Urban & regional studies (URS) delves into the physical, social, economic and political factors that shape our cities. It looks at the role of planning to manage dynamic forces of change such as immigration, global warming, aging populations, energy conservation, congestion, urban forests, homelessness and smog, to name just a few.
As a URS student at the University of Lethbridge, you will learn to approach contemporary development challenges from various frames of reference. Issues include the evolving social, ethnic and architectural character of urban neighbourhoods, the decline of agricultural service centres in the west or the governance of urban sprawl.
This multidisciplinary major will provide you with a broad range of conceptual and practical tools to understand cities and regions. URS is housed in the Department of Geography & Environment, but as a multidisciplinary major, the program includes courses outside the department’s offerings, such as anthropology, economics, political science, sociology and statistics.
The knowledge and experience you gain in the URS program will provide an exceptional stepping stone, whether you choose to continue your studies to the master’s or doctoral level or to enter the working world. Either way, you will have the educational background to play an important role in providing an understanding of, and solutions for, some of our most pressing urban and regional concerns.
Geographical Information Systems | URS majors are encouraged to develop more advanced research methods in geographical information systems (GIS). A notable area of strength at uLethbridge, GIS has become a growth area in research, teaching and employment for our graduates. Courses in GIS, remote sensing, spatial models and spatial statistics provide relevant training for students interested in careers related to cities, public administration at the municipal level, planning and land development.
Minors | Adding a minor to your degree is a great way to explore academic interests beyond your major. A minor is a set of courses comprising a secondary focus of interest. It is generally not related to your major. A minor may be required or optional. Pursue a second passion by adding a minor to your degree.
Honours Thesis | If your GPA is high enough in your fourth year, you can opt to complete an undergraduate thesis course. This is an excellent opportunity for you to earn an “Honours Thesis” designation on your degree.
Experience learning | Our students have a number of experiential learning opportunities available to them including co-operative education, international exchanges, independent and applied studies as well as volunteer opportunities. uLethbridge is the only university in Alberta to offer co-operative education to all majors in the arts & sciences, at both the undergrad and grad level.
Student clubs and exchanges | URS students join with the Geography Club to enjoy a range of activities, such as attending provincial planning conferences associated with the Alberta Professional Planning Institute and annual meetings of the Canadian Association of Geographers. Our students regularly participate in the Hokkai Gakuen summer student exchange in Sapporo, Japan, or in an exchange with Canterbury Christ Church University in England.
Skills acquired | In addition to developing exceptional communication skills, you will develop critical and analytical problem solving skills, research and information management skills. You will leave the program with a strong ability to summarize research findings, to use field methods of data collection, apply descriptive and inferential statistics and use geographical information systems to solve a wide variety of spatial problems.