Why Study Urban Studies at New College?

Urban Studies involves exploring the ways we organize our lives together in places, both urban and rural, as well as how we produce, understand, represent and engage such places and landscapes in our daily lives. In the broadest sense, it is the study of the patterns, qualities and consequences of human settlements, as built environments and as social, cultural, economic and political structures — all with profound implications for the way humans organize their interactions with natural systems of the planet. Neighborhoods, towns, cities, suburbs and metropolitan regions are the immediate contexts in which we work toward a diverse and just society, and they are the practical sites where we are compelled to confront many of the most central social, political, economic and environmental challenges of the day.

As an Urban Studies student at New College, you will learn about cities throughout the world, as well as about a range of problems and solutions that shape them. Whether planning recreational space along Florida's Gulf Coast, addressing the problems of the homeless in our local community or examining the historic urbanization of Europe and Latin America, you will learn from and contribute to the city as a vital part of modern human life.

You will also develop a strong background in the tools and perspectives of social science and the humanistic disciplines as they relate to an understanding of human communities, as well as a background in the natural sciences associated with the core requirements in Environmental Studies. You will then apply this training in hands-on fashion to investigate and seek solutions for a type of environmental problem that interests you.

In the past, New College students in Urban Studies have conducted Independent Study Projects (ISPs) and group tutorials, as well as written theses, on a wide variety of projects, including urban watershed management, comparative transit systems and varieties of community-based environmental problem-solving. It may sound intimidating at the start, but with the help of your faculty advisor you will discover that this experiential-based, interdisciplinary AOC allows you both the freedom and the opportunity to make a difference in the world around you.


Graduates of New College of Florida can do anything they choose to—and they do. The skills you learn here—independent thinking, problem solving, teamwork, creativity, the ability to focus—are precisely the attributes that prospective employers, graduate schools and professional programs prize the most.

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New College of Florida
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