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Message from the Director »

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Our four year Urban Studies program offers the opportunity to share the laboratory that great urbanists and planners used to study and transform cities, the Chicago metropolitan region. Our students experience and analyze urban issues from many different academic and practical perspectives in a department dedicated exclusively to the city.

The Urban Studies (formerly Urban and Public Affairs) degree is a pre-professional program that prepares students to enter urban professions and graduate programs. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the complexity and diversity of cities as well as seek specializations in particular issues affecting cities. Aside from this, students have the opportunity to complete internships and to acquire computer, research and other skills proper of the field of urban planning and policy.

Contact the Urban Studies program advisor, Carlos Lopez, to see what our program has to offer or to schedule a visit.

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Message from the Director

Dear Prospective Student:
We offer you the opportunity to be part of our urban studies program in one of the best public universities in the country and one of the best cities of the world, indeed one that inspired plans and initiatives for generations to admire and imitate.

Our Bachelor of Urban Studies (US) degree offers students a great start in the field of urban planning and policy, preparing them for graduate school and jobs especially but not exclusively in public service or in non-profit organizations. Undergrads keen on continuing to graduate school that excel in their performance may also receive automatic acceptance in our Bachelor’s/Master’s joint degree program in Urban Planning and Policy.

Urban Studies offers a multidisciplinary curriculum that draws on fields as diverse as sociology, economics, political science, urban planning, and environmental sustainability among others. Elements of the program such as the capstone and internships connect students with research projects, community engagement, and public events. The program is housed in a small college that offers students a personalized environment and an excellent staff that takes pride in advising and assisting students with their needs. A student organization (SUPA) provides opportunities for leadership development, serves as a mechanism to provide ongoing feedback towards program improvements and organizes activities of the students’ choice. A truly exceptional feature of the program is its home in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs that includes two academic departments and nine urban-focused research centers or institutes offering events that add tremendously to the curriculum.

Whether you are a prospective first year high school or transfer student new to UIC, a current UIC student seeking a major that fits your interests, or a current US major, I wish to encourage you to peruse our website for a wealth of information on the program and the university. Please stay in touch with us by connecting with our Facebook page. Thanks for stopping by.

John J. Betancur, PhD
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Urban Planning and Policy

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Visit the program

Urban Studies staff can assist in arranging visits to classes in session, meetings with current students, and attendance at Urban Studies and CUPPA events during your visit. To schedule a visit to CUPPA, classroom visit, or for more information on the next Open House, please call (312) 413-2565. Personal appointments for information about our degree program can be arranged by email to Carlos Lopez, Urban Studies Program Coordinator, or by phone at (312) 413-2565.

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Admission requirements

First year or transfer students interested in the admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies must complete a standard application to the University and be admitted by the Department of Urban Planning and Policy, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. Admission is competitive, and preference is given to those applicants selected to have the best potential for academic success.

Transfer Students who have completed a minimum of 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of transferable college classroom credit by the time of application, and do not meet the definition of an incoming freshman or a readmission applicant may apply to transfer into the program. The minimum transfer grade point average for admission is 2.5/4.0 scale. Application should include a personal statement of educational goals.

Admission for current UIC students to the Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies within CUPPA requires a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and at least one term of study.

Additional transfer admission requirements include a personal statement. The personal statement should be one to two pages, double-spaced and should include information on educational and career goals, detailing relevant academic and/or employment experience and academic or professional interest in the Urban Studies Bachelor’s degree program.

International applicants must also obtain a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 80, with sub-scores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Speaking 20, and Writing 21 (Internet Based).

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How to apply

First year or Transfer students should apply by submitting an application through the UIC Office of Admissions and Records.

Current UIC students should set up an information session with Carlos Lopez or (312) 413-2565 and submit a personal statement.

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Tuition and fees

Complete information about tuition and fees is available at the UIC office of Admissions and Records.

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Scholarships and financial aid

Financial Aid

Student wishing to be considered for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Student Federal Aid (FAFSA). For complete information on filling out the FASFA and financial options please visit the UIC Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA)

UIC-Affiliated Scholarship Programs

Scholarships Overview Scholarship Association for UIC
Each spring the Scholarship Association for UIC offers scholarships for current UIC students. Their site has a large list of scholarships and contact information.

University-Wide Student Programs Administered Scholarships
University Student Programs also maintains a list. These scholarships are also open to University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) and Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) students.

Office of Special Scholarship Programs
The OSS office does not award scholarships, but assists UIC students with applying for nationally competitive scholarships. Services are available to current UIC students only.

ROTC Scholarships
This is a list of ROTC scholarships for prospective and current UIC ROTC cadets.

A Monster.com scholarship matching service. This site is not affiliated with UIC.

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