City Studies Major (HBA)

Admissions Category: Social Sciences & Humanities

Professor lecturing to a class

Program Overview

City Studies is an undergraduate program that introduces students to concepts and skills to understand and tackle problems of an increasingly urban world. City Studies at UTSC is one of the largest and most comprehensive urban studies programs offered in Canada. Students acquire a combination of conceptual, methodological, and critical skills relevant in many fields including city planning, real estate development, transportation, housing, community development, urban governance, and city management. The Major program is designed to give students the opportunity to see how they might apply ideas about cities from the social sciences and kindred disciplines in their field of professional interest. The program also offers preparation for students interested in pursuing graduate education in a field of study related to cities.

Complementary Programs:

Human GeographyPublic PolicyUrban Public Policy & GovernanceGeographic Information Sciences

Check out future career opportunities and skills acquired from completing this program:

Competencies & Skills

  • Critical thinking & evaluation
  • Survey and sample
  • Understand societal developments
  • Communicate urban policy issues and identify policy strategies
  • Analytical & communication• Qualitative & quantitative urban research methods
  • Plan and develop long-term projects

Careers for Graduates

  • Outreach & Program Coordinator (Non-Profit)
  • Community Development Officer (Non-Profit & Government)
  • Policy Analyst (Government)
  • Researcher (Government & Think Tanks)
  • Mapping Analyst
  • Planner and Planning Consultant
  • ...and many more!

Further Education

  • Planning
  • Politics
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • Law
  • Social Work
  • Community Development
  • Adult Education

Program Pathway

Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4

Year 1
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • First year courses allow you to develop basic academic reading, writing and research skills.
  • Develop your research methods skills by enrolling in relevant courses.
  • Visit the library for assistance when doing research for your assignments; writing support is also available at the CTL Writing Centre.

Apply Theory to Practice
Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career

Year 2
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Think about which areas of City Studies are of interest to you and what academic and research skills might be most useful to expand on.
  • Seek support from your professors and TAs during office hours.
  • Check the Research Catalogue on CLNx for possible undergraduate co-curricular research opportunities.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Consider enrolling in CTLB03H3, a service learning course offered by Centre for Teaching & Learning (CTL). 
  • Continue exploring ways to get involved in your community on an issue that you are interested in. 
  • Use social media to stay informed about what is going on in the city in terms of politics, planning and community issue.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career
  • Gain experience by applying for a summer, part-time or Work Study position via CLNx (>Jobs & Recruitment).
  • If you are considering graduate school, speak to professors and program advisors early; they are also potential mentors and references.
  • Explore careers through the Academic Advising & Career Centre’s (AA&CC) Job Shadowing and In the Field programs.

Year 3
Choose Your Courses Wisely
  • 1.0 credit from: STAB23H3 and GGRA30H3/GGRB30H3/GGRC31H3/GGRC42H3.
  • Start taking Applications and Approaches to City Studies course requirements (check UTSC Calendar for details). Aim to complete at 2.0 credits here.
  • Use Degree Explorer to ensure you are on track with your degree.

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
  • Most experiential learning courses are available to students in 3rd and 4th year; there are a wide variety to choose from: CITC01H3CITC02H3CITC08H3CITD05H3CITD06H3CITD10H3 (check the UTSC Calendar); speak to your professor or program advisor for more information.
  • Explore summer internships or job opportunities in a related field.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
  • Look into volunteering or working overseas to expand your network through ISC’s Summer Research Exchange Program or Global Local Program.
  • Make a contribution to the well-being of your community through volunteering, attending events and meetings, and taking on a leadership role in an organization.

Plan for Your Future Career
  • Speak with staff at the AA&CC to plan a potential career path.
  • Check CLNx for possible networking events or information sessions to attend.
  • Consider attending Open Houses from graduate programs; attend the Graduate & Professional School Fair in September.

Year 4
Choose Your Courses Wisely
  • Complete the remainder of 1.5 credits at the C- and/or D-level from Applications and Approaches to City Studies courses (check UTSC Calendar for details).
  • Take D-level courses that allow you to apply your research methods skills.
  • Use Degree Explorer to ensure you are on track to graduate.
  • Register your “Intent to Graduate” on ACORN by the deadline.

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • If you have done well in a C- or D-level course with a faculty member and want to go deeper into the research, explore independent research courses such as CITD30H3
  • Check if your professors have research assistantships available.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Consider taking one or both of the two City Studies Workshop courses for hands-on practical experience. 
  • City Studies Workshop courses provide training in a range of career-oriented research, consulting, and professional skills.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
  • Consider becoming a student member of a relevant professional association; volunteer for their events and get to know people.
  • Apply your skills, passion and knowledge by sitting on the board of a nonprofit organization dedicated to an issue you care about or get involved in an election campaign of a political candidate you want to support.

Plan for Your Future Career
  • Attend the AA&CC’s Get Hired job search conference in April/May.
  • Attend the Jobs for Grads orientation for a job search “crash course”; and for access to full-time job listings.
  • Get your Personal Statement reviewed in the AA&CC.


  • AACC - Academic Advising and Career Centre (
  • CCR - Co-Curricular Record (
  • CLNx - Career Co-Curricular Learning Network (
  • CTL - Centre for Teaching and Learning (
  • DSL - Department of Student Life (
  • GCSA - Geography and City Studies Student Association (
  • ISC - International Student Centre (
  • SCSU - Scarborough Campus Students Union (


Departmental Contact

Arifa Akhter Nitol

Location: HL 226
Phone: 416-208-4847

City Studies Librarian

Sarah Shujah

Location: HL 337
Phone: 416-287-7491

Academic Advising & Career Centre

Location: AC213
Phone: (416) 287-7561

Department of Student Life

Location: SL157
Phone: 416-208-5129

Geography and City Studies Students Association

Did You Know?

People looking at a map

Some City Studies courses are taught by professionals in the field of city planning, policy, and community development.