Introducing the concept of urban spatial structure, the study course of urban spatial structure home and abroad is reviewed, and the main contents studied, and the theory and viewpoints in different periods are commented. An important economic background to the establishment of urban spatial theory abroad is market economy under free competition. The study has experienced the stages of morphologic study, function study, human care and spatial mechanism study, which reflects that the overseas theory system of urban spatial structure is getting mature ; As compared with that, before reform and opening to the outside world, the urbanization in China was always under the guidance of planned economy, the regularity was not obvious, the particularity of urban development was stronger than the generality of that. Therefore, urban development did not have a fixed pattern. After 1980s, with the transition from planned economy to market economy, urban development has followed a certain objective law. A systematical research situation has gradually come into being in China. According to the difference of the studied emphasis, the study process can be approximately divided into three stages ： 1 ） in the 1980s Chinese traditional urban study was conducted; 2） from late 1980s to middle 1990s different dimensions of urban spatial structure were studied; 3） since the middle 1990s, the study has mainly focused on urban spatial dynamic mechanism, spatial evolution, urban fringe area, suburbanization and so on. However, compared with that abroad, the study in China still has a long way to go. It is considered that the advanced ideas, experience and patterns of urban study in other countries could be made use of for reference in China on the basis of combination with the practice of home urban development.