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Urban Ecology Major & Minor (B.S.) 

Program Description

Urban Ecology is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the interrelationships among social, environmental, and economic systems, with the goal of enhancing the vitality and sustainability of places and communities. The University of Utah’s Urban Ecology program is designed to respond to problems and opportunities that exist in cities, suburbs, small towns, and rural places for example, environmental management, fragile landscape protection, recreation and tourism, public lands planning, rapid population growth, regional transportation, energy production, and sprawl.

Students of the Urban Ecology program will take classes in urban ecology, planning, field studies, economics, law and social justice; they can also choose from a variety of electives topics, such as green infrastructure, sustainable development, community leadership and cities in literature. In their senior year, students will do an internship and take on a real world problem in the Ecological Planning Workshop.

The Student Experience

While being students of the program, they can take time to interact and network with peers and faculty, attend special guest lectures, and join one of the university's student organizations. 

In Salt Lake, the students can learn about research being conducted the Metropolitan Research Center and the Center for Ecological Planning & Design. They can also contribute to the field by completing your own research project or get involved in a community-based project.

Career Opportunities

The undergraduate program in Urban Ecology will prepare students for professional careers in environmental and sustainability planning, public health, public policy, and community development and planning. U graduates have used analytical and technical skills to pursue work as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysts, planning consultants, conservationist, community organizers, environmental outreach, and project engineers. With further education, Urban Ecology graduates can pursue a career in architecture, law, real estate development, social work, urban design, urban & regional planning.


Major Requirements (B.S.)

Department of City and Metropolitan Planning

**Minimum Major Hours: 56

Admission Requirements

  • Design Foundations:
    • The Design Foundations program provides pre-major students with cross-disciplinary design-related literacy and skills in a supportive, cohort-based learning environment.
    • In their first year, Design Foundations students work together in three courses—Design Contexts (DES 2630), Design Ecologies (CMP 2010), and Design Foundations Workshop (ARCH 2630).
    • During their second year, students explore in greater depth one of three streams of inquiry—design, urban ecology, or architecture--preparing them for entering one of the college's three undergraduate majors.
  • In prior to beginning studies in Urban Ecology, students should have satisfied...
    • Lower Division Writing Requirement (WR2)
    • American Institutions Requirement (AI)
    • Quantitative Reasoning Requirements (QA&QB)
    • most of the Intellectual Explorations (IE)
  • Transfer students should have complete, or nearly completed their general education requirements. Those interested in majoring in Urban Ecology must meet with an Academic Advisor to declare.

**For more information go to:

Graduation Requirements

  • Students must maintain a minimum 2.70 culmulative GPA


Required Courses

*Total Credit: 42

Design Foundations Courses:

Complete the Following:


Elective Courses

*Total Credit: 15-23
  •  Urban Ecology majors are required to take a minimum of 18 credits of electives.
  • Electives must be 3000 level and above. Approved elective courses and further details for Urban Ecology major can be found in the link: Elective Courses for Urban Ecology Major


 Minor Requirements 

**Minimum minor hours: 18

Admission Requirements

  • Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher to be admitted to the minor.
  • To enter the minor, a student must first consult with an City & Metropolitan Planning advisor ( for review and approval of the courses to be used.
  • To see if you meet the requirements, contact one of the Academic Advisors:

book an appointment

Graduation Requirements

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.70.

Planning Core Courses (complete all)

CMP 2010-  Design Ecologies 3 Credits

CMP 3100 - Planning Theory and Practice 3 Credits

CMP 3101-  Honors People and Place 3 Credits

CMP 3200 - Ecology of Human Settlements 3 Credits

CMP 4260 - Land, Law & Culture 3 Credits


Elective Courses 


Last Updated: 9/24/20