Bachelor of Arts: Urban Studies

This program is currently not accepting students.

University Requirements

General Education

UMKC Essentials is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour program includes a First Year Experience course; three critical thinking courses in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences; a Culture and Diversity course; a Civic & Urban Engagement course; two courses in Written Composition and one course in Oral Communication; and a Math Pathway course. Transfer students entering UMKC will elect from the UMKC Essentials General Education Program or the Missouri Core 42 General Education Curriculum.  Academic advisors will meet with incoming transfer students to determine which option best serves the student’s educational needs. More information about General Education may be found here:

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination

In accordance with Missouri Senate Bill 807 (section 170.013.1), 'any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution'.  To satisfy this requirement at UMKC, students access the exam through the Canvas site. This requirement will be listed in the degree audit system as, 'Take State Mandated Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination', and listed on the transcript as 'Missouri Civics Examination'.   

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Be able to analyze how gender, ethnicity, and race play important roles in understanding the city. They will be exposed to the broader public through internships in the community.
  • Be able to analyze how local, regional, and state governments and related institutions interact.
  • Be able to describe how the urban society is structured in interrelated sectors that influence each other locally and interact with sectors beyond the local city.
  • Be able to interpret demographic patterns at various scales, from the city block to the metropolitan area.
  • Be able to design and implement a research project analyzing a specific urban issue.

Program Requirements

UMKC Essentials

First Semester Experience Course (GEFSE)3
Written Communication:
ENGLISH 110Introduction to Academic Prose3
ENGLISH 225English II: Intermediate Academic Prose3
Oral Communication (choose one of the following):3
Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening
Introduction to Communication
Argumentation And Debate (offered via dual credit only)
Interpersonal Communication
Math Pathway (satisfied in major requirements below)
Critical Thinking in Arts & Humanities (GECRT-AH)3
Critical Thinking in Natural & Physical Sciences (GECRT-SC)3
Critical Thinking in Social & Behavioral Sciences (GECRT-SS)3
Culture & Diversity Course (GECDV)3
Civic & Urban Engagement Course (GECUE)3
Total Credits27

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877
U.S. History Since 1877
Honors American Government
American Government
Total Credits3

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

Major Requirements

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 12 hours of the noted upper division (300+) course requirements completed at UMKC.

During the first 60 hours of coursework, students are advised to fulfill prerequisites for core courses and for required courses in the urban studies concentration they choose.

When prerequisites and general requirements have been satisfied, students must complete for the urban studies major:

  • Core course requirements: 22 hours
  • Interest area requirements: 18 hours

Total hours required for the major in urban studies: 40 hours

MATH 110Precalculus Algebra (satisfies Math Pathway)3
Required Courses
GEOG 309/UPD 320Urban Geography3
URBAN ST 495Urban Studies Internship3
URBAN ST 499WI/ECON 406WIUrban Studies Seminar3
History 3
History Of Planning And Urban Design
Statistics (Choose 1)3
Introduction to Statistics in Sociology/Criminal Justice
Elementary Statistics
Race/Class/Gender (Choose 1)3
Hate & Bias Crimes
Political Economy of Race, Class And Gender: Theory, History, And Policy
Race and Ethnic Relations
Urban Political Economy (Choose 1)3
The Kansas City Economy
Urban Economics
Methods (Choose 1)3
Methods Of Sociological Research
Quantitative Planning Methods And Techniques
Interest Area Electives (see below)18
Total Credits45

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives45

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Interest Areas (18 hours)

In addition to the core requirements, 18 hours should be taken in an interest area:

  • Community Development and Housing
  • Community Organization and Social Services
  • Urban Policy/Management

In consultation with an advisor, selected by the student or designated by the program director, students are expected to develop a program (reflecting interest and applicability to career goals) in one interest area: a recommended course and five electives from those listed under the interest area chosen. Students may not double count any core courses toward the 18 hours.

Community Development and Housing

Recommended Course
UPD 340Neighborhood And Community Development3
Select five of the following:15
Urban Anthropology
The Kansas City Economy
Environmental Design Studio I
Environmental Design Studio II
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Latinx Immigrants, Migrants, and Refugees in the U.S
Cities and Society
GIS For Urban Planning
History Of Planning And Urban Design
Land Use Planning
Planning And Design Studio I
Planning And Design Studio II
Planning Theory And Practice
Transportation Planning
Planning For Historic Preservation
Planning Law And Practice
Urban Redevelopment
Total Credits18

Community Organization and Social Services

Recommended Course
ANTHRO 331Urban Anthropology3
Select five of the following:15
Introduction To Criminal Justice
Hate & Bias Crimes
Restorative Justice
Political Economy of Race, Class And Gender: Theory, History, And Policy
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Labor, Politics and Society
Latinx Immigrants, Migrants, and Refugees in the U.S
Social And Psychological Development Through The Life Cycle
Social Stratification
Race And Ethnic Relations
Immigration and the City
Cities and Society
GIS For Urban Planning
Neighborhood And Community Development
Total Credits18

Urban Policy/Management

Select six of the following:18
Hate & Bias Crimes
The Kansas City Economy
Public Finance
Urban Economics
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Labor, Politics and Society
Nonprofit Organizations in Context
Latinx Immigrants, Migrants, and Refugees in the U.S
Social Movements
Immigration and the City
GIS For Urban Planning
Planning Theory And Practice
Transportation Planning
Planning For Historic Preservation
Urban Environment Planning And Design
Planning Law And Practice
Total Credits18

NOTE: Courses counted towards the core requirements cannot be double-counted for the Interest Area

Internship (3-6 hours)

In developing internships, students should first contact the urban studies director.

The student is expected to participate in work activities in a community organization and receive instruction from agency staff for a minimum of 240 hours on site by the end of the program.

The internship may be repeated up to a maximum of two semesters and should be taken as URBAN ST 495. Other internship courses may satisfy this requirement with approval of the advisor.

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major. Please see the tab above to view the major map for this program.

UMKC’s Transfer Guides provide detailed guidance on recommended transfer coursework, plans of study, transfer timelines, and transfer contact information. To ensure a seamless transfer experience, students are encouraged to work with both their community college advisor and a UMKC advisor when planning their coursework.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Audit’ degree audit system provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for students' officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Plans’ degree planning tool enables students to develop a personalized semester by semester plan of study towards completion of degree requirements for student’s officially recorded (Office of the Registrar) and “what if” exploratory plans of study. Update and edit your full plan to degree completion each term and confirm accuracy each semester with your Academic Advisor(s).