The L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs is a creative, interdisciplinary grouping of programs in the social sciences and professional arenas that provides students with the knowledge, skills and experience necessary for success in public service. The Wilder School brings together faculty from multiple disciplines that share a common interest in public affairs. The Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies requires 120 credits, including 40 credits within the major. The program is designed so that students may enter as late as their junior year and provides a solid foundation for professional work or advanced study aimed at addressing some of the most important challenges and issues facing the U.S. and other world regions, such as urban sprawl, economic marginalization, ethnic and racial conflict and environmental degradation. The program covers a wide range of topics related to these issues, including transportation, housing, land use, environmental management, regional and international development, human-environment interaction, globalization and socioeconomic change. Students can focus on the subject matter of their interest by choosing to concentrate in either urban planning and policy or regional analysis and development; alternatively they may opt for a generalized course of study. Nine core courses and a lab (28 credits total) are required for all majors. These courses provide fundamental background knowledge in an array of disciplines that form the foundations of urban and regional studies, such as urban planning and design, human and physical geography, economics, environmental management, urban and public policy, and geographic information systems. Students complete their remaining 12 credits within one of the two concentrations or through a generalized course of study.
The program helps develop a theoretical and methodological background as well as analytical skills that can be used to address a wide range of issues and problems. Students acquire marketable skills in qualitative and quantitative analysis, computer usage, problem solving and communication — as well as a broad perspective on environment and society — that are essential for many occupations.
Students must first attend a mandatory meeting/advising appointment with a Wilder School advisor to discuss remaining requirements, time to graduation, and potential future plans. Students may make this appointment by using Navigate, by calling (804) 827-0790, or by emailing email@example.com to request a change of major/minor appointment.
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