Urban Studies Bachelor's & Certificate Programs

Gain the skills needed to work with diverse groups of people to promote equity and meaningful change in urban organizations and communities.

Urban Studies Certificate Outside City

Program Overview

Offered 100% online, our urban studies bachelor's degree program for adult & continuing studies students will help you develop the skills to successfully navigate complex organizations and solve important issues that affect urban organizations and communities with the goal to bring about societal change.

Designed for individuals and organizations working in human resources, public administration, social work, nonprofit management, philanthropy, educational leadership, criminal justice, and healthcare management, these certificates will prepare you to be a change agent in your organization, community, or workforce.

You can earn your degree through three flexible pathways, all offered 100% online in a part-time format. Choose the option that meets your personal and professional goals.

  1. Enroll in the urban studies bachelor's degree program and complete your degree 100% online.  
  2. Take advantage of our 4+1 accelerated advantage and earn your bachelor's degree plus master's degree in 5 years instead of the typical 6 years, allowing you to advance in your career faster while saving you money. 
  3. Start in one of our two urban studies certificate programs - urban activism or dynamics of urban organizations - and roll your credits into the bachelor's degree. Certificates are offered at a discounted tuition rate per credit so starting the program this way will afford you significant savings. 

Program Options

View the academic catalog [PROVIDE LINK TO CATALOG, CURRENTLY NOT AVAILABLE] for curriculum and coursework requirements for the Urban Activism bachelor's degree.





If you’ve ever thought about earning your master’s degree, take advantage of our accelerated graduate program options. Once admitted into the program, you will take up to 9 credits of graduate-level courses that will count towards both your undergraduate and graduate degrees. Complete your master’s degree in as little one year in one of the areas below:

You may apply once you reach 90 credits in your bachelor’s program or upon Associate Dean approval. A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required to apply.

If you're not ready to commit to a bachelor's program, you can start in one of our two 100% online, 9-credit organizational development & leadership certificates. These certificate programs are a good option for busy, working adults to explore graduate study without yet making a full commitment to a master's degree program.

Discounted credits earned through the certificate programs can be seamlessly rolled into select master's degree programs at Widener, further enabling you to advance in your career while reducing the cost of your education.

Note: Transfer credits may impact the ability to pursue the certificate options towards degree completion. 

Certificate options include: 

  1. Dynamics of Urban Organizations Certificate (9 credits): The 100% online 9-credit dynamics of urban organizations certificate focuses on the study of historical and current organizations in urban areas, including diversity, equity, and inclusion in urban organizations, public/private ventures, and sustainable cities. Loading...
  2. Urban Activism Certificate (9 credits): The 100% online 9-credit urban activism certificate focuses on public policy and community change, social movements, and cultural studies relating to race, equity, and representation. Loading...

NOTE: This program is also offered at the graduate level for students who have a bachelor's or master's degree. Please see our Graduate Studies academic offerings for details about the graduate-level urban studies certificate programs.

Admissions Information

  • Complete your online application
  • Submit official transcripts from any high school, college, or trade school attended, if applicable

You are able to transfer up to 90 credits from accredited institutions. For graduation, you must complete at least 30 credits at Widener, and 50% or more of the major courses must be completed at Widener. 

  • Online continuing studies application
  • Personal statement: Please explain why you are interested in this certificate program with particular emphasis on your area of specialization. (Applicants should limit this essay to no more than one typewritten page.)
  • All official transcripts

No application deadline (rolling admissions)


See the Adult & Continuing Studies Tuition & Fees page for the per credit tuition cost for undergraduate continuing studies certificate programs.   


Though the urban studies certificate programs do not qualify for federal financial aid if taken alone, they are offered at a discounted tuition rate. We can advise you on program and payment plan options that will meet your needs. 

We also recommend that you:

  • Explore tuition remission benefits through your employer.
  • Check out our employer partnerships for discounted tuition rates for local organizations and corporations. If you don't see your organization listed, reach out to your HR department to advocate for a partnership.   
  • Transition your discounted certificate credits to one of our associate's or bachelor's degree programs to save money on completion of your degree. You may also take these certificates as part of a bachelor’s or associate’s degree program, which are eligible for federal financial aid.  Please make an appointment with one of our Continuing Studies Academic Advisors to choose the option that works best for you! 

Program Highlights

Go All-in on Flexibility

100% online courses allow you to study on your terms. Complete asynchronous coursework with your morning coffee, over lunch, or after dinner. Engage with classmates and professors when it makes sense for you. Every step of the way, you'll benefit from faculty who go above and beyond to help you achieve your career goals—even in a virtual environment

Inclusive Learning Environment

In your classes, you'll build relationships with a diverse community of students and faculty who bring diverse experiences—both personal and professional—into your virtual classroom. This inclusive learning environment fosters cultural awareness and growth—exactly what it takes to build inclusive, equitable communities in urban organizations. 

Mentoring Relationships & Individualized Attention

Small class sizes mean you’ll receive individual attention from well-qualified and respected faculty who will help you construct a foundation for career enrichment and success. Your professors will take the time to really get to know you—your interests, aspirations, and specific learning style. They'll push you toward opportunities and experiences that widen your expectations and expand your sense of possibility.

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

Our goal is to place students on the inside track to personal and professional success.

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Urban Planner
  • Economic Development Planner
  • Public Administration
  • City Manager
  • Community Advocate
  • Program Director

Hear from Professionals in the Field

Watch video interviews of professionals in the urban studies field describing their role. 

Watch on CandidCareer.com 

Take the Next Steps


Applying online is easy—and it's free! Have questions about your individual requirements? Request an in-person or virtual meeting with an admissions advisor for guidance prior to submitting your application.