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Urban Studies

The undergraduate minor in Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary program that emphasizes urban life in a variety of settings and from different disciplinary and methodological approaches. The Urban Studies minor will allow students to explore varied and multiple dimensions of urban and community life through differing conceptual and analytical frameworks. Students can pursue interests in:

  • urban history
  • urban design
  • neighborhood revitalization
  • economic development
  • social movements
  • global urbanization

The minor is open to undergraduates in all university majors except Community & Regional Planning.


This minor requires 15 credit hours of coursework to complete:

  • CRP 201: The American Metropolis
  • CRP 291: World Cities and Globalization
  • Nine (9) credits in three other courses from the approved list

At least six (6) of the 15 credits must be taken at Iowa State University in courses numbered 300 or above. At least nine (9) of the 15 credits must not be used to meet any other college or university requirements except the credit requirement for graduation.

While ideally the two required courses will be taken in sequence (CRP 201 followed by CRP 291), students will have the option of taking the courses in the order they choose.

The three elective courses will allow students to examine the interplay among different groups occupying urban space, the problems they confront, their struggles for recognition and power, and the forces shaping the physical terrain they inhabit. Electives may be chosen from among courses from the Colleges of Design, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Engineering, Human Sciences and Liberal Arts and Sciences. Download the list of courses that quality for the Urban Studies minor.

Students will be able to add the minor at any point during their program of study. To add the major, students must:

  • Discuss their interest in the minor with their academic adviser
  • Fill out a university Request for Minor Form, which must be signed by the student, the student’s adviser and the chair of the Department of Community and Regional Planning. It is recommended that this form be completed at least one semester prior to graduation.


For more information, contact:

Academic Adviser Sam Johnson
Professor Francis Owusu, Chair, Community & Regional Planning