The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Urban Affairs degree program at Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) provides a valuable foundation in the liberal arts with focused study in policy, housing and community development, environmental management, health and human services, and administration. Public health considerations related to climate change—from drought to flooding—and recurring global pandemics such as COVID-19 have widespread implications for the future of cities and their neighborhoods. Preparing to meet these challenges requires knowledge and understanding of issues and policy areas such as environmental sustainability, land use and urban footprints, housing and community development, transportation planning, and energy and climate best practices.

Steeped in the fields of urban public policy, community development and service delivery, and the administration of public and private agencies in urban settings, BU MET’s part-time bachelor’s in Urban Affairs program develops awareness of the political, social, and ethical issues inherent in policy work directed towards urban communities.

Program at a Glance

  • On Campus
  • Part-Time Study
  • 128 Credits
  • 24—36 Months to Completion

A Foundation for Success in Urban Affairs

Metropolitan College’s Bachelor’s in Urban Affairs will equip you with:

  • Knowledge of urban systems, the history of urbanization, and the policy-making process in the United States.
  • Awareness of the political, social, and ethical issues inherent in policy work focused on minority or disadvantaged urban communities.
  • Competence in written and oral communication.
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Why Complete Your Urban Affairs Bachelor’s at BU?

  • Engaged Faculty: In BU MET’s urban affairs bachelor’s program, an exceptional student-to-instructor ratio ensures close interaction with highly qualified faculty who draw from active research and extensive field experience in executive and managerial roles in city and regional planning, corporate management, economic development, environmental protection, and nonprofit and public management.
  • Extensive Network: Study complex issues alongside peers with solid urban management and policymaking experience, learn from faculty who have valuable contacts in the field, and benefit from an alumni community with strong professional connections.
  • Student Support: Benefit from access to personalized professional academic advice from the team of academic counselors in MET Enrollment & Student Success.
  • Valuable Resources: Make use of Boston University’s extensive resources, including the Center for Career Development, Educational Resource Center, Fitness & Recreation Center, IT Help Centers, Mugar Memorial Library, Center for Antiracist Research, Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, George Sherman Union, and many others.
  • Track Record: Learn from the best—BU MET has been offering the Master of Urban Affairs since 1969. The Master of City Planning was introduced in 1978.
  • Flexible Options: Study at the pace that works for you, with multiple on-campus class times that include evenings, and courses that begin fall, spring, and summer.
  • Affordability: Students taking 12 credits or fewer enjoy substantial savings compared to full-time study.
  • Financial Assistance: Undergraduate students at BU MET are eligible for a range of financial aid and community-minded scholarship opportunities designed to support those investing in their education part-time who still need to navigate full-time responsibilities.

Flexible, Part-Time Degree Completion—at Boston University

The BS in Urban Affairs at Boston University’s Metropolitan College is a self-paced bachelor’s degree completion program offered in a convenient, part-time evening format—ideal for busy professionals who seek to earn a Boston University degree without turning their personal lives upside down or putting their careers on hold. Along with self-paced programs in a variety of majors, MET also offers the structured, two-year Accelerated Degree Completion Program—leading to bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science or Management Studies—and an online Undergraduate Degree Completion Program.

A variety of undergraduate certificate programs provide the opportunity for focused study in a specific subject. Certificates can work into select degree programs at MET, offer breadth to current studies, or build professional skills and knowledge.

Bachelor’s-to-Certificate-to-Master’s Pathway

The Urban Affairs bachelor’s degree can serve as a foundational building block to further specialization through City Planning & Urban Affairs (CPUA) programs at MET. By becoming familiar with course materials and CPUA faculty, you’ll have an inside track on future study in the field. MET offers two graduate certificates that confer additional expertise in the world of urban planning and policy.

  • Graduate Certificate in Applied Sustainability
    The Graduate Certificate in Applied Sustainability is a unique interdisciplinary look at what it takes to make urban and economic development compatible with the natural environment.
  • Graduate Certificate in Urban Policy & Planning
    The Urban Policy & Planning Graduate Certificate at Metropolitan College provides an opportunity to explore urban issues, including housing and community development, public health, economic and infrastructural management, and environmental sustainability.

These can be earned as standalone certificates, or be combined with the Master of Urban Affairs or Master of City Planning degree programs. Credits for urban affairs (UA) courses completed may be applied to either degree, but not to other certificate programs. To be eligible for the degree, you must apply for admission and be accepted into the degree program. Consult with an admissions advisor to learn more about options.

City Planning & Urban Affairs in Action

Keep up with news about BU MET’s City Planning & Urban Affairs students and graduates, and learn what steps they are already taking to help guide organizations and municipalities to a better future. Learn More.

Candidates for the bachelor’s degree at Metropolitan College are required to complete a minimum of 32 courses (128 credits), including Hub requirements, major requirements, related courses, and electives.

Hub Requirements

All BU undergraduate students, including transfer students, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular activities. Students majoring in Urban Affairs and taking MET SO 300 will satisfy BU Hub requirements in Social Inquiry II, Critical Thinking, and Research and Information Literacy.

Major and Related Courses

A total of 12 courses (48 credits), completed with a grade of C or higher, is required.

Required Courses

The following four courses (16 credits) are required:

Major Electives

Choose six courses (24 credits) from offerings of the Urban Affairs Program in the Department of Applied Social Sciences. Courses are selected with the approval of the urban affairs faculty advisor and must form a coherent policy concentration in areas such as housing and community development, environmental management, health and human services, or public policy analysis and administration.

Please check with your Academic Counselor in Enrollment & Student Success for an approved listing of urban affairs electives and related courses.

Related Courses

Choose two courses (8 credits) from disciplines other than urban affairs (choose from the following or substitute courses approved by the department coordinator):

Electives

Electives are chosen with the advice of an academic counselor. The number of electives varies depending on transfer credit. Courses should be selected to complement and broaden the student’s background. When selecting these courses, consider career objectives and personal interests.

View undergraduate courses.

Urban Affairs Faculty

Tuition & Financial Assistance

Competitive Tuition

Our part-time rates are substantially lower than those of the traditional, full-time residential programs yet provide access to the same high-quality BU education.

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Comprehensive Financial Assistance

Our services include scholarships, graduate loans, and payment plans.

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Please visit the BU MET admissions page for details on how to apply, financial assistance, tuition and fees, requirements for international students, and more.

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