American University of Beirut

Minor in Urban Studies

​​​​​​​​​​The minor in Urban Studies is open to all AUB students who are interested in expanding their knowledge of the contemporary opportunities and challenges posed by the ongoing transformations of the natural and built environments as the world shifts to a “planetary” urbanization. Through the minor, students familiarize themselves with a range of contemporary debates discussing the implications of urbanization across disciplinary fields. They also strengthen their command over some of the methods and tools used in social and environmental sciences, humanities, and urban planning and design to analyze urbanization processes.

In order to satisfy the requirements of a minor in urban studies, a student must earn 15 credits of coursework, as described below.

As per AUB regulations:

  1. At least 9 credit hours of coursework must be completed at AUB.
  2. At least 6 credits should not be taken to satisfy another minor.
  3. None of the courses can be a P/F course.
  4. Students must complete at least 60 credits at the sophomore level or higher, attain an average of 70 or more in courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the minor, and maintain a cumulative average above 70 to be eligible to apply for the minor.

Students enrolled in Architecture, Engineering or Landscape Architecture who hold a minor in urban studies qualify for an advanced standing if they apply for the Master of Urban Planning and Policy (open to all students with a first degree in engineering, architecture, landscape, and/or the social sciences) and the Master of Urban Design (open to all students with a first professional degree in architecture and/or landscape architecture).

The minor in urban studies is administered by the Coordinator of the Master in Urban Planning and Policy & Master in Urban Design programs.

Course Requirements:

In order to obtain a minor in urban studies, students must complete fifteen credits distributed as follows:

Two courses in the general theory/methods framework are required:

  • ARCH 332/URPL632 Urbanism (3cr.)
  • URPL 630/ SOAN 210 Research Methods (3cr.)

At least one course about the interaction of urban studies with a professional field is required:

  • Design & Landscape
    • URDS 632 From Urban Design to Landscape Urbanism
    • LDEM 301 Urban Greening
    • LDEM 302 Green Infrastructure for Resilient Landscapes and Cities
  • Urban Planning
    • URPL 631 Introduction to Planning Theory and Policy 
  • Environmental Studies and Management
    • CIVE 656 Environmental Impact Assessment 
    • CIVE 601 GIS and Geospatial Data Modeling 
  • Urban Transportation and Infrastructure
    • CIVE 661 Urban Transportation Planning I 
    • CIVE 666 Public Transportation

At least one of the special-topics theory courses (3 credits) that intersect directly with the study of the city in the Department of Architecture and Design:

  • URPL 621 Urban Form and its Formation 
  • URPL 637/ARCH 036 Illegal Cities
  • URPL 664 Urban Land Use Planning 
  • URPL 665/ Development and Planning Policies 
  • ARCH 065/URPL 669 Building and Planning Codes 
  • URDS 624 Hybrid Beirut: Morphogenesis of the Contemporary City 
  • URDS 632 From Urban Design to Landscape Urbanism 
  • URDS 634 The Contested Urban Heritage of Cities in the Arab World 
  • ARCH 015 Micro Devices/Infrastructures

One of the following courses (3 credits) may also be taken towards the minor in urban studies:

  • HIST 263 Islamic Cities, 600-1500
  • CVSP 205 Ancient, Medieval, Islamic, and Renaissance Civilizations 
  • SOAN 220 City and Society 
  • SOAN 216 Hands-On Anthropology 
  • SOAN 221 Political Anthropology 
  • ​SOAN 223 Social Inequality: Conflict and Consensus 
  • FINA 232 Real Estate Management 
  • FINA 234 Real Estate Finance and Investment 

Register for the 0-credit seminar City Debates once (URPL 660)

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