Urban Studies

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Urban Studies

Department of Social Science

S775 Ross Building
Tel.: 416-736-5054, ext. 77796
Program Description:

The city is among the most fundamental of human institutions. Across history, cities have been sites of basic innovation in economic, political and cultural life — centres of trade, seats of empire and the locale of scientific, social and artistic creativity. Cities retain these roles today and are the home of a growing majority of the world’s population who increasingly live in large metropolitan regions of several million people. Often, as in many Canadian cities, these urban regions are marked by complex social diversity, striking contrasts of wealth and poverty, and a challenging array of planning and environmental dilemmas.
These several themes are the focus of York’s Urban Studies program which offers a framework for an undergraduate liberal-arts education based in the study of modern metropolitan life and the social and spatial fabrics of cities. The program is interdisciplinary, drawing on the work of scholars and researchers who have viewed the urban field from a range of perspectives in the social sciences and humanities. Its courses encourage a critical appreciation of the everyday life that we experience as Canadian city-dwellers and of the modern city in historical and comparative context, and they seek to explore future challenges that may confront city-building and urbanism. Many courses also stress field studies in the streets and neighbourhoods of Toronto.
The program provides a good foundation for graduate study in such fields as urban planning, community development, municipal affairs or international development, or for careers in such areas as education or journalism. Many program alumni now work as planners, policy advisers, researchers and research consultants, teachers, real estate entrepreneurs, government or corporate administrators, social workers, lawyers or in other professions for which their undergraduate studies served as a springboard. Students may explore these possibilities in the program’s 4000-level work-placement course.

Certificates Offered

General Certificate in Urban Studies - Certificate Requirements

Department of Social Science

For purposes of meeting certificate requirements, all nine-credit general education (foundation) courses will count as six credits.

York University students may earn a General Certificate in Urban Studies concurrent with fulfillment of the requirements for a bachelor’s degree. This certificate is not, however, open to students who are pursuing or who already hold a degree in urban studies.

Graduating with a certificate: except where otherwise stated, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 4.00 is required to satisfy certificate requirements. Students must also submit application to graduate from a certificate program. Applications should be obtained from and filed with the unit administering the certificate program. Transcript notation that the requirements for a certificate have been completed will be made once the Registrar’s Office has received notice from the unit administering the program. Certificates will not be conferred until candidates have successfully completed an undergraduate degree program if they are simultaneously enrolled in a degree and a certificate program. The Faculty does not award certificates retroactively. Refer to the Academic Standards section for details of the undergraduate certificate minimum standards.

To qualify for the General Certificate in Urban Studies, students must complete 24 credits from a list of approved urban studies courses and the cumulative grade point average in these 24 credits must be 5.00 (C+) or higher.

Course requirements for the general certificate are as follows:

  • AP/SOSC 2710 6.00;
  • 18 additional credits from among the courses recognized as satisfying the degree requirements in urban studies, including at least six credits at the 4000 level;
  • an advising appointment with the coordinator of the General Certificate in Urban Studies.

Courses taken to fulfill the requirements for the General Certificate in Urban Studies may not also be used to fulfill requirements for the degree in public policy and administration. For a current list of approved courses, refer to the urban studies section. Further information about the General Certificate in Urban Studies is available from the coordinator of the Urban Studies program or the coordinator of the Public Policy and Administration program.

Degrees Offered

Urban Studies (BA) Degree Requirements
  • Specialized Honours BA: 120 Credits
  • Honours BA: 120 Credits
  • Honours Double Major BA
  • Honours Double Major Interdisciplinary (Linked) BA
  • Honours Major/Minor BA
  • Honours Minor BA
  • BA: 90 Credits

Course Listing

Course Listings Timetables Summer 2017
Course Listings Timetables Fall/Winter 2017-2018