About Program Admission Requirements

Urban Studies at York stresses the importance of fieldwork when studying the social and spatial fabric of cities.

The city is among the most fundamental human institutions. Across history, cities have been sites of basic innovation in economic, political and cultural life — centres of trade, seats of empire and the locale of scientific, social and artistic creativity. Cities retain these roles today and are the home of a growing majority of the world’s population who increasingly live in large metropolitan regions of several million people. Often, as in many Canadian cities, these urban regions are marked by complex social diversity, striking contrasts of wealth and poverty and a challenging array of planning and environmental dilemmas.

Urban Studies is the attempt to understand cities and city life — how they function, the current and future concerns of their residents. This encompasses the political institutions, economic and social relations, physical landscapes and cultural frameworks that constitute the city.

As a student in Urban Studies, you will focus on cities as distinctive entities and explore the meaning and function of cities in the larger society. You'll be taking courses from a broad range of fields including:

  • history
  • environmental studies
  • geography
  • anthropology
  • political science
  • sociology
  • psychology.

You will also examine the processes that produce certain patterns of human settlement and chart the changing relationships among areas shaped by urbanization, such as metropolis and countryside, city and suburb, municipality and region.

Urban Studies can lead to careers in government, regional and urban planning, human services, business, education, and social science research.

  • Urban Studies employs a range of perspectives on cities and their citizens and encourages students to develop and pursue their own interests and approaches.
  • The following scholarship and award are of special interest to Urban Studies students: The Marion Miller Award, in memory of an Urban Studies graduate who also taught in the Program, and the Otto Friedman Memorial Scholarship, in memory of a distinguished Professor in the Division of Social Science.

Sample First-year Schedule

  • City Lives and City Forms: An Introduction to Urban Studies
  • General Education courses
  • Courses outside the major

Possible Career Paths

Explore what you can do with your degree
  • architect
  • journalist
  • municipal government officer
  • urban planner

Internationalize your degree

The iBA degree program reflects York's commitment to internationalization and requires you to acquire an international language and to gain international experience on exchange at one of York University's partner institutions abroad. You will benefit from enhanced interdisciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge, which are important components of the department's academic focus. Visit the International program page for more information.

You are required to provide official evidence of academic achievement in secondary education. This can be demonstrated through:

  • Final grades under the Ontario curriculum (obtained through correspondence, night school or through TVO)
  • Credentials through other curricula, such as results from Advanced Placement (AP) or Advanced-level courses in the General Certificate of Education (GCE). (Students may register to sit for the AP and GCE examinations as private candidates.)

In the absence of final grades in courses:

  • You must submit the results of standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a minimum combined total of 1170 on the Critical Reading and Math components or a composite American College Testing (ACT) score of 24.
  • Your application will be reviewed by an admissions sub-committee. If admitted, you will not be eligible for entrance scholarships. You will be considered for continuing student scholarships at the end of your first year of study, if you satisfy those criteria.

You may also be required to provide proof of language proficiency. You will be considered for entrance scholarships on the basis of your overall averages in the six 4U/4M (Ontario curriculum) or equivalent courses.

We are adding to our database of admission requirements by country. Please check back in October for additional admission requirements by country. General requirements are currently available by country — note that program-specific requirements may apply in addition to general requirements.