2022-2023 Course Catalog

Welcome to Virginia Tech! We are excited that you are here planning your time as a Hokie.

View Undergraduate Course Catalog
Bachelor of Arts in Public and Urban Affairs

Smart and Sustainable Cities Major

Program Curriculum

Degree Core Requirements
Required Courses
UAP 1004Introduction to Careers in Urban Affairs and Planning1
UAP 1024Leadership, Service, and Public Problem Solving3
PSCI 1014Introduction to United States Government and Politics3
STAT 3604Statistics for Social Science3
SPIA 3554Transdisciplinary Problem Solving for Social Issues3
UAP/PSCI 3714The U. S. Policy Process3
UAP/PSCI 3744Public Policy Analysis3
UAP 4754Legal Foundations of Planning3
UAP 4914Seminar in Public and Urban Affairs3
UH 4514Honors SuperStudio1
Major Requirements
Required Core Courses
SPIA/GEOG 2244Sustainable Urbanization3
SPIA 2005Introduction to Urban Analytics1
SPIA 2006Introduction to Urban Analytics1
SPIA 2104Urban Analytics for Decision-Making1
UAP 3024Urban and Regional Analysis3
SPIA 4454Future of Cities3
Required Elective Courses
Select nine credit hours from the list below9
Free Electives
Select as many credits as needed to reach 120 credits28
Pathways to General Education
Pathways Concept 1 - Discourse
ENGL 1105First-Year Writing3
ENGL 1106First-Year Writing3
Select three credis in Pathway 1a3
Pathways Concept 2 - Critical Thinking in the Humanities
PHIL 1304Morality and Justice3
or PHIL 2304 Global Ethics
Select three credis in Pathway 23
Pathways Concept 3 - Reasoning in the Social Sciences
Select one of the following:6
Principles of Economics
and Principles of Economics
Economics of the Food and Fiber System
and Economics of the Food and Fiber System
Pathways Concept 4 - Reasoning in the Natural Sciences
Select six credits in Pathway 4 16
Pathways Concept 5 - Quantitative and Computational Thinking
MATH 1014Precalculus with Transcendental Functions3
Select three additional credis in Pathway 5f3
SPIA 4464Data and the Art of Policy-Making and Planning3
Pathways Concept 6 - Critique and Practice in Design and the Arts
Select three credits in Pathway 6a3
Select three credits in Pathway 6d3
Pathways Concept 7 - Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States
SPIA 2554Collaborative Policy-Making and Planning3
Total Credits120

No labs are required

Required Elective Courses

Select nine (9) credit hours from the elective courses listed below. All courses listed below are 3 credit hours.

Urban Policy and Decision-Making
UAP 3014Urban Policy and Planning3
UAP 3264Contemporary Urban Issues3
UAP 4344Law of Critical Environmental Areas3
UAP 4374Land Use and Environment: Planning and Policy3
UAP 4394Community Renewable Energy Systems3
UAP 4854Planning of the Urban Infrastructure3
UAP/PSCI 4624The Washington Semester: Seminar in American Politics and Public Policy3
UAP/PSCI 4644The Washington Semester: Politics, Policy and Administration in A Democracy3
SPIA 4964Field Work/Practicum3
SPIA/HNFE 2314Active Transportation for a Healthy, Sustainable Planet3
SPIA 3704Urban Contention and Mobilization3
HD 3024Community Analytics3
PSCI 3424State and Local Government3
PSCI 3434Urban Politics3
UAP 4964Field Study3
GEOG 2084Principles of Geographic Information Systems3
GEOG/GEOS 4084Modeling with Geographic Information Systems3
CS 1064Introduction to Programming in Python3
LAR 3044Land Analysis and Site Planning3
Cities, Culture, and Place
LAR 2254Social and Cultural Landscapes3
LAR 3264People Community and Place3
LAR 4034Evolution of the American Landscape3
FREC/HORT 2134Plants and Greenspaces in Urban Communities3
GEOG 3244The U.S. City3
UAP/REAL 2004Principles of Real Estate3
ECON 3024Economic Justice3
ECON 4014Environmental Economics3
AAEC 3324Environment and Sustainable Development Economics3
UAP 3954Study Abroad3
UAP/SOC/GEOG 4764International Development Policy and Planning3

Departmental Policies

Hours Requirement

A total of 120 hours is required to graduate with a PUA degree. Forty-seven (47) credit hours are required to complete the Smart and Sustainable Cities (SSC) major.

In-major GPA

All of the courses in sections II and III are included in the in-major GPA calculation. A GPA of 2.0 or above (overall and in-major) is required for graduation.

Satisfactory Progress

To make satisfactory progress within the SSC major, students must complete UAP 1024 Leadership, Service, and Public Problem Solving, PSCI 1014 Introduction to United States Government and Politics, SPIA 2114 Public Service Leadership, STAT 3604 Statistics for Social Science, and SPIA 2244 Sustainable Urbanization by the end of the semester in which 60 hours have been attempted; and maintain an in-major GPA of 2.0.

Dual Use of Courses

No course can double count within or between SPIA-related majors or minors with the exception of the PUA Core Degree Requirements. In accordance with university guidelines, courses satisfying degree core requirements may not be used to satisfy other areas of a degree (e.g. Pathways).

Intra-SPIA Program Majoring and Minoring

Students may pursue more than one major or minor associated with the School of Public and International Affairs Program. In this case, the policy pertaining to the “Dual Use of Courses” will apply.


Some courses listed on this checksheet have prerequisites. Be sure to consult the University Catalog and/or check with your advisor regarding course planning.

Foreign Language Requirements

No Credits Count Toward the Degree

2 years of a single foreign, classical, or sign language in high school or complete an 1105-1106 foreign language (e.g., FR, GR, SPAN) grouping (these credits will not count toward the 120 required for graduation).