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A Degree in Urban Studies for Military and Veterans

Getting an Urban Studies Degree

A Degree in Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary education that focuses on understanding cities, towns, urban life, economics, and all the related social complexities.

What can you do with an Urban Studies Degree?

A Degree in Urban Studies offers an abundance of career opportunities! From office jobs to outside jobs and even working for yourself as an independent contractor, jobs and careers in Urban Studies are vast and varied. Options include:

  • Government
  • Energy
  • Transportation
  • Telecommunications
  • Entertainment
  • Architecture
  • Planning & Development
  • Engineering
  • Environment
  • Sustainability
  • Social Studies
  • Behavioral Sciences

Is an Urban Studies Degree hard?

A Degree in Urban Studies is not hard! An Urban Studies Degree is interesting and exciting as students focus on cities as distinctive entities, with a meaning and function innate throughout larger society. This Degree can be found as a bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs.

Certificate in Urban Studies

Both undergraduate and graduate certificates are available to students on a limited basis, although options are expanding as Urban Studies continues to grow. Certificates are wonderful assets for those already working in or seeking a career in industries that will be impacted by the growth of this emerging field.

Associate Degree in Urban Studies

An Associate Degree in Urban Studies will have students in introductory studies as they explore the growth and development of cities and towns. An Associate Degree in Urban Studies will also provide students with a strong academic foundation in core courses such as Language Arts, Maths, and Sciences. Students will be well-prepared for entry level careers and/or to continue their college career to earn a Bachelor’s Degree.

Jobs with a Certificate in Urban Studies

  • Conservation Worker– Typically works for state and local governments or on privately owned lands. Conservation Workers measure and improve the quality of forests. Median Annual Salary: $31,000.
  • Photographer– Uses technical expertise (including the rising popularity of aerial footage), creativity, and composition skills to produce and preserve images. Median Annual Salary: $39,000.


Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies

A Bachelor’s in Urban Studies is truly an interdisciplinary degree covering a wide range of studies. Urban Studies will begin from a city’s conception and is explored from a variety of aspects and disciplines including:

  • Economic Development
  • Sustainability
  • Environmental Impact
  • Land Development
  • Real Estate
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Analytical Research
  • Planning Law
  • Legislation

Jobs with a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies

  • Legislator – An elected position responsible for development, introduction, and/or enactment of laws and statutes at the local, state, tribal, or federal level. Median Annual Salary: $30,000.
  • Civil Engineering Technologist- Help civil engineers plan, design, and build infrastructure and development projects. Median Annual Salary: $58,000.
  • Photogrammetrist– Collect, measure, and interpret geographic information to create and update maps and charts for planning, education, and other purposes. Median Annual Salary: $69,000.
  • Civil Drafter- Prepare detailed drawings of architectural and structural features of buildings (or drawings and topographical relief maps) used in civil engineering projects such as highways, bridges, and public works. Median Annual Salary: $69,000.

Master’s Degree in Urban Studies

Graduate students are guided to customize their studies to fit their desired career focus. Accelerated and Dual-Degree programs are popular at the graduate level allowing students to earn their degree(s) in an abbreviated amount of time. Great graduate degree programs in Urban Studies also encourage students to participate in meaningful hands-on opportunities such as internships and research projects. A Master’s is also a popular choice for those choosing career paths such as research, writing, or teaching.

Jobs with a Master’s in Urban Studies

  • Urban Planner– Develop land use plans and programs that help create communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalize physical facilities. Median Annual Salary: $79,000.
  • Policy Analyst (Federal) – Analyze policy at the federal level, requiring significant expertise and experience. Median Annual Salary: $80,000.
  • Postsecondary Teacher– Instruct students in Unmanned Systems courses beyond the high school level. Median Annual Salary: $80,000.
  • Training and Development Manager- Plan, coordinate, and direct skills and knowledge programs for an organization’s staff. Median Annual Salary: $120,000.

Is an Urban Studies Degree worth it?

Yes, an Urban Studies Degree is definitely worth it! If you are looking for a great paying career with a variety of job opportunities, then this degree is an excellent choice. Students that use their educational entitlements (such as the GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon program, etc.) may be able to earn their degree without spending a dime out of pocket!

GI Bill®-approved Schools with Degrees in Urban Studies

Ready to start your Certificate or Degree in Urban Studies? Check out these great programs available at our partner schools:  

Loyola University Chicago

Offers Urban Studies as a minor for its undergraduate degrees and a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs. Loyola University Chicago is a Yellow Ribbon school.

Kent State University

Offers Urban Studies as a minor for its Associate degree and Bachelor degree options.

Saint Peters University

Offers Urban Studies as a major and minor for its Bachelor Degree programs. St. Peters is a Yellow Ribbon school.

University of Arizona

Offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Development. A BS in Urban and Regional Development is also offered as a campus-based program. University of Arizona also offers a Master of Science in Urban Planning and an accelerated option for this MS as well. University of Arizona is a GI Bill® approved school, offers credit for military experience, and awards credit for both the CLEP and DSST exams. University of Arizona is a Yellow Ribbon school and is approved for Tuition Assistance.


*All statistics and calculations from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more information click here.





About the author

Julie Provost is a freelance writer, and blogger. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.