What to Expect

What can you expect from the Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Planning (BAUSP) program? Here you’ll find information about our curriculum, courses, and advising.

Our Curriculum

The Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Planning degree requires a minimum of 120 hours. This includes:

  • core requirements
  • 1 concentration
  • electives
  • capstone

Students may complete more than 1 concentration, but courses cannot be double counted. You will take an additional 15 hours of Urban Planning electives, plus open electives as needed, to reach 120 hours. Urban Planning electives are any Urban Planning courses which are not part of the core curriculum. Workshops beyond the required 4 credit hours may count as Urban Planning electives. You will also complete the University General Education requirements. Some Urban Studies and Planning courses apply toward those requirements.

Continuation in this program requires at least a 2.00 GPA.


Summary of Courses

1st Year UP 101 and 4 Foundation Courses
2nd Year UP 201, UP 203, or UP 204 Concentration Gateway Course
3rd Year UP 312, UP 316, Concentration Electives, UP 301 Capstone Preparation
4th Year Concentration Workshop (UP 447, UP 456, UP 457, or UP 478); Capstone Experience (UP 390 or UP 397); and UP 401 Undergraduate Capstone Seminar
15 hours of UP electives, GE not met by UP foundation and core, open electives


Foundation Courses

Hours Requirements
    3 RHET 105 or equivalent (GE: Comp I)
   3-4 AAS 100 - Intro to Asian American Studies (GE: CNW, SBS); AFRO 100 - Intro to African American Studies (GE: CNW, SBS); AIS 102 - Contemporary Issues in Indian Country (GE: SBS, USM); GEOG 101 - Global Development and Environment (GE: CNW, SBS); GEOG 104 - Social and Cultural Geography (GE: SBS); LLS 100 - Intro to Latino/Latina Studies (GE: CNW, SBS); or SOC 100 - Intro to Soc (GE: SBS)
   3-4 ECON 102 - Microeconomic Principles (GE: SBS) or ACE 100 - Agricultural Consumer and Resource Economics (GE: SBS)
   3-4 UP 116 - Urban Informatics I (GE: QR I); STAT 100 or equivalent (GE: QR I)


Urban Studies and Planning Core

Hours Requirements
    3 UP 101 - Introduction to City Planning
    3 UP 201 - Planning in Action
    3 UP 203 - Cities: Planning and Urban Life or UP 204 - Chicago: Planning and Urban Life
    4 UP 312 - Communication for Planners (GE: Advanced Comp)
    3 UP 316 - Urban Informatics II (GE: QR II)


Sustainability Concentration

Hours Requirements
    3 Gateway: UP 205 - Ecology and Environmental Sustainability (GE: Natural Science and Technology)
   6-8 Electives (2 required): UP 136 - Urban Sustainability; UP 405 - Watershed Ecology; UP 406 - Urban Ecology; UP 420 - Planning for Historic Preservation; UP 446 - Sustainable Planning Seminar; UP 460 - Transportation and Land Use Policy; UP 466 - Energy Planning and Built Environment; UP 480 - Sustainable Design Principles
    4 Workshop: UP 456 - Sustainable Planning Workshop


Policy and Planning Concentration

Hours Requirements
    3 Gateway: UP 211 - Local Planning, Government, and Law
   6-8 Electives (2 required): UP 330 - The Modern American City; UP 340 - Planning for Healthy Cities; UP 345 - Economic Development Planning; UP 407 - State and Local Public Finance; UP 420 - Planning for Historic Preservation; UP 430 - Urban Transportation Planning; UP 473 - Housing and Urban Policy; UP 474 - Neighborhood Revitalization; UP 460 - Transportation/Land Use Policy
    4 Workshop: UP 447 - Land Use Planning Workshop; UP 457 - Small Town/Rural Planning Workshop


Social Justice Concentration

Hours Requirements
    3 Gateway: UP 260 - Social Inequality and Planning (GE: Social and Behavioral Science)
   6-8 Electives (2 required): UP 340 - Planning for Healthy Cities; UP 423 - Community Development in the Global South; UP 473 - Housing and Urban Policy; UP 474 - Neighborhood Revitalization
    4 Workshop: UP 478 - Community Development Workshop


Global Cities Concentration

Hours Requirements
    3 Gateway: UP 185 - Cities in a Global Perspective (GE: Cultural Studies Non-Western/US Minority Culture)
   6-8 Electives (2 required): UP 406 - Urban Ecology; UP 423 - Community Development in the Global South
    4 Workshop: Study Abroad



Hours Requirements
    1 Capstone Preparation: During the third year, students enroll in UP 301 - Capstone Preparation. Students meet individually with their capstone advisor to develop a plan to meet the capstone requirement. To pass this course, students must turn in a proposal at the end of the semester.
    3 Capstone Experience: Students engage in a semester- or summer-long applied activity outside of the classroom. The Capstone Experience is intended to engage the students in the real world and prepare them for the job market. Students typically complete this requirement during their Junior year, but have the option to complete it during the summer between their third and fourth year. Examples include a paid or unpaid internship, volunteer work, consulting project with a client, summer research, and more. Students enroll in UP 390 - Planning Internship and/or UP 397 - Undergraduate Capstone to receive credit.
    2 Capstone Seminar: During the fourth year, students enroll in UP 401 for two semesters. Students will participate in monthly activities to discuss and reflect on the Capstone Experience. In addition, students will present a poster summarizing their capstone experience in a public setting—for example at a public engagement conference, public meeting or community meeting, McNair Scholars conference, James Scholars event, Illinois American Planning Association meeting, undergraduate research symposium, other networking with professionals through the Wetmore Lecture Series.



Meet Your Undergraduate Advisor

Plan your curriculum with Undergraduate Advisor Alice E. Novak, BAUSP Program Director. Alice advises students majoring and minoring in Urban Studies and Planning. Alice will help you with:

  • course selection
  • transfers
  • Urban Studies and Planning Minor
  • BAUSP students seeking a minor in other fields
  • technical needs such as course petitions, course substitutions, and late course changes
  • Study Abroad course approvals

Alice E. Novak, BAUSP Program Director
111D Temple Buell Hall
Office Hours: Generally open office hours, but appointments are encouraged
Voice: 217-244-5402
Email: novak2@illinois.edu


College of Fine and Applied Arts, Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs

The FAA Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs will assist with:

  • questions about records
  • AP credit or transfer courses
  • degree certification

Zelda Gardner, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Ellen Marr, FAA Admissions and Records Officer
110 Architecture Building
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM–noon and 1:005:00 PM
Voice: 217-333-6061
Email: faa-uaa@illinois.edu
Web: faa.illinois.edu/current-students/academic-support-policies

Students may meet with the staff on a walk-in basis or schedule an appointment by calling 217-333-6061.


Web Resources

The following sites provide additional advising information and support:

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