Urban and Regional Studies

The program in Urban and Regional Studies (URST) provides opportunities for in-depth study of some of the major challenges facing individuals and groups living and working in major metropolitan regions such as Detroit.

These challenges include economic development; urban poverty and income inequality; preserving and promoting culture, architecture and art; land use conflicts; and the provision of adequate and sustainable transportation and housing services.  The focus of the URST program is to provide you with the knowledge, techniques and critical analytical skills that will enable you to effectively participate in changing your city and region.  

The URST program is interdisciplinary by design, meaning that courses draw upon a variety of traditional academic disciplines – e.g. Anthropology, Economics, English, Geography, History and Sociology.  Students are encouraged to rigorously and creatively integrate the theory and methods learned in these courses.  In addition, a unique feature of the program is that students gain hands-on experience by working in the community through internship, academic service learning and/or community-based research.

Pursuing a degree in Urban and Regional Studies at UM-Dearborn offers you the opportunity to combine real-world practice and theory.  Students can specialize in areas such as urban and regional policy, community development, urban design and the environment.

Help change the world (or your corner of it) by pursuing a degree in Urban and Regional Studies at UM-Dearborn!


Contact Information:

Professor Lara Rusch

Director, Urban and Regional Studies


I don't know if I would have been as invested in the food pantry if I hadn't learned so much from the URST program.

What can you do with a degree in Urban and Regional Studies?

Get more information on URST Career Planning.

Program Goals

Urban and Regional Studies Faculty

Lara Rusch

Associate Professor of Political Science; Director, Urban and Regional Studies Program; Director, Community Change Studies; Director, WILL+

Carla Vecchiola

Lecturer IV in History; Director, Hub for Teaching & Learning Resources

Degree Requirements

Students may choose to pursue a major or a minor in Urban and Regional Studies

Students may also pursue a double major in Urban and Regional Studies and the following disciplines:

Learn more about CASL Degree Requirements.

Internship and Research Opportunities

Department of Social Sciences

3018 - College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Building
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-593-5096
Fax: 313-593-5645