University senate unversity at albany state university of new york

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Appendix 3: Characteristics of Recent USP students

(Source: G&P Self-Study)
The distribution of the cumulative GPA for the 85 most recent graduates with an Urban Studies and Planning major is shown in the Figure below. For these 85 students the mean GPA was 2.90 and the median was 2.83, with a standard deviation of .40 Twenty of these students graduated with a cumulative average of 3.25 or greater (Cum Laude, or Magna, or Summa cum Laude).

Transfer vs. Freshman-admit Status Of the 85 recent Urban Studies and Planning graduates for whom transfer status could be established, 53 are listed on their transcripts as admitted to the University as freshman, and 32 (37%) are listed as transfer students. For comparison, in Fall 2004 31.3 % of all undergraduate admissions at Albany were transfers. This is a smaller proportion of transfers than in the Geography BA, and it suggests that the Urban Studies program is more attractive to “native” (freshman-admit) students.

Transfer Sources of Recent Urban Studies and Planning Graduates

(in descending order of frequency)

Source School Number of Transfers

Hudson Valley Community College 5

Suffolk County Community College 3

Nassau County Community College 2

Queens College, NY 2

Westchester Community College 2

One transfer each:

Alfred University

Brigham Young University

Champlain College

Clarkson University

Erie Community College, North Campus

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Fulton Montgomery Community College

Herkimer County Community College

Manhattan College

Ramapo College, NJ

Sarah Lawrence College

St Johns University, Staten Island

St. Josephs, Patchogue

SUNY Binghamton

SUNY Morrisville

SUNY Oswego

University of New Hampshire

University of Hartford, NH
Like the BA in Geography, the Urban Studies and Planning Program also attracts students for a broad range of institutions in the Northeast, with the vast majority of transfers students coming from other schools in the State of New York, particularly our sister SUNY institutions. The Program has a strong appeal to students from 2 year schools in the New York City region. This outcome has two possible interpretations: on the positive side, the data suggest that the program is able to attract students from a region with a number of competing similar programs in urban studies and planning, including the ones available at Hunter College, NYU, and Rutgers University. Both program quality and value for money are the probable factors behind the student selection in this case. Combined with the findings from the BA in Geography, the conclusion that the Department as a whole is both visible to and held in high esteem by our peer SUNY schools can be made.

Gender Breakdown of Recent Urban Studies Graduates
Though we could not locate any published national statistics on gender participation in Urban Studies programs, we have made some tentative conclusions based on faculty interaction with colleagues in other programs. Based on this anecdotal data, we have estimated that the gender split national is most likely ranges for a 40-60 to 50-50 split, females to males. Within our Urban Studies and Planning the gender gap is slightly wider, 29 of the 85 current students in 2004 were female, or 34% relative to 66% male. One of the reasons for this may be the nature of the USP program. As an interdisciplinary program, without a permanent home, the program may suffer from the lack of advertising and “visibility” within the University. One potential option to improve the gender gap would be to create a permanent home department for the program by seeking official status through SUNY Central Administration. This would increase the program visibility within UAlbany, provide a forum to advertise the program more effectively, and increase resource commitments to the program by the home department’s faculty and administrative by restructuring the incentives. As noted elsewhere, we have proposed a thorough restructuring of the USP major as one of the department’s strategic initiatives in the new and ongoing Compact Planning process. Another way to increase the visibility of the USP major, and hopefully to attract more women into the program, is for joint endeavors between our department and the Department of Women’s Studies. In fact, this has already begun, and in the Spring 2006 semester, for the first time a new course: Gender, Space and Place is being taught. The new course, developed and executed by Dr David Lewis, has about 30 students enrolled in its first term – (roughly one-quarter of the enrollments are in WSS, one-quarter in GOG, and half in PLN, with a handful of other majors; exactly half the students are women) – and in addition to its specific learning objectives, we are expecting its very presence to act in a positive way to enhance the on-campus visibility of the USP major. In an informal poll of the Women’s Studies students in the course, it is apparent that many of them were not previously aware of the USP major!
Double majors and minors of recent graduates in Geography and USP
At Albany a minor is mandatory in addition to a major, except in certain disciplines which offer a combined major-minor degree. The department’s two disciplines may each be taken as a major or minor, or the disciplines may both be taken as a double major. For students listing a double major, a minor is optional. Students in all degrees may list multiple minors. (See Undergraduate Bulletin for details.) The order in which double majors are listed on the transcript is somewhat arbitrary, so in this report students with a double GOG/USP major are treated symmetrically. Thus these students are double counted in the tabulations below.

Second Majors listed by Students with a Geography Major (n= 101)
Urban Studies and Planning 15 (15%)

Interdisciplinary 1

No second major 85 (85%)
Second Majors listed by Students with an Urban Studies and Planning Major (n=85)
Geography 15 (18%)

Anthropology 1

Communication 1

English 1

History 1

Sociology 1

No second major 65 (76%)
Minors listed by Students with a Geography Major.
(A few students declare 2 minors, double majors declare no minor, number of minors tabulated = 90 )

Minor Number of Students

Urban Studies and Planning 26 (29%)

Business 11 (12%)

Sociology 8

Anthropology 6

History 5

Psychology 5

Computer Science 4

Biology 2

Economics 2

Political Sciences 2

Spanish 2

One Student Each:

Africana Studies



Computing in the Social Sciences


General Education Studies


Greek and Roman Civilization





Religious Studies



Urban Education

Women’s Studies

Minors listed by Students with an Urban Studies and Planning Major.
(A few students declare 2 minors, double majors declare no minor, number of minors tabulated = 73 )
Minor Number of Students

Geography 15 (21%)

Business 10 (14%)

Sociology 8

History 7

Psychology 7

Political Science 5

Art 3

Economics 3

Urban Education 3

English 2

Spanish 2

One Student Each:



Greek and Roman Civilization

Latin American and Caribbean Studies



Religious Studies


Undergraduate Bulletin

Degree Requirements for a BA in Urban Studies and Planning

The Urban Studies and Planning Major is designed for students interested in a liberal arts education focusing on urban and suburban environments; environmental planning; sustainable development policy and practices; as well as urban, community and neighborhood development. The program of study mixes conventional classes with fieldwork and computer-based learning, and it requires considerable awareness of international, multicultural and policy issues. Students with training in Urban Studies and Planning may enter careers in housing and community development, real estate, local and state government, local economic development, or local planning. They can pursue further study in graduate or professional schools to specialize in city and regional planning, public policy, real estate, architecture, or landscape architecture.

General Program B.A.: A minimum of 36 credits including:

  • Five core courses (15 Credits) as follows: USP 101 (=GOG 125), USP 203 (=GOG 225, GLO225), USP 201 (=PLN 220), USP 202 (=GOG 220); plus one methods course chosen from the following list, or as advised: USP 385, GOG 390, GOG 414, GOG 479, USP 456 (= GOG 496), USP 324 (=GOG 324), USP 452, GOG 480, GOG 484, GOG 485, GOG 498.

  • 12 credits of elective courses chosen from the following: USP 266 (=GOG 266 = GLO 266), USP 315, USP 321 (=GOG 321), USP 320, USP 330, USP 328 (=GOG 328 =WSS 328), USP 425, USP 426, USP 430, USP 436, USP 443, USP 449, USP 451, USP 452, USP 460, USP 475, USP 480 (=GOG 480), USP 485, USP 497

  • 3 Credits of community engagement work chosen from the following: USP 437, USP 474, USP 476, USP 490, USP 497.

  • 6 credits of cognate coursework: as advised, chosen from upper-division urban-related coursework in departments outside G&P including but not limited to: Anthropology, Economics, Education, History, Political Science, Public Administration and Policy, Sociology, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Women’s Studies, Environmental Science, and selected courses in the Humanities (including English and Art).

University at Albany – State University of New York

College of Arts and Sciences

Course and Program Action Form

Proposal No.


Please check one:


Course Proposal

Program Proposal

Please mark all that apply:


New Course

Revision of:




Cross-Listing w/GOG 375



Shared-Resources Course


Deactivate/Activate Course (boldface & underline as appropriate)

Other (specify):


Geography and Planning

Effective Semester, Year:

Fall 2012

Course Number



USP 375



Course Title:

Methods of Urban Analysis

Course Description to appear in Bulletin:

Course overview and objectives: This class will build a foundation for the lager field of statistical analysis and planning methodology. Students will develop fundamental skills, such as data collection and presentation, descriptive analysis, and data interpretation. When the course successfully completed, students will be to identify different types of data, accurate present data in table and graphic format, describe and analysis data using statistic tools such as measures of central tendency and dispersion, conduct hypothesis testing, build confidence intervals and use these tools to analyze places.

Prerequisites statement to be appended to description in Bulletin:

MAT108 Elementary Statistics or equivalent

If S/U is to be designated as the only grading system in the course, check here:

This course is (will be) cross listed with (i.e., CAS ###):

GOG 375

This course is (will be) a shared-resources course with (i.e., CAS ###):

Explanation of proposal:

As part of formalizing the Urban Studies and planning undergraduate major, this class will be part o the requirement for the methodological component of the degree. It will focus on data sources, uses of data, data presentation, elementary statistics and population modeling

Other departments or schools which offer similar or related courses and which have certified that this proposal does not overlap their offering:

Chair of Proposing Department


Christopher J. Smith


Approved by Chair(s) of Departments having cross-listed course(s) [Copy of e-mail approval on following page.]


Dean of College


Christopher J. Smith

Gregory Stevens


Chair of Academic Programs Committee


Dean of Undergraduate or Graduate Studies


Pinka Chatterji


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