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Urban Affairs and Geography are growing and dynamic fields of study. Research shows that the majority of the world’s population now lives in urban areas and this trend of increased urbanization is expected to continue. In fact, it is widely accepted that by 2050, two-thirds of the world's population will be urban. Population growth expands the need for efficient and effective use of scarce resources; thoughtful public policies; public plans and programs that deal with problems of safety, economic opportunity, and poverty, and that develop and sustain a healthy quality of life for all. Educated administrators who are also effective leaders that have vision, excellent communication skills, and can organize and manage a skilled workforce are now – and will continue to be – in great demand.

The Department of Urban Affairs & Geography prepares our students to meet these challenges through innovative curriculum, service-learning and civic engagement projects, and dedicated faculty and staff. Our students help lay the foundations needed for innovative policies, new and modified programs, new and revised plans, and by measuring the performance and outcomes of government and nonprofit organizations.

Our Department includes diverse faculty with expertise in urban studies, public administration, political science, public planning, and geography to teach the next generation of administrators, planners, managers and analysts. Our faculty have created innovative courses, academic programs, and certificate programs designed to meet the diverse needs of government and nonprofit organizations, and to be responsive to the needs of the diverse communities in our geographic region and beyond.

Our leading academic program is the Master of Public Administration (MPA). This program began in 1991 and is fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Our MPA alumni hold leadership positions throughout the Dayton region, across the U.S., and in international organizations. 

For undergraduate students, we offer two degree programs: a Bachelor in Urban Affairs and a Bachelor in Geography. Students may complete a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in either major. Our Urban Affairs and Geography programs respectively provide the knowledge, skills, and competencies that allow our graduates to qualify, contribute quickly, and ultimately succeed in their chosen career fields.

The Department also offers Certificate programs for graduate and undergraduate students. These programs are designed to add to students’ academic credentials and enhance professional opportunities. The Nonprofit Leadership Certificate program is sponsored by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, a national organization recognized by the nation's major nonprofit corporations such as Boy Scouts, March of Dimes and Volunteers of America. The Geographic Information Science Certificate program develops analytical and visualization skills using geospatial software. This is a growing field and the skills developed in this program provide many career opportunities. The Public and Social Service Transportation Certificate program serves the growing need for public transportation to provide equal access to jobs, health care, and every day necessities for many of our residents. The Ohio Department of Transportation sponsors this program and provides internships to our students each year.

Read more about our programs, our students, and our outstanding alumni by clicking on the tabs. Please call or stop by the office if you have more questions – we love talking about our programs! We look forward to seeing you.


Jerri Killian, Ph.D.
Chair, Urban Affairs & Geography