capstone Project

Elective Courses include (select 4 courses)

  • Urban Field Study: SF Bay Area
  • Race, Organizing and Policy Advocacy: Community Strategies for Urban Power
  • Globalization, Social Justice & the City
  • Critical Sustainabilities
  • Urban Public Finance and Fiscal Management
  • Urban and Regional Planning
  • GIS and Data Vizualization
  • Sustainable Design
  • Urban Politics in San Francisco
  • Non-Profits and Public Policy
  • Urban Politics and Sociology Seminar

Course Schedules (Fall 2014)

Most classes are held on weekday evenings. Course schedules are also subject to change each semester. The following is an example of a fall schedule:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
  • Sustainable Design: 4:45-6:25pm
  • History of Urbanism: 6:45-9:15pm
  • Issues in Urban Public Policy: 4:45-6pm
  • Data Visualization/GIS: 6:30-9:30
  • Sustainable Design: 4:45-6:25pm
  • Issues in Urban Public Policy: 4:45-6pm
  • Regional Planning: 6:30-9:15pm