Urban Studies and Planning

College of Fine & Applied Arts


What is Urban Studies and Planning?

Urban Studies & Planning focuses on the way our cities are designed, constructed, and planned. You'll have the opportunity to decide what you enjoy more, from planning parks to working on highway transportation. Projects can range from upgrading a historical neighborhood to city planning. As an Urban Studies and Planning student, you’ll study:

  • Planning philosophy
  • Analytical methods
  • Problem formulation and resolution
  • Law and local government
  • Aesthetic, cultural, social, economic, ecological, and physical characteristics of human settlement

This major is intended to prepare you for a career as a professional planner or graduate study in planning or a related field. 

Career Options

  • Economic development
  • Environmental protection & regulation
  • Historic preservation & regulation
  • Housing & community development
  • Nonprofit work
  • Parks & recreation
  • Planning, zoning, & building
  • Real estate development
  • State government
  • Transportation & parking

Post-Graduation Success1

90% employed or continuing education

55% employed after graduation

35% attending graduate school

$42,173 average starting annual income

Sample employer destinations: Insufficient survey data is available for sample employer destinations.

Sample grad school destinations: Insufficient survey data is available for sample grad school destinations.

Review Criteria

First-Year Major-Specific Criteria

  • Strong social science coursework and performance

View All Review Criteria

Transfer Criteria

Transfer Guide

Graduation & Retention2

3.9 years to degree

90% first-year retention rate

63% four-year graduation rate

77% six-year graduation rate

Annual Program Costs3

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $14,340
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,222
  • Total: $37,490


  • Tuition: $33,460
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses:$18,562
  • Total: $56,950


  • Tuition: $34,408
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,562
  • Total: $57,898