Urban Studies Student Association

Study urban planning in the Capitol of Virginia.


What is USSA?

The Urban Studies Student Association at Virginia Commonwealth University is the resource for all Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies majors and minors within the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.

We host General Body Meetings for other Urban Studies students to mix and mingle, community events where we partner with Richmond stakeholders and urbanist groups, and collaborate with URSP faculty and staff as undergraduate representatives. We help with professional development, networking, and finding your place at VCU if you're interested in Urban Studies.

Why join USSA?

You'll be a part of the only group at VCU dedicated to Urban and Regional Studies majors and minors, and connect with a larger network of fellow students like you.

At VCU, Urban Studies students have the privilege of living in Richmond, the State Capitol of Virginia. We recognize that we are not just students, but also residents of the city. It's our goal to be informed citizens of local planning-related issues in the area, and we also have the ability to get involved with community partners and learn more about urban studies outside the classroom.

If you've ever had to explain to someone what your major is, or answer the question, "What is urban planning?", you're not alone! You'll be able to bond over walkable cities and fighting gentrification with your people when you join.

Why urban studies, and not urban planning?

The Wilder School offers the Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies (BURS) and Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degrees, separately.

The Bachelor's courses provide fundamental background knowledge in an array of disciplines that form the foundations of urban and regional studies, such as urban planning and design, human and physical geography, community and economic development, environmental management, urban and public policy, and geographic information systems.

The Master's courses, on top of the knowledge of urban studies, take seminars and capstones in which they work with local governments/partners and apply urban planning theories, skills, and methods to real world problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I become a member?

All Urban and Regional Studies majors and minors are automatically members, and we don't require membership registration.

Can I come to meetings and events even though I'm not an Urban and Regional Studies major or minor?

Of course! Our General Body Meetings and special events are open to any VCU student, regardless of your major or minor. As the only club at VCU dedicated to the field of urban and regional studies and planning, it's important to us that anyone who has a passion with urban planning feels welcome – though we won't mind if you decide to join us :)

When are the meetings?

Our General Body Meetings are held several times a semester at the discretion of the Executive Board. BURS students will get an email from the president announcing when meetings are, but if you're not on the BURS Listserv, you can get notifications by checking our Instagram: @ussa.vcu

Are there any dues?

There are no dues required to join USSA.

Past Events

1st General Body Meeting - Feb 13, 2023

USSA's First General Body Meeting of 2023 was kicked off with a group discussion of what our ideal cities look like.

Also discussed at the meeting were future events for the coming semester, additional resources to learn more about non-profit organizations in Richmond, and recommended YouTube channels, articles, and books related to urban and regional studies.

Members went around the room sharing their individual visions and explained what they would see in their ideal cities. Some ideas included inclusionary zoning and affordable housing, transit-oriented development, elaborate parks and green spaces, and healthy grocery stores within walking distance, to name a few.

Community Mingle Series No. 1 – Fall 2022The founder and director of Swap Meet RVA spoke to undergraduate and graduate students about the importance of supporting local entrepreneurs and placemaking within a community.

Community Mingle Series No. 2 – Fall 2023
Broad Street Bullies, known for their weekly rides through Richmond, spoke to USSA and MURP students about alternative transportation, creating a strong community from cycling, and taking the streets back from cars.

Fall 2022 SOVO Fair

Executive Board at the Fall 2022 Student Organization and Volunteer Opportunity Fair held in Monroe Park

Spring 2023 SOVO Fair

Executive Board members at the Spring 2023 Student Organization and Volunteer Opportunity Fair held in the University Student Commons

USSA's 2023 Executive Board

Ethan Wright Profile

Ethan Wright

Roxanna Rafat Profile

Roxanna Rafat

Yeva Rokhmanyuk Profile

Yeva Rokhmanyuk

Cynthia Lin Profile

Cynthia Lin

Brittney Cates Profile

Brittney Cates

Community Outreach Coordinator
Anabel Simpson Profile

Anabel Simpson

Community Outreach Team Member
Alexander Perkins Profile

Alexander Perkins

Community Outreach Team Member
Kyle Sirico Profile

Kyle Sirico

Community Outreach Team Member

Contact USSA for any inquires:
Email: HallDM3@vcu.edu

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
1001 W. Franklin St.
Richmond, Virginia

E: wrighte6@vcu.edu

Urban Studies Student Association

907 Floyd Avenue
Richmond, VA, 23284
United States