The Urban Curriculum

The University of Chicago offers a wide array of urban-focused coursework at the undergraduate and graduate levels across the social, natural, and computational sciences, as well as the humanities—building upon UChicago’s rich history of urban scholarship.

Undergraduate Programs

Environment, Geography and Urbanization

As of Autumn 2023, the major in Environmental and Urban Studies (ENST) will become the major in Environment, Geography and Urbanization (CEGU major). For all ENST majors declared before Autumn 2023, the ENST requirements will remain in effect. The new requirements for the CEGU major will go into effect as of Autumn 2023 for all newly declared majors. New requirements for the CEGU minor will also then replace those currently in effect for the ENST minor. Learn more about the Environment, Geography and Urbanization major.

Minor Program in Architectural Studies


The minor in architectural studies combines course work in art history, which equips students to analyze the form and changing history of the built environment in diverse cultures, places, and times, with up to four courses on architectural or urban topics offered in any department. Thus the minor enables students to enrich art historical analysis with methods from other disciplines.

Photo: Tom Rossiter

A student might choose to minor in architectural studies because the student is interested in the built environment—the inescapable setting of our lives—from a liberal arts perspective or because the student is considering applying to architecture school. The minor could represent an interest distinct from the student’s major or it could complement a major in the social sciences or humanities by exploring the material setting of history and social life or the context for works of literature, film, music, or drama. It could equally complement a major in the sciences, such as medical fields, ecology, geology, physics, or mathematics.

See the list of Autumn 2020 course offerings that relate to urban architecture, design, and the built environment.

Learn more here: Course Catalog Description

Graduate Programs

Certificate Program in Urban Science and Sustainable Development

The Certificate will not be offered in the 2023-2024 academic year.

The Mansueto Institute’s Certificate in Urban Science and Sustainable Development trains students for careers that address the most challenging and important systemic issue of our time – sustainable urban development. The certificate, which University of Chicago students take in conjunction with existing UChicago degree programs, establishes the scientific and intellectual underpinnings for continued work in this emerging field. It is a response to the challenges of our times, as well as the growing demand for an urban-focused curricular pathway for UChicago scholars.