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Urban and Regional Studies, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a concentration in regional analysis and development

Special requirements

Proof of competency with Excel software is a prerequisite for URSP/GEOG 306, and GEOG 204 (or permission of instructor) is a prerequisite for URSP/ENVS/GEOG 332.

The Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies requires 120 credits, including 40 credits within the major. The program is designed so that students may enter as late as their junior year and provides a solid foundation for professional work or advanced study aimed at addressing some of the most important challenges and issues facing the U.S. and other world regions, such as urban sprawl, economic marginalization, ethnic and racial conflict and environmental degradation. The program covers a wide range of topics related to these issues, including transportation, housing, land use, environmental management, regional and international development, human-environment interaction, globalization and socioeconomic change. Students can focus on the subject matter of their interest by choosing to concentrate in either urban planning and policy or regional analysis and development; alternatively they may opt for a generalized course of study. Nine core courses and a lab (28 credits total) are required for all majors. These courses provide fundamental background knowledge in an array of disciplines that form the foundations of urban and regional studies, such as urban planning and design, human and physical geography, economics, environmental management, urban and public policy, and geographic information systems. Students complete their remaining 12 credits within one of the two concentrations or through a generalized course of study.

The program helps develop a theoretical and methodological background as well as analytical skills that can be used to address a wide range of issues and problems. Students acquire marketable skills in qualitative and quantitative analysis, computer usage, problem solving and communication — as well as a broad perspective on environment and society — that are essential for many occupations.

The concentration in regional analysis and development focuses on the economic, sociopolitical, technological and environmental transformations affecting most nations and regions. In some cases, these have given rise to difficult problems and challenges, such as poverty and economic marginalization, resource scarcity, environmental degradation and ethnic conflict. Such issues are addressed by drawing upon both the natural and social sciences and by utilizing detailed yet holistic analysis of the problems and their root causes. The concentration seeks to engage students in exploring how particular regions can maintain or create favorable economic, social and environmental conditions in light of the rapid transformations that are taking place at multiple scales. Like the discipline of geography to which it is related, the regional analysis and development concentration focuses on the phenomena of place and space and, more specifically, on the biophysical, socioeconomic and cultural characteristics of regions and the relationships among these characteristics. Students examine how and why places and regions differ from one another, how and why they change over time and how societies interact with the natural environment. They also explore the impacts of existing and potential policies and programs on regional socioeconomic and environmental conditions.

Degree requirements for Urban and Regional Studies, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a concentration in regional analysis and development

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

Multidisciplinary understanding of urban and regional dynamics, and other factors:
Students will develop a multidisciplinary understanding of urban life, including the following aspects: (1) the urbanization process in modern America; (2) urbanization in other cultures and in non-contemporary periods; (3) urban design and the built environment; (4) urban economic geography; (5) urban demographics and urban sociology; (6) the relationship of the natural environment to urbanization and the built environment; (7) urban politics; (8) urban finance; (9) urban problems and planning as a response; (10) links between urban studies-related disciplines.

Mastery of general and major-specific skills:
Students will develop the skills necessary to function as a well-rounded, educated citizen, as well as skills useful in urban analysis, planning and community development careers, specifically: (1) oral communication; (2) written communication; (3) quantitative analysis; (4) library research; (5) cause and effect reasoning; (6) organized presentation of ideas; (7) scientific method; (8) critical and independent thinking; (9) computer proficiency; (10) ability to work in groups; (11) graphic communication; (12) analysis of data in map form; (13) government documents research.

Ethics and sense of social and personal responsibility:
Students will develop a strong ethical foundation and a sense of social and personal responsibility, including how to: (1) understand and respect the complex notions of the public good; (2) evince sensitivity to human needs and to working toward a humane and democratic society; (3) recognize and understand ethical dimensions of social conflict, make reasoned judgments to resolve conflicts and be willing to take appropriate action; (4) understand and appreciate diverse cultural perspectives; (5) understand and adhere to ethical standards of professional behavior.

General Education requirements (32-46 credits) Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)  
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities 3
Approved H&S general education electives 6-8
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)  
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)  
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)  
Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts) 1-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement) 0-8
Collateral requirements (3 credits)  
STAT 210 Basic Practice of Statistics 3
Major requirements (40 credits)  
GEOG 102 Introduction to Human Geography 3
GEOG 204 Physical Geography 3
GEOZ 204 Physical Geography Laboratory 1
URSP 108 Uncovering Richmond, URSP 116 Introduction to the City or URSP 120 Urban Issues in Film 3
URSP 302 Land Use and Infrastructure Planning 3
URSP 306 Urban Economic Geography 3
URSP 313 Urban Research and Field Methods in Urban and Regional Studies 3
URSP/GEOG 332 Environmental Management 3
URSP 360 Community and Regional Analysis and GIS 3
URSP 440 Senior Capstone Seminar in Urban and Regional Studies 3
Regional analysis and development concentration electives 12
Open electives (31-45 credits)  
Open electives 31-45
Total minimum requirement 120

Regional analysis and development concentration electives

(choose four as directed, a minimum of 12 credits, from the following):

URSP/GEOG 420 Regional Planning and Sustainable Development (required)

One from:

GEOG/INTL 303 World Regions
GEOG/INTL 304 World Regions
GEOG 331 Geography of Latin America and the Caribbean
GEOG/AFAM/INTL 333 Geography of Africa
GEOG/INTL 334 Regional Geography of ____

And two from:
GEOG 203 Physical Geography
GEOZ 203 Physical Geography Laboratory
GEOG/ANTH 312 History of Human Settlement
GEOG/ENVS 335 Environmental Geology
GEOG/ENVS 401 Meteorology and Climatology
GEOG/ENVS 411 Oceanography
URSP 502 Global Economic Change and Geography

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]



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Last update: 5/9/2013

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