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What can I do with a major in Urban Studies?


The information below describes typical occupations and employers associated with this major. Understand that some of the options listed below may require additional training. Moreover, you are not limited to these options alone when choosing a possible career path.

Description of Urban Studies

Interdisciplinary programs, such as Urban Studies, exist to provide an appropriate structure within which to offer study opportunities that do not fit within the bounds of existing departments, to bring together faculty and students from several disciplines to study areas of interest that cross traditional departmental lines and require an interdisciplinary approach, and to inform the campus community at large of the nature and importance of these areas. (Rhodes’ College Catalogue)

Urban studies majors learn what makes city culture unique and how urban areas respond to problems and events. You’ll ask yourself many questions as an urban studies major. For example: How do different neighborhoods develop their own identities? How do the buildings and the layout of a city affect its people? What happens when the need for growth clashes with the need to preserve history? How does living close together affect the way city dwellers interact?  Urban studies majors use the tools of sociology, economics, and other social sciences to study city life, government, and services. With this major, you’ll learn how city dwellers live and behave. You’ll also study the problems they face. (

Possible Job Titles of Urban Studies Graduates

(*Jobs secured as reported by Rhodes Career Services post-graduate survey)

Account Executive*
Advertising Specialist
Asst Director of Development*
Border Patrol Agent*
Case Manager*
Code Enforcement Planner
Congressional Hunger Fellow*
Dir of Community Development
Director of Policy/Organization
Development Assistant*
Education Specialist*
Environmental Specialist
Human Resources Generalist*
Land Development Coordinator
Legislative Assistant*
Legislative Research Analyst*
Marketing Assistant
Merchandising Assistant*
Outreach Coordinator*
Preservation Technician
Program Manager*
Program Editor*
Public Policy Assistant*
Public Relations Representative
Real Estate Analyst
Social Worker
Special Events Coordinator
Tour Manager
Transportation Planner
Urban Planner
Volunteer Coordinator*
Zoning Administrator

Possible Employers and Employment Settings for Urban Studies Graduates

(*Jobs secured as reported by Rhodes Career Services post-graduate survey)

Action News 5*
Advertising Agencies
Architectural Firms
Broadcasting Companies
Businesses and Corporations
Chambers of Commerce
Colleges and Universities*
Community Dev. Agencies
Congressional Hunger Center*
Consulting Services
Cooperative Marketing Concepts*
Education Departments
Government Agencies*
Housing Authorities
Human Service Agencies
Insurance Companies
Legacy Health Systems*
Magazines & Newspapers
Memphis Leadership Foundation*
Nashville Downtown Partnership*
Non-profit Organizations*
Office of Research & Educational Accountability*
Political Offices*
Professional / Trade Associations
Public Interest Groups
Public Relation Firms
Publishing Companies
Radio and Television Stations*
Real Estate Dev. Corps
Religious Organizations
Research Foundations
Ronald McDonald House*
School Systems*
Social Service Agencies
Teach for America*
Thompson & Company*
Travel and Tour Agencies
U.S. Border Patrol*
Community Association*
Volunteers of America*

Skill Sets and Interests Associated with Urban Studies Majors

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

Top Career Services Resources for Urban Studies Majors

  • Liberal Arts Jobs by Burt Nadler
  • A Guide to Careers in Community Development by Paul C. Brophy
  • Your Successful Real Estate Career by Kenneth Edwards
  • The Liberal Arts Advantage by Gregory Giangrande

Rhodes Campus Contacts Associated with Urban Studies

Career Services

Department of Political Science

Additional Resources/Contacts for Urban Studies Majors

National Housing Institute
American Planning Association
Journal of Urban Affairs
Housing Studies Association
National Association of Realtors
US Department of Housing & Urban Dev.