What Can I Do With a Major In Urban Studies?

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Marlena Yang
Career Counselor

Major Information

Urban Studies majors go on to successful careers in academics, advocacy, business, government, law, politics, public policy, research, publishing, and much more.

Students in the Urban Studies program can pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.). See the Urban Studies site to learn about these options and their areas of focus.

All liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and Urban Studies majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include:

  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Ability to formulate clear and persuasive messages
  • Listening, clarifying, questioning and responding skills
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work well with diverse groups
  • Independent, self-motivated work ethic

Interest CodeIES                  

Internship & Job Search Websites

Professional Organizations

Career Options

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although, keep in mind that there are urban studies alumni in all eight of the career fields).  For more career information for urban studies majors, utilize these additional resources:

  • What Can I Do With This Major - Find information about common career paths, employers, and strategies for how to build experience in different career fields
  • LinkedIn's Alumni Tool - Explore thousands of alumni career pathways
  • GoldPASS - Explore different job, internship, and volunteer opportunities as well as career events on campus

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Government, Law, Public Policy, & International Affairs


  • GIS Intern, Historical Information Gatherers, Inc.
  • Planning Intern, City of Blaine
  • Student Intern, Assessor's Office, City of Minneapolis
  • Intern, 4th District Commissioner, Hennepin County
  • Legislative Intern, Office of Senator Scott J. Newman
  • Campaign Intern, Betsy Hodges for Mayor
  • Regulatory Services Operations and Business Improvement Intern, City of Minneapolis
  • Survey Crew Intern, City of White Bear Lake
  • Congressional Intern, District Office of Congressman Keith Ellison
  • Policy Intern, Organizing Apprenticeship Project


  • Administrative Assistant, District Councils Collaborative of St. Paul and Minneapolis
  • Summer Reads Vista, AmeriCorps
  • Project Facilitator, City of Brooklyn Park
  • Development and Communications Associate, Minnesota Land Trust
  • Neighborhood Coordinator, Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association
  • Planner, Metro Transit
  • Housing Inspector I, City of Minneapolis
  • Research Assistant, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board


  • Regional Planner, South Central Dakota Regional Council
  • Planning & Emergency Management Specialist, Wenck Associates, Inc.
  • Research Manager, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs
  • Executive Director, West Broadway Business Area Coalition
  • City Planner, City of Osseo-MN
  • Senior Transportation Planner, State of Minnesota

Graduate Programs

  • MURP, University of Minnesota
  • MA Urban and Regional Planning, University of Minnesota
  • MA Public Administration, Hamline University
Nonprofit, Human Services, Social Justice


  • Bicycle Intern, Southeast Como Improvement Association
  • Communications Intern, Southeast Como Improvement Association
  • Find Scholars Intern, Institute for Humane Studies
  • Political/Media Intern, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF)
  • Beyond Coal Intern, Sierra Club
  • Environmental Intern, Southeast Como Improvement Association
  • Supervised Visitation Intern, FamilyWise
  • Intern, American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa
  • Program Operations, Project Footsteps
  • Intern, Gardening Matters
  • HECUA Intern, Headwaters Foundation for Justice
  • Move MN Campaign Intern, Transit for Livable Communities
  • GIS Researcher, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency


  • Neighborhood Coordinator, Lind-Bohanon Neighborhood Association
  • Assistant to the Coordinator of Student and Community Relations, University of Minnesota
  • Fellow, New Sector Alliance


  • College and Career Counselor, Pillsbury United Communities
  • Executive Director, Dress for Success Twin Cities
  • Housing Case Manager, Our Saviours Housing Elca
Business, Consulting, Marketing & Sales


  • International Trade Intern, U.S. Commercial Service


  • Real Estate Research Analyst, Maxfield Research, Inc.
  • Business Systems Analyst, Metropolitan Council
  • Assistant Field Technician, SHORT Elliot Hendrickson, Inc.

Graduate Programs

  • Masters of Social Work, Augsburg University