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Welcome to the USP at UCSD

The Urban Studies and Planning Program (USP) is an interdisciplinary social science undergraduate major that provides students with a variety of approaches and tools to understand the development, character, and culture of cities and communities. 

Planning Drawings by USP students at UC San Diego

The USP Program is widely acknowledged to be one of the best in the nation, based upon the caliber of its faculty and graduates as well as its comprehensive set of courses and rigorous requirements. An external Steering Committee, comprised of community leaders and alumni, provides guidance on program development.

USP draws from the various social science disciplines as well as arts and humanities and the natural sciences. The curriculum focuses upon regional planning and policy issues, particularly in the San Diego/Tijuana cross border region, and encourages students to think creatively and holistically across academic divides. Areas of concentration include Urban/Regional Policy and Planning; Urban Design/Built Environment; Health, Social Services and Education; Urban Diversity; and Cities in Historical and Comparative Perspectives.

Faculty Spotlight

Professor Steven P. Erie's book, Paradise Plundered, focuses on city’s financial problems. U-T article. Best Book award from American Political Science Assoc.

This program is available online: "Paradise Plundered:  Steve Erie, Vlad Kogan":


In the News:

Annual Urban EXPO U-T article

USP Faculty (Nancy Kwak, Natalia Molina, Mirle Bussell) receive Distinguished Teaching Awards

Visiting Lecturer, Denise Ducheny, receives prestigious Ohtli Award (U-T article)

USP student news