Urban Studies


Why study Urban Studies?

The urban studies program in UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) provides a flexible but organized curriculum for students who have a passion for contributing to contemporary urban life. This baccalaureate degree prepares students for employment in metropolitan areas and organizations in fields such as community development, human services, housing and personnel work, as well as for graduate work in urban studies, law, management, community planning, public administration and the social sciences.

Admission Requirements

The College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati seeks to attract, enroll and graduate academically talented students of varied and diverse backgrounds. Success in our programs is largely dependent upon sound academic preparation. However, in multidisciplinary programs like those in DAAP, students’ insight and perspective are greatly enhanced by exposure to students from different backgrounds, geographies and co-curricular interests. DAAP has designed an admissions review process and a timetable to support these goals.

Admission criteria for this program vary based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank and GPA.

Freshman applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following college-preparatory subjects:

  • 4 units of English
  • 4 units of math
  • 3 units of science
  • 5 units of electives*

*Elective units must include one or any combination of foreign language, fine arts, business, career-technical education, family and consumer sciences, technology, agricultural education or additional core courses not otherwise required.

People who are successful in the urban studies program typically have verbal learning styles. Urban studies students possess a heightened social consciousness. They are self-motivated students who seek an individually designed program within a broad liberal arts curriculum. This curriculum provides a pre-professional course of study for students who anticipate going on into graduate work in law, management or public administration.

The urban studies program serves as excellent preparation for a career in law and public administration. Graduates find employment opportunities in community development, human services, housing and personnel work. Many also choose to pursue advanced degrees.

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

While there is not a minor in urban studies, students may choose to earn a certificate in one of the following programs: urban planning, urban design, or historic preservation. Students interested in applying to a certificate program must submit a completed application to the DAAP Student Affairs Office, 5470 Aronoff.

The certificate in planning gives students skills in the planning way of thinking, essential in business, industry, public service and the arts. Students are given specific skills that are grounded in specific theories. A proficiency in basic statistics is required at the time of admission or shortly thereafter.

The certificate of historic preservation is open to degree candidates in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences. This program is designed to develop an appreciation for and a working knowledge of the issues and techniques involved in historic preservation.

All prospective students interested in this program should visit the DAAP website to find more information or contact the DAAP Student Affairs office at 513-556-1376 or daap-admissions@uc.edu. All prospective students are encouraged to visit campus to learn more about their major(s) of interest. To register for a DAAP "College Close-Up" Visit and a "Preview UC" campus tour, please go here.

For more information on DAAP advising, please go here. Current DAAP students can schedule an appointment with their advisors by calling DAAP Student Affairs at 513-556-1376 or by using the Starfish scheduling tool on Blackboard (canopy.uc.edu).

  • The city of Cincinnati, once called the "Queen City of the West" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, provides an excellent array of cultural resources for students who intend to pursue a degree in the visual arts. It offers the energy and assets of a larger city, along with quiet neighborhoods steeped in rich traditions. Cincinnati offers live music venues that range from top-notch symphony and opera companies to a growing pop and rock community. Home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Taft Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center, the city also enjoys the presence of numerous art galleries and a strong support system among practicing artists. Cincinnati is situated within driving distance of Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and New York City, allowing DAAP students to take advantage of the rich cultural resources of these cities as well.
  • UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) is one of the most comprehensive colleges of its type in the country. A collection of nationally respected design and art programs is housed in a unique and educationally stimulating architectural setting. Architecture students have opportunities to enroll in courses in a range of related disciplines and to participate in interdisciplinary studios or special projects.
  • Students learn creative and technical skills in the studio environment, taught by a passionate faculty who interact with their students on a daily basis. The goal is to guide students as they grow both intellectually and professionally.
  • Other educational opportunities include organized travel semesters, foreign study semesters and student exchange programs in England, Germany and Denmark. Many architecture students also pursue joint degrees and certificate programs within the college and the university.
  • The DAAP college library has an outstanding collection of books, periodicals and visual resources supporting architecture, planning, design, art history and related subjects. Access to library holdings is provided by an automated online catalogue, UCLID, which provides access to the University of Cincinnati Library information database, and through OhioLINK, the holdings of other academic libraries throughout Ohio.
  • The Computer Graphics Center is a state-of-the-art university facility with hardware that includes PCs, Apple computers and peripherals such as scanners, plotters and digital video-editing suites. Students have access to sophisticated graphics equipment and receive hands-on instruction to augment the use of laptops in the classroom. All computing equipment is linked by high-speed Ethernet to facilitate access across the campus.
  • The college supports a Rapid Prototyping Center, which is the home of state-of-the-art equipment that allows students to create communication aids for their design projects. Using CAD (computer-aided design) models, students are able to create physical models using three basic methods: 3-D printing, large format laser-cutting and CNC (computer numeric control) devices, including a Komo CNC Router. This facility is intended for all DAAP students to use in creating large-scale design.
  • The urban studies program is part of the UC College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), one of the most comprehensive and well-respected colleges of art and design in the country. Enrollment in DAAP gives students the chance to benefit and learn from other disciplines in the college. Urban studies students regularly study with urban planning students, and they may also enroll periodically in interdisciplinary courses, affording the opportunity to share an area of expertise with students from different disciplines.
  • Additional learning opportunities include a summer quarter abroad and exchange programs with universities in the Netherlands and Turkey. Through the university’s many certificate programs (similar to a minor area of study), urban studies students can add a specialization in areas such as real estate, area studies, a foreign language, planning and historic preservation.
  • Computer Requirements: All undergraduate students in this program are required to purchase a personal laptop computer. Each discipline has its own specific requirements for hardware and software. You can find more information about computer requirements here. Please note that these requirements may be slightly altered as equipment evolves. Therefore, students new to DAAP are encouraged to delay their computer purchase until the summer prior to entering to make the most informed computer purchase. Many of our programs have additional technology requirements for students in the later years of study.

Students must complete 120 credit hours for graduation. Students must obtain a minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 and, in addition, must have at least a 2.0 grade point average for the senior year to be eligible for graduation. In order to be eligible for graduation with honors, a student must have earned at least a 3.6 grade point average and 60 semester hours.

Students seeking to transfer from another regionally accredited university or college must have at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average in previous college work to be considered for admission. The application is available here.

Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs at UC must have at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average in previous college work to be considered for admission.

Current UC students wishing to transition into a DAAP program should submit an "Application for Change in College and Program" form to the DAAP Student Affairs Office in Room 5470 Aronoff. This form is available here or in the DAAP Student Affairs Office.

Current DAAP students wishing to transition into a different major must submit a "Change of Program" form to the DAAP Student Affairs Office in Room 5470 Aronoff. This form is available here or in the DAAP Student Affairs Office.

Unless an international student meets one of the exemptions listed here, he or she must complete the ACT, SAT, IELTS, TOEFL, or ELS.

Application Deadlines

Admission to the urban studies program is on a rolling (first-come, first-served) basis; once all the available seats are filled, the program is closed. It is recommended that students apply by December 1 at 5:00 pm EST for maximum scholarship consideration.


Fall: March 1 priority deadline; July 1

Spring: November 1

Summer: March 1

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

DAAP Student Affairs
College of DAAP
P.O. Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016

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Program Code: 23BAC-URST-BS