The Certificate in Urban Studies is highly relevant to students interested in addressing emerging and persistent issues of the 21st century—social justice, climate change, environmental conservation, sustainable development, mobility and access, public health, and economic prosperity—each of which has local, urban, and regional dimensions.

The Certificate in Urban Studies is no longer available. Students earning the Certificate in Urban Studies may choose to complete that certificate or instead decide to earn the minor in urban studies.

The minor is available beginning in the spring 2022 semester; see the minor in urban studies in the Catalog.

The undergraduate Certificate in Urban Studies requires 18 s.h. of courses taken at the University of Iowa. Students must earn a g.p.a. of at least 3.00 in certificate coursework. Coursework for the certificate may not be taken pass/nonpass. The certificate may be earned by any student admitted to the University of Iowa who is not concurrently enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program.

Students may be able to count no more than 9 s.h. earned in certificate courses toward requirements for other undergraduate majors, minors, or certificates.

Students begin certificate work with URP:3001/GEOG:3920 Planning Livable Cities, which provides an introduction to urban studies, policy, and planning. In addition, students choose 15 s.h. in approved electives.

The Certificate in Urban Studies requires the following coursework.

Core Course

This course:
URP:3001/GEOG:3920Planning Livable Cities3

Elective Courses

15 s.h. from these:
URP:3350/ECON:3750/GEOG:3940Transportation Economics3
URP:4170Megacities Seminar1-3
URP:4225Applied GIS for Planning and Policy Making3
URP:4245Growth Management3
URP:4253Designing Sustainable and Healthy Cities1-3
URP:4256Environmental Policy3
URP:4260Transportation Policy and Planning3
URP:4266Transportation and Land Use Planning3
URP:4271Housing Policy3
URP:4273Community Development Through Creative Placemaking3
URP:4280Planning for Disaster Mitigation and Recovery2-3
URP:4295Economic Development Policy3
URP:4297Financing Economic Development for Poverty Alleviation3
URP:4752Eight Generation Planning: Envisioning Regenerative Cities3

Declaring the Certificate

To enter the certificate program, students must:

  • first complete URP:3001/GEOG:3920 Planning Livable Cities with a grade of B or higher, and
  • have completed 30 s.h. at the University of Iowa with a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.00.

Students may then declare the certificate in MyUI.

Students interested in pursuing the Certificate in Urban Studies must meet with the certificate advisor, be briefed on the certificate's expectations for performance, and complete a plan of study that must be approved by the certificate advisor.