urban studies

Admission requirements

  • Students admitted to UMKC may declare a major in urban studies at any time. To prepare for the major it is recommended that students take certain courses.
  • In satisfying a general education natural sciences requirement, students should take Environmental Science 110R, Environmental Science 210, or Geology 220.
  • In preparation for the core courses in the major, students should take introductory courses in economics, geography, psychology and sociology


  • Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary program in which majors take courses from seven departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and from the Bloch School’s Cookingham Institute of Public Affairs.
  • Urban Studies has the advantage of being in an urban university and in a dynamic metropolitan area noted for innovations in urban design and planning, strong neighborhood associations, numerous non-profit organizations dedicated to improving the city and urban life, and local government and private sector leadership in resolving urban problems.
  • Graduates of urban studies have many opportunities to work in their field in the Kansas City area or beyond and are well prepared, if they choose, to pursue graduate studies.
   oak street hall

Fast facts

  • There are approximately 30 students majoring in urban studies at UMKC.
  • The graduate program most often pursued by majors is a master’s degree in public administration.
  • Typical urban studies majors are individuals who want to improve the quality of urban life, like working with different people, enjoy learning about the city from the perspectives of different academic disciplines, are curious about how cities develop and change and are concerned about social justice.


Participating faculty are from the following departments and other academic units: 

  • Architecture, Urban Planning and Design
  • Cookingham Institute of Public Affairs
  • Economics and the Center for Economic Information 
  • Geosciences
  • History 
  • Political Science 
  • Psychology 
  • Sociology

Student organizations

  • Urban Academics Consortium is a UMKC student group that provides a forum for all students interested in the city. 
  • American Public Works Association has a UMKC chapter that allows students interested in the physical development of the city to interact with government officials and private industry.  


Explore career options for Urban Studies majors at

Contact us

Office of Admissions

120 Administrative Center
5115 Oak St.
Kansas City, MO 64112
Phone: 816-235-1111
Toll-free: 1-800-775-8652
Relay Missouri: 1-800-735-2966 (TTY)

Visit us

Students are encouraged to schedule a campus visit by visiting or calling 816-235-8652.


UMKC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.