Welcome to Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary program in the College of Arts & Sciences. It draws on faculty and resources across the university and the city to offer students a multi-faceted approach to the study of urban trends.  More...

New Study Shows How Arts and Culture Improve Health, Safety and Well-being in NYC

Low- and moderate-income residents in NYC neighborhoods with many cultural resources are healthier, better educated, and safer overall than those in similar communities with fewer creative resources, according to a groundbreaking study from Penn's School of Social Policy & Practice, led by Mark Stern, co-director of Urban Studies. To find out more about this study, visit their website or read Penn Current's recent article. (Photo is a heat map of NYC, provided by NASA).

Check out our list of Urbs-related internships and other opportunities

Use this link to see our list of Urbs-related internships. These often come to us from Urban Studies alums, who are specifically seeking Urban Studies students!

Urban Studies Research Guide

If you're looking for where to start your Urban Studies research, then look no further. Urbs librarian Deborah Bishov has created a handy Urban Studies Research guide, complete with online text resources as well as mapping tools, U.S. Census data and more. Here's the link!

Showcasing Student Work

During the Spring 2017 semester, students in URBS 200 will study the economic, social, and cultural life of a specific Philly neightborhood. Click here to see student work from previous semesters! 

Recent News

  • Professor Robert Fairbanks on Radio Times

    Click here to listen to the June 8th edition of Radio Times, where Urban Studies Professor Robert Fairbanks talks about the phenomenon of recovery homes in Philadelphia.

  • Researchers and Residents Explore ways Eastwick Floods and Ideas for Mitigation

    Urban Studies Lecturer Michael Nairn, along with other researchers, are working to find solutions to mitigate flooding in Philadelphia’s Eastwick neighborhood. The neighborhood is located in a part of Southwest Philadelphia with the lowest elevation in the city, and is almost completely surrounded by water. Projections of a rising sea-level are expected to increase the amount of flooding Eastwick experiences.

  • Alexa Salas (URBS '17) Recipient of 2017 President's Engagement Prize

    Alexa Salas, along with Camilo Toro C'17, and Yaneli Arizmendi Nu'17 will create Lanzando Líderes (Launching Leaders), a community-based after-school program for Latino high school students in South Philadelphia. Alexa, Camilo, and Yaneli will work with Latino immigrant families and members of the community to develop an experiential, bilingual, culturally inclusive curriculum to serve as the touchstone for the program.

Alumni Achievements

  • Kristin Kelly (Urbs '16) studies in China

    Kristin Kelly (Urbs '16) is currently in the Yenching Academy of Peking University, earning a Master's in China Studies. Kristin really likes it, and encourages you to take a look at the program:

    http://yenchingacademy.org/#

    If you would like to ask Kristin about her experience, let us know and we'd be happy to share her email with you: urbs@sas.upenn.edu.

  • Melanie Young's (URBS '15) student selected to compete in national math championship

    Melanie Young (URBS '15) is a teacher at Southwark Middle School in Philadelphia, and introduced the students to the NBA-sponsored board game, Math Hoops, as part of her after school math club. Math Hoops combines basketball and math, encouraging 3rd through 8th graders to learn basic math while scoring “baskets” on a model basketball court.

    Melanie’s student, Aye Aye, who moved to South Philadelphia from Thailand, is one of 16 students selected from over 20,000 applicants to complete in California at the National Championship for Math Hoops.

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