Fall 2022 - URB 696 G100

Seminar in Urban Studies (4)

Class Number: 6765

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 7 – Dec 6, 2022: Tue, 5:30–9:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    16 units of course work, including URB 670. If the grade received in URB 670 is lower than A-, supervisor permission is required. This may require completion of remedial work.



In-depth study of two or three areas of urban studies with particular attention to (1) the contributions of various disciplines and (2) the development of a proposal for research to explore a suitable area of particular interest to the student. Where feasible, students will be involved with external organizations in developing their research proposal.


   URB 696 launches students on the research and writing of an original and independently executed M.Urb. project by seeing them through the development of a research proposal or prospectus. This prospectus will form the foundation for their M.Urb. projects.

Please note. By the beginning of URB 696 students are expected to have worked with their senior supervisor to develop a research topic and preliminary research question that is appropriate and doable for a M.URB thesis. This topic and question will evolve over the semester, but experience has shown that students who have done the necessary legwork before the beginning of URB 696 have an easier time and more success in this class than those who are less prepared.

   While there is no assigned reading for this course, students will be required to do a considerable amount of independent library research and reading specific to their project topic and question, as well as other challenging intellectual work involved in developing an independent research project. During the first half of the semester, they will also have to budget time to read and comment on other students’ work. Hence, this course will most likely require students to devote more time to it week to week than their previous URB classes.

   Students will be evaluated based on a number of writing assignments, including their evaluation of fellow students’ written work. Each student will also be required to make a class presentation on his or her prospectus, which will then be submitted in written form as a 30-page document on the last day of class.


  • Reverse engineering of a M.URB thesis 10%
  • Critical assessment of other students’ research prospectus components 15%
  • Review of key literature 20%
  • Presentation on research topic and methods 10%
  • 30-page research prospectus 40%
  • Class participation 5%


Draft writing themes and submission of project for research ethics approval are also ungraded but required assignments for this class.

Note: Students must submit all graded and ungraded assignments in order to pass URB 696.



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html