Urban Studies, MS

School of Public Administration, College of Public Affairs & Community Service

Vision Statement

Our graduates are social entrepreneurs, urban thinkers and agents of change.  The Master of Science in Urban Studies (UBNS) is the degree for individuals desiring to make a difference in urban areas.  UNO's Urban Studies Program is a professional degree that trains leaders to critically analyze urban problems and engage residents in the creation of innovative solutions to conditions in the human community, built environment and natural systems. 

Program Contact Information

Dr. Robert Blair, Graduate Program Chair (GPC)
College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS) 111C
402-554-3865
rblair@unomaha.edu

Meagan Van Gelder, Coordinator
College of Public Affairs & Community Service (CPACS) 111
402-554-3480
mvangelder@unomaha.edu

Program Website

Admissions

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: June 1

Program-Specific Requirements

  • The general prerequisite for admission to the Urban Studies program is a four-year bachelors’ degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the junior and senior years combined (last 50-60 credit hours). Under extenuating circumstances an average below 3.0 will be considered.
  • International applicants who do not have a baccalaureate or equivalent degree from an English-speaking institution of higher education in the US, the United Kingdom, Canada, English-speaking Africa, Australia, Ireland, or New Zealand are required to submit TOEFL and GRE scores.
    • The minimum TOEFL requirement is 550 (written) or 213 (computer-based), or 80 (internet-based), or an IELTS of 6.5 or better, or a PTE with a score of 53 or better.
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
    • A two-page typed essay on how the Master of Science in Urban Studies will further the applicant’s career objectives must be included with the application for admission
  • Resume

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
UBNS 8000/GEOG 8830SEMINAR IN URBAN STUDIES3
PA/AVN 8120ANALYSIS AND DECISION MAKING3
PA 8010THE PUBLIC ECONOMY3
UBNS/BLST 8020RACE, ETHNICITY, AND AMERICAN URBAN CULTURE3
GEOG 8056GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS I4
UBNS 8200COMMUNITY ORGANIZING AND DEVELOPMENT3
Electives
Urban studies is an interdisciplinary field. The UBNS strives to expose students to courses taught by faculty in the School of Public Administration who have expertise in urban studies, as well as faculty in other academic units. Students select five (5) elective courses with the approval of the UBNS Chair from the following list based on interests in the human community, built environment or natural systems. This is subject to change depending on course availability, and prospective as well as current students should check the program's website periodically for updates.pproved by the Director of Urban Studies. Electives are intended to give students knowledge and skills that prepare them to manage projects and organizations. Electives currently include, but are not limited to the following:15
ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY AND HUMAN HEALTH
OUR ENERGY FUTURE: SOCIETY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY
URBAN GEOGRAPHY
URBAN SUSTAINABILITY
SEMINAR IN CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY
ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT
COMMUNITY HEALTH
URBAN POLITICS
ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL REPORTING FOR PUBLIC MANAGERS
MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION
INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & REGULATIONS
SPECIAL TOPICS PUBLIC ADMIN
SOCIAL INEQUALITY
URBAN SOCIOLOGY
SOCIETY & HEALTH
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL CHANGE
Exit Requirements
Select one of the following:3-6
Non-Thesis Option:
CAPSTONE PROJECT IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Thesis Option:
THESIS
Total Credits37-40

Internship

Students who have not had at least two years full-time professional experience in the public or nonprofit sector (experience must have been in the sector of the student’s primary future career interest) are encouraged to complete an internship. The internship may be given as a supervised course of three credit hours in addition to the 37 hours required in the Urban Studies program. The internship is taken following completion of preparatory coursework as determined by the Director of the Urban Studies program.

Total Credit Hours

Non-Thesis Option 37

Thesis Option: 40

UBNS 8000  SEMINAR IN URBAN STUDIES (3 credits)

This course provides an interdisciplinary overview of the forces influencing and influenced by urbanization and urbanism. (Cross-listed with GEOG 8830)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students.

UBNS 8020  RACE, ETHNICITY, AND AMERICAN URBAN CULTURE (3 credits)

This course explores two central themes, race and ethnicity, which have played a dominant role in the shaping of American society and American culture. (Cross-listed with BLST 8020).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): BLST 1000, BLST 1100, or permission by the instructor.

UBNS 8060  INTRODUCTION TO URBAN PLANNING (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to the development of urban planning as it has shaped and reacted to major trends in U.S. history. It provides students with major themes and traditions in the field of planning and includes planning practice, planning procedures and methods and contemporary issues in the field.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students.

UBNS 8200  COMMUNITY ORGANIZING AND DEVELOPMENT (3 credits)

This course focuses on various theories and applications of organizing communities and neighborhoods to effect change. Of particular interest is the role of engaging citizens in improving their communities.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students.

UBNS 8820  COMPARATIVE URBAN STUDIES (3 credits)

Emphasis is upon contrasting the cities of the developed and developing areas of the world

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Not open to non-degree graduate students.

UBNS 8940  DIRECTED RESEARCH IN URBAN STUDIES (1-3 credits)

The course is intended for advanced graduate students in urban studies. It is especially suited for those in-career students who have had their internships waived and who might profit more by in-depth research on a problem of urban studies rather than additional classroom courses. (Cross-listed with GEOG 8840).

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Completed 9 graduate hours in Urban Studies. Permission from the School. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

UBNS 8980  THESIS (1-6 credits)

A research project, designed and executed under the supervision of the chair and members of the graduate student's Thesis Advisory Committee. In this project, the student will develop and perfect a number of skills including the ability to design, conduct, analyze, and report the results in writing (i.e., thesis) of an original, independent scientific investigation. The project plan must be approved by the student's Thesis Advisory Committee.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate student in UBNS and approval of Thesis Advisory Committee.