Aug 13, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Urban Studies, M.I.S.


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The MIS in Urban Studies prepares students for professional or academic careers with specialized knowledge and skills in urban studies. Students will develop a sophisticated understanding of urbanization and the making of cities. They will demonstrate strong analytical skills designed to promote best practices for solving complex challenges of urban environments and synthesize this information at local, national, and international scales. The program is based mainly in the social sciences and is oriented towards translational or policy-relevant research and teaching around cities; it does not emphasize technical planning. It combines:

  1. Interdisciplinary urban theory and knowledge: Graduates of the MIS in Urban Studies will be competent urbanists. They will be capable of interpreting and analyzing urban issues from multiple perspectives while recognizing the strengths and limitations of these approaches.
  2. Analytical skills: Graduates will be critical thinkers with demonstrable competencies across a range of quantitative and qualitative methods.
  3. Application of knowledge within the field: Graduates will be competent communicators, able to apply and communicate their urban knowledge to diverse stakeholder communities.
  4. Principles of inclusive and equity urban development: Graduates will demonstrate an orientation towards inclusive, equitable, and sustainable urban development informed by USI’s approach to urban studies.

The master’s degree program is  a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, with the potential for completion in 18 months. The program is housed and managed in the Urban Studies Institute, which was established in 2016 in accordance with the University’s fourth strategic goal. The program consists of four core courses (two in URB) and a set of electives, along with a 6-credit capstone experience. The competencies outcomes of the MIS program are designed to be consistent with the mission and goals of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, and Georgia State University.

The program has four learning objectives for students:

  1. Core knowledge in Urban Studies: Students will be able to identify and interpret historical, current, and emerging urban issues, opportunities, and challenges in the U.S. and globally, particularly regarding themes of economic resilience, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.
  2. Methodological competencies: Students will acquire the skills to collect and assess data necessary to analyze urban structures, processes, and phenomenon via quantitative and/or qualitative methods (e.g. GIS, statistics, modelling, interviewing, ethnography).
  3. Analysis and interpretation of evidence: Students will develop investigative research skills to analyze complex urban questions and utilize different analytical skills to independently create translational research with strong societal/policy relevance.
  4. Scholarly communication and professionalism: Students will communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Students will engage in ethical practices and demonstrate ethical principles that comports with equitable and equal urban societies.

Degree Requirements


Required Core Courses (12 Credit Hours)


GIS Course


Methods Course


Electives (12 Credits Hours)


Capstone Experience (6 Credit Hours)


Students in the MIS Urban Studies program will elect whether to complete a Research Track or a Professional Track capstone experience. These options can be chosen after completing 12 credit hours in the degree program.

Research Track


The two research papers are supervised by USI core or affiliate faculty. Research track students develop and conduct original research that rigorously investigates empirical and conceptual urban challenges in their area of interest.

Professional Track


Students complete a master’s project or research paper under the supervision of USI core or affiliate faculty (3 credits) and a 175-hour internship working with a public, private, or non-profit organization engaged in the urban research, advocacy, or decision-making.

Graduate Assistantships


Graduate assistants are required to enroll for a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester. These credit hours consist of courses required for the prescribed 30 credit hours program of study, as well as additional hours of URB 8999 - Graduate Research in Urban Studies .

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