Urban Studies

Develop the urban research skills valued by municipalities, NGOs, federal and provincial governments, and private sector employers. Understand the city, its functions and its dynamics, offering insights into today's social, economic and environmental challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Urban studies courses are offered in the evenings at Simon Fraser University's Harbour Centre campus in Vancouver. The Department of Urban Studies offers both full-time and part-time opportunities for its master's program, and provides an education in economic, geographic, political, and social analysis techniques to address real-world urban problems.

The program draws particularly on Vancouver's experience but also encompasses study of cities in other places and from other times.

A graduate diploma in urban studies is also available. Students enrolled in the diploma may later apply to transfer to the master's program.


Find out when our next application cycle begins.

Learn more

Get in touch

Got questions? Contact Urban Studies at urban@sfu.ca.

Program website

Program Options 

Learn more about the different degrees and programs available to you at Urban Studies

Undergraduate options    

Certificate and Diploma

Graduate options


Certificate and Diploma (Graduate)

Career Pathways

Urban studies is for graduate students who are aspiring and practicing professionals (e.g. planners, managers, researchers, analysts and activists) seeking to develop the urban research skills that are vlaued by municipalities, NGOs, federal and provincial governments and private sector employers.

Possible career paths include:

  • Urban and regional planner
  • Public admnistration
  • Government policy analyst or researcher
  • Manager in private business or the non-profit sector
  • Consultant in the public or private sector
  • Local and international development agencies
  • Education and academia

“I chose SFU's Urban Studies program because of the strong theoretical focus on understanding the city through a social science lens, and the breadth of faculty research in urban social equity and urban ethics. What I'm particularly enjoying at Urban Studies is the continual rewarding realization of how the tools of social science can be implemented within design practice.”

Stephen Wilkinson

Graduate Student | Master of Arts in Urban Studies

News Highlights