Graduate Certificate Program

GUH Student Handbook- PDF  
Graduate Certificate Application Form- Word Doc
Completion of Certificate form- Word Doc
Elective Petition form- Word Doc
Required Course List (2017-2018)- Link


The Graduate Certificate in Global Urban Humanities provides an academic structure for the study of contemporary and historical cities using methods from the environmental design disciplines, the arts and humanities, and the interpretive social sciences. Global Urban Humanities is an emerging interdisciplinary field in which hybrid methods of investigation including artistic and interpretive as well as analytical approaches are applied to the study of urban form and experience.

Through a three-course series, the Certificate offers PhD and master's degree students the opportunity to supplement their major areas of study with courses that explore cities through a variety of disciplinary approaches. In particular, the Certificate emphasizes the intersection of interpretive approaches from the arts and humanities (including close reading, formal analysis, discourse analysis and the making of artistic work products) with methods from the environmental design disciplines (including spatial analysis, representation, and iterative design interventions as a means of research).

PROGRAM benefits

Intellectual Community: The Global Urban Humanities Graduate Certificate provides a unique opportunity for making connections with students from across the campus with a shared interest in global cities, including urban areas in the United States. Participation in the Certificate program makes you part of an active community of scholars and urban practitioners and artists engaged in developing new methods of research and teaching.

Global Perspective: The Certificate is based on the notion that learning occurs in many directions and that cities in the Global South are important sources of knowledge and not just objects of study. The same is true of diverse neighborhoods within global cities in North America. 

Interdisciplinary Approach: The certificate offers a framework for incorporating theories and methods for interrogating urban places from disciplines both within and outside students’ home departments. For students planning to enter the design and planning professions, the Certificate will provide an opportunity to incorporate critical approaches from the humanities in their work. For students in the humanities and social sciences, the Certificate will facilitate their participation in coursework that addresses both urban form and urban experience, and provide a chance to experience the research studio method, a pedagogy central to environmental design education.

Enhancement of Employability: For PhD students, the Certificate will demonstrate not only your knowledge of cities, but your exposure to methods of experiential, project-based learning that may be valued by academic employers. GSI opportunities may give you a chance to build your pedagogy portfolio. For students in professional programs, the Certificate shows your interest in the human dimension of cities and your ability to to interpret urban culture and experience through ethnography, storytelling, mapping, visual representation and other methods.

Eligibility for Global Urban Humanities-Townsend Fellowships.  Preference in the selection of the Fellows generally goes to students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Global Urban Humanities. More information is available here.


1. Currently enrolled as a graduate student at UC Berkeley  

2. In good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or better)


There are three required courses:

  • a Core Seminar
  • a Core Interdisciplinary Research Studio, and
  • an Elective

Please see the student handbook for details for further information on the required courses. Visit this page for a list of approved elective courses for the 2017-2018 academic year.


Please see pages 3-6 in the student handbook.


Submit your completed application form and statement of interest to


For questions about the program, contact


The Global Urban Humanities Initiative is a joint venture of the UC Berkeley Arts & Humanities Division of the College of Letters & Science and the College of Environmental Design. Thanks to the vision and support of the Mellon Foundation, the Initiative creates an opportunity to bring the humanities, which are increasingly aware that people shape the world around them and are in turn shaped by that world, into closer connection with disciplines that regard the built environment as a three-dimensional field.

GUH Student Handbook- PDF  

Graduate Certificate Application Form- Word Doc

Completion of Certificate form- Word Doc

Elective Petition form- Word Doc

Required Course List (2017-2018)- Link