Graduate Studies

Urban Studies Certificate Programs

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

Human Resources Leadership

Program Overview

Offered 100% online, our graduate-level urban studies certificate programs concentrate on two areas:

  • Urban Activism
  • Dynamics of Urban Organizations

Here, you'll develop 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.

In addition, these certificate programs are a good option for busy, working adults to explore graduate study without making a full commitment to a master's degree program. Discounted credits earned through the certificate programs can be seamlessly rolled in to select master's degree programs at Widener, further enabling you to advance in your career while reducing the cost of your education.

NOTE: This certificate program is also offered to students with a high school diploma who do not have a college degree or are in the process of earning an associate's or bachelor's degree. Please see our Adult & Continuing Studies academic offerings for details about the urban studies certificate program for continuing studies students.

Program Options

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. See Loading...

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. See Loading...

Complete the online certificate programs in urban activism or dynamics of urban organizations and then easily transition to either the organizational development & leadership master's degree or the allied health education master's degree

The transition is simple; students enrolled in the certificate will only have to complete a short application and will have all their discounted certificate course credits applied to the degree program.

You can even complete a master's degree by combining (or "stacking") certificates and taking a capstone course. Completing a master's degree program this way will afford you significant savings, as certificate courses cost 50 percent less than master's courses.

Admissions Information

No application deadline (rolling admissions)


See the Graduate Tuition & Fees page for the per credit tuition cost for certificates offered through the Center for Graduate & Continuing Studies.  


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 master's programs to save money on completion of your degree. 

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 


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.