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School of Urban and Public Affairs

School of Urban and Public Affairs

Master of Arts in Urban Affairs

Richard GreeneThe Master of Arts in Urban Affairs prepares students for policy and/or management positions in local government, regional government, nonprofit and private sector consulting and for other professional positions in economic development, social planning, community organizing, and urban journalism. The program is organized around public policy issues with emphasis on the problems and questions related to life in urban communities. Because urban issues are complex and require the understanding and skills of many disciplines, the program is interdisciplinary in character, curriculum content, teaching staff, and enrollment. The degree is built around an urban core with students choosing a policy or non‐profit‐oriented concentration.

A total of 39 to 42 hours is required for completion of the program, depending on whether the student chooses to complete a master's project (39 hours) or a master's thesis (42 hours).

Career Paths with the MA in Urban Affairs

Careers in the Public Sector: Director of Public Housing Authority; Grant Manager; Fiscal or Budget Advisor; Housing Specialist; Legislative Assistant; Neighborhood Planner; Policy Analyst in a government agency.

Careers in the Nonprofit Sector: Area Director, Social Service Agency; Economic Development Program Coordinator; Executive Director, Non-profit Organization; Historical preservation planning; Policy analyst in a think tank; Project Director for international development organization; Program Officer, International Non-profit Organization.

Careers in the Private Sector: Community Coordinator for private development; Government Affairs.

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Required Urban Core Courses (9 hours)

URPA 5304 Urban Politics or URPA 5309 Intergovernmental Relations
URPA 5305
Theories of Urban Societies
URPA 5306
The Urban Economy

Required Research and Analysis Courses (12-15 hours)

URPA 5302 Foundations of Urban Research and Analysis
URPA 5345
Evaluation Research

Project Track

URPA 5341
Prof. Report Writing
     or URPA 5342 Strategies for Urban Research
     or CIRP 5346 Qual. Analysis
URPA 5396 Project Report.

Thesis Track

URPA 5342 Strategies for Urban Research
     or CIRP 5346 Qualitative Analysis
URPA 5698 Thesis

Areas of Concentration (18 hours)

Students can specialize in one of five concentration areas as described below. As an alternative, they can petition to substitute another self‐designed concentration area, such as criminal justice, education policy, social work, or historical preservation.

Economic Development: This concentration is designed for students interested in understanding the politics, policy, and management of economic development. Students will learn about the legal and financial aspects of economic development as well as issues related to community development, land use, and real estate development.

Environmental Policy: This area of concentration is designed for students interested in careers in the public and private sectors which focus on environmental concerns. Students will study environmental policy in general and may chose to focus their attention on sustainable growth or transportation.

Non‐Profit Management: This area of concentration is designed for students interested in careers in non‐profit organizations. The curriculum is designed to educate students on non‐profit management issues as well as issues related to non‐profit clientele and the role of non‐profits in urban government in general. Students pursuing the non‐profit concentration may also elect to work toward a Certificate in Non‐profit Management (

Urban Policy: This track is designed for students seeking a greater understanding of public policy. The curriculum is designed to give students an understanding of the politics and economics of public policy formation and implementation. Students in this track may chose to take courses related to a specific policy area (e.g., welfare, education, or transportation) or they may chose a more generalist perspective.

Urban Social Planning: This concentration is designed for students interested in planning careers in non‐profit and public agencies. The curriculum provides students with knowledge of community organizing and community development as well as offering them the opportunity to focus on specific social issues.

Student Designed Concentration: With the guidance of the MA Advisor, students may design their own concentration.