The Undergraduate Certificate in Urban Studies draws from classes in sociology, geography, history, political science, economics, urban studies, and urban planning to explore issues related to cities, suburban communities and metropolitan regions such as transportation, education, housing, population shifts, crime, discrimination, and more.

Certificates are similar to minors in terms of credit requirements but draw on coursework from multiple fields of study rather than from a single department.


The Urban Studies Undergraduate Certificate program is open to all students seeking a bachelor's degree from UWM, to students who previously have received a bachelor's degree from UWM or any other accredited college or university, and to those who do not plan to pursue a college or university degree (non-degree students) but who have a strong interest in this subject. To be admitted to the University as non-degree students, individuals must meet regular University admission requirements. Students currently involved in baccalaureate studies who complete the requirements of the program successfully will be awarded the certificate at the time of graduation. Post-baccalaureate and non-degree students will receive the certificate upon successful completion of the program requirements.


  1. Completion of 18 credits in approved urban studies courses with a minimum GPA of 2.500.
  2. Completion of URB STD 250 (Exploring the Urban Environment), URB STD 193 (First-Year Seminar), or URB STD 360 (Perspectives on the Urban Scene).
  3. Of the 18 credits:
    1. 6 must be in the humanities;
    2. 6 in the social sciences; and
    3. 9 must be at the 300 level or above taken in residence at UWM. 
  4. No more than 9 credits from any one department outside Urban Studies may count toward the certificate.
  5. A maximum of 6 credits in independent study may be taken. In the senior year, a student may plan an independent study course to synthesize previous work in urban studies.
  6. An internship in URB STD 289 or URB STD 489 is recommended highly.
  7. While students may elect courses outside the College of Letters and Science to count toward the certificate, at least 12 credits must be completed in L&S courses, at least 6 of these at the 300 level or above.
  8. Credits earned at other institutions in equivalent urban studies programs and accepted by UWM as transfer credits may count in partial fulfillment of the certificate requirements.

Urban Studies Approved Courses

The following courses in the College of Letters and Science are approved to count toward the Urban Studies Certificate. Each semester, the Advisory Committee will review and approve variable content course sections for the Certificate. Contact the Urban Studies Program for the most current list of approved courses.

AFRIC 125Economics of the Black Community3
AFRIC 300Urban Violence3
AFRIC 319African American Urban History3
AFRIC 341Black Politics and City Government3
AFRIC 416Race and Social Justice in the United States3
ANTHRO 431Cities and Culture3
ARCH 190Special Topics: (only with topic "Field School")1-3
ARCH 302Architecture and Human Behavior3
ARCH 304Contemporary Criticism and Urbanism3
ARTHIST 356American Architecture3
ARTHIST 425The Age of Pilgrimage and Crusade: Romanesque Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 426The Age of the Great Cathedrals: Gothic Art and Architecture3
ARTHIST 431Renaissance Architecture in Italy3
ARTHIST 462Frank Lloyd Wright3
BUS ADM 441Diversity in Organizations3
CRM JST 291Current Issues in Criminal Justice:1-3
CRM JST 310Race, Crime, and Criminal Justice3
ED POL 111Introduction to Community Action and Change3
ED POL 113The Milwaukee Community3
ED POL 114Community Issues, Policies, and Solutions3
ED POL 203Communities and Neighborhoods in America3
ED POL 630Race, Ethnicity, and Public Policy in Urban America3
GEOG 114Geography of Race in the United States3
GEOG 140Our Urban Environment: Introduction to Urban Geography3
GEOG 215Introduction to Geographic Information Science3
GEOG 247Quantitative Analysis in Geography 13
GEOG 441Geography of Cities and Metropolitan Areas3
GEOG 443Cities of the World: Comparative Urban Geography3
GEOG 464Environmental Problems3
GEOG 520Physical Geography of the City3
GEOG 525Geographic Information Science4
GEOG 540Globalization and the City3
GEOG 564Urban Environmental Change and Social Justice3
GEOG 625Intermediate Geographic Information Science4
HIST 192First-Year Seminar: (Living in Ancient Rome or The Burbs: History of American Suburbs)3
HIST 200Historical Roots of Contemporary Issues: (Making of the American Ghetto)3
HIST 303A History of Greek Civilization: The Greek City-State3
HIST 307A History of Rome: The Republic3
HIST 308A History of Rome: The Empire3
HIST 404Topics in American History: (Approved topics: Big City Life Viewed Through HBO’s 'The Wire'; A Tale of Two Cities: Milwaukee and Los Angeles)3
HIST 436Immigrant America Since 18803
HIST 440History of the American Working Classes3
HIST 446African Americans Since the Civil War3
HIST 450The History of Milwaukee3
HIST 460The History of Poverty in America3
HIST 463History of the American City3
HIST 595The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data 13
POL SCI 213Urban Government and Politics3
POL SCI 243Public Administration3
POL SCI 390Political Data Analysis 13
POL SCI 450Urban Political Problems3
POL SCI 452Administrative Law3
PUB ADM 243Public Administration3
PUB ADM 452Administrative Law3
SOC WRK 306Introduction to Social Welfare Policy3
SOC WRK 630Families and Poverty3
SOCIOL 224Race and Ethnicity in the United States3
SOCIOL 235Social Change in the Global Economy3
SOCIOL 261Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology 13
SOCIOL 323Perspectives on Latino Communities3
SOCIOL 324Race and Ethnicity in Global Contexts3
SOCIOL 325Social Change3
SOCIOL 330Economy and Society3
SOCIOL 350Environmental Sociology3
SOCIOL 377Urbanism and Urbanization3
THEATRE 305The Theatrical Experience: (With topic: Out and About in Milwaukee)3
URBPLANAll U and U/G courses
URB STDAll U and U/G courses

If a student takes one of these quantitative courses, it is not recommended to take another from this group because of their similarity.