Master of Arts in Urban and Public Affairs

Students will be well prepared for a variety of careers in community-based non-profits; advocacy and public interest organizations; political organizations; governmental agencies; think tanks, philanthropic organizations; and private sector entities; as well as for further graduate study.

Learning Outcomes

Student will:

  • master foundational concepts of urban history, sociology, and politics, and demonstrate the capacity to apply these ideas in real-world settings
  • demonstrate expertise in one or more areas of urban public policy
  • contemplate models of social change and social justice while developing the requisite skills and knowledge to actuate change
  • apply knowledge gained in the classroom in various and diverse community settings
  • apply knowledge gained in the community to inform classroom learning and scholarship
  • build networks through interactions with professionals from fields including public policy, advocacy, community organizing, and public service
  • engage in meaningful career planning through both self reflection as well as through interactions with colleagues and professionals in the field
  • contribute to the public discourse around contemporary urban policy issues
  • demonstrate professional skills in writing, urban and participatory research, and policy analysis
  • propose, design, and implement a research project that combines the conceptual and practical tools provided by the program


36 units and an internship

Core: Year 1

  • UPA 601 History of Urbanism Seminar
  • UPA 602 Issues in Urban Public Policy
  • UPA 603 Global Cities
  • UPA 604 Research Methods in Urban Affairs

Core: Year 2

  • UPA 641 Prospectus & Community-Based Research Practicum
  • UPA 642 Masters Capstone Project
  • UPA 643 Urban Affairs Internship (summer)


  • UPA 611 Urban Field Study San Francisco Bay Area
  • UPA 612 Urban & Regional Planning
  • UPA 613 Community Organizing and Policy Advocacy (rotating themes)
  • UPA 614 Globalization, Social Justice & the City (rotating themes)
  • UPA 615 Critical Sustainabilities
  • UPA 616 Intro to GIS & Data Visualization
  • UPA 617 Urban Public Finance
  • UPA 620 Policy Theme Seminars
  • UPA 620-01 Urban Food Policy
  • UPA 620-02 Sustainable Design
  • UPA 620-03 Housing, Community and Public Policy
  • UPA 620-05 Urban Racial Politics

Contact Info

Office of Urban and Public Affairs

Kresten Froistad-Martin, Program Manager

Masonic, Room 106
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-5060