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Urban Studies

Bachelor of Arts (BA) - Honours

Explore one of the world’s most comprehensive urban labs–the Greater Toronto Area–as a student in Urban Studies.

With half of the global population now living in cities, they have become key sites in understanding contemporary social life. Throughout history, cities have been areas of innovation in economic, political and cultural life. 

Focus on the social and cultural issues that characterize urban regions, such as striking gaps between wealth and poverty, as well as planning, governance and environmental concerns, including climate change. 

Explore the city first-hand. Back on campus, you’ll be led by our award-winning faculty in small-group workshops and fieldwork projects. Our cutting-edge curriculum is updated regularly to reflect current issues.

What you’ll learn


  • Learn about the history of human development and urban places in both the global north and global south, and how these have shaped human development.
  • Get exposure to an interdisciplinary curriculum and concepts such as urbanization, urbanism as a way of life and urban planning.
  • Understand the fundamental issues of geography, sociology, anthropology and politics with respect to urban settings.

Hands-on experiences


  • Connect with urban professionals in the classroom and in regular trips off-campus to explore communities and urban settings across the Greater Toronto Area. 
  • Earn credit with placements in in in public, private and non-profit workplaces. 
  • Take your studies on the road with our annual four-day field school trip to Montreal.
  • Participate in The Toronto Urban Journal, which was founded by and publishes scholarly reviewed articles written by our undergrad students. 

In our program, we examine urbanization, particularly urbanization processes, city planning, city building and we pay particular attention to the complex challenges of the 21st century. If you are interested in learning about the inclusionary and exclusionary principles of the way we build, this would be the program that would allow you to develop critical, theoretical insights to help you understand the challenges we have in daily life.

— Teresa Abbruzzese
Professor, Urban Studies

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