Loyola University Chicago

Masters of Urban Affairs and Public Policy


Master of Arts in Urban Affairs

MAUA Picture

‌The Master of Arts (MA) in Urban Affairs is an interdisciplinary degree program focusing on how cities work and the challenges they face, such as economic growth or decline, globalization and immigration, and the impact of the housing market on neighborhood stability. The curriculum brings together viewpoints and analytical tools from multiple fields to provide different perspectives on the causes of urban problems and their possible solutions.

The Urban Affairs program at Loyola is a professional degree focused on training students to assume technical or leadership roles in government, nonprofit organizations, or business. Students develop skills in coursework  and gain work-related experience through internships or capstone policy clinics.

Along with the Master of Public Policy (MPP), the Urban Affairs program is one of two degrees offered within the MUAPP Program of Loyola. For additional information explore the full program descriptions or general information. 

Required Coursework:

Effective Fall 2020: The MA in Urban Affairs requires 31 hours of coursework—10 three-credit courses, plus a one-credit Professional Development course where students will attend a series of meetings covering critical professional skills such as resume and cover letter writing, informational interviews, self-assesments, and networking. Students can complete the program in 18-24 months.

Core Courses: Disciplinary Perspectives on Urban Areas (6 credits).

One Course on Political Environment:

  • MPP 412 Urban Politics  OR
  • MPP 413 Intergovernmental Relations

One Course on the Sociology of Cities:

  • SOCL 462 The Urban Metropolis  OR 
  • SOCL 560 Issues in Community & Urban Sociology  OR
  • SOCL 461 Race and Ethnicity

Analytical Tools (9 credits).

Two courses, one in statistical analysis (MPP 405) and one in municipal public budgeting (MPP 403) are required.

  • MPP 403 Public Budgeting and Finance
  • MPP 405 Statistics Methods for Policy Analysis

In consultation with their advisor, students select at least one additional course that provides a foundation for their specific career goals. Several common choices include

  • MPP 406 Statistical Methods for Policy Analysis II
  • MPP 500 Program Evaluation
  • MPP 400 Policy Design and Analysis
  • ENVS 480 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • RMTD 403 Survey Research
  • SOCL 412 Qualitative Methods in Social Research

Professional Development and Internship (4 credits)

All students attend a series of lectures given by practitioners in the field (MPP 502) and complete an internship or participate in a group policy practicum project (MPP 501).

  • MPP 501 Public Policy Internship
  • MPP 502 Professional Development Skills

Electives (12 credits).

Students are encouraged to select related courses in consultation with their advisor to develop expertise in a specific urban affairs area (e.g. community development or education policy). Below is a list of common Elective courses.

Criminal Justice:

  • CJC 401 Politics and Policies in the Criminal Justice System
  • CJC 402 Theories of Criminal Behavior

Economic and Community Development:

  • MPP 407 Local Economic Development
  • MPP 414 Affordable Housing Finance and Policy


  • ELPS 405 Introduction to Education Policy Analysis
  • ELPS 410 Sociology of Education
  • ELPS 412 Sociological Analysis of Urban Education and Policy


  • SOWK 730 Migration Dynamics and U.S. Social Policy
  • SOWK 732 Migration, Social Justice, and Human Rights

Non-Profit Management:

  • SOWK 633 Philanthropy, Public Policy, and Community Change
  • SOWK 713 Non-Proft Management

Public Health:

  • MPBH 401 Environmental Health
  • MPBH 402 Public Health Practice and Management
  • MPBH 407 Public Health Policy
  • MPBH 424 Health Economics and Health Care Financing

Learning Objectives for MAUA Program

  1. Knowledge of urban issues from a variety of disciplinary perspectives- such as politics, economics, sociology, and history.
  2. Knowledge of local government structures and intergovernmental relationships.
  3. Ability to analyze urban problems and determine possible government, non-profit, or business sector solutions.
  4. Development of technical skills appropriate to the student's specific career goals- such as statistics, GIS mapping and analysis, finance, surveys, and community impact analysis.
  5. Experience working in the public policy arena in a government agency, non-profit, research, or private sector organization.