Urban and Regional Studies

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Options available

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Management


  • Lethbridge


Fall & Spring

Program description

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.

Possible careers

  • Regional Planning
  • Economic Development & Tourism
  • Housing Design & Policy
  • Environmental Consulting
  • Resource Management
  • International Development
  • Land Appraisal
  • Government Administration
  • Social Planning
  • Land Use Policy Analysis

Professional disciplines & graduate studies | Your undergraduate degree in urban & regional studies provides an excellent foundation for environmental or property law, journalism, management and education. The University of Lethbridge’s School of Graduate Studies offers programs at the master's and doctoral levels spanning over 60 disciplines — so why not consider pursuing grad school right here in Lethbridge! Whether you choose to do your advanced studies at uLethbridge or another institution, know that your undergraduate degree has set you on the path to post-graduate success.

Admission requirements


​For admission, Canadian high school students in Alberta must have completed five of the following courses with a minimum 65% average across them:

This course
  • English Language Arts 30-1
Three of these courses
  • Aboriginal Studies 30
  • Art 30 or Art 31
  • Biology 30
  • Chemistry 30
  • Choral Music 30, General Music 30, or Instrumental Music 30
  • Dance 35
  • Drama 30
  • Mathematics 30-1 or Mathematics 30-2
  • Mathematics 31
  • Physics 30
  • Science 30
  • Social Studies 30-1
  • Five credits in Advanced-level CTS Computer Science (CSE)
  • One or more distinct languages at the 30 level
One additional
  • That has not already been used
  • May be from the list above
  • Must be at the 30 level
  • Must be worth at least five credits (multiple courses worth a total of five or more credits can be used)
  • Cannot be a Special Project


First year cost estimator

For Urban and Regional Studies

Let us help you understand your tuition and fees for your first year at the University of Lethbridge.

Taking urban & regional studies at uLethbridge has completely changed how I see and understand the world. Throughout my undergraduate degree, my professors and instructors have helped me to obtain a multidisciplinary-academic perspective, through which I've come to realize how social, economic, and political factors and processes interconnect and work to shape our cities and communities.
- Mardy (BA '20) Urban and Regional Studies

Sample classes

· Introduction to Planning
· Contemporary Issues and Problems in Planning (Series)
· Urban Social Geography
· Geographical Data and Analysis
· Urbanization in Developing Countries
· Local Government & Politics
· Spatial Organization of Economic Activity