The program incorporates a wide variety of disciplinary approaches to the study of urbanization, urban processes, urbanity, and urbanism. Students explore the city from multiple perspectives, which prepares them for graduate work in several disciplines and careers in fields concerned with urban life. Students are encouraged to shape their course of study according to their interests in consultation with their advisor. 

Urban Studies (URBS)

URBS-1310 The Urban Experience
Description
An introduction to the city, its origins, contemporary form, and likely future. The course will present the city and urban phenomena in both the American context and other national environments. The major emphasis will be placed on understanding the physical, social, economic, and political systems which create and sustain urban areas. (Also listed as SOCI 1310.) (Offered every year.)
Credits
3 credits
Level
Lower Division
Pathways Curriculum
Approaches to Creation and Analysis
URBS-1316 People and Places in Global Context
Description
A study of the complex ways in which modern social organization materializes geographically. Topics include the distribution and movement of human populations, characteristics and distribution of cultural mosaics, patterns of economic interdependence, and the forces of cooperation and conflict among peoples from both global and local perspectives. (Also listed as SOCI 1316.)
Credits
3 credits
Level
Lower Division
URBS-2310 Urban Experience II
Description
This course provides students a deeper understanding of the city using an interdisciplinary lens(es). Perspectives on urban life and urbanism from economics, political science, and urban planning are examined, as well as theories of urban form and the 'right to the city' movement. The course prepares students for upper-division work in Urban Studies. Prerequisite: URBS/SOCI 1310
Credits
3 credits
Level
Lower Division
URBS-2328 Social Inequality
Description
A study of the stratification of American society in terms of the unequal distribution of wealth, status and power. Theories on the origin and development of social classes as well as the functional necessity of social inequality will be examined along with empirical works dealing with inequality. (Also listed as SOCI 2328). (Offered occasionally).
Credits
3 credits
Level
Lower Division
URBS-3188 Urban Studies Internship
Description
Field-work experience in a setting approved by the student, professor, and the organization selected Supervision and guidance will be provided by the host organization and the professor. The course must be taken on a graded basis. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Credits
1 credit
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3189 Urban Studies Practicum
Description
Field-work experience in a setting approved by the student, professor, and the organization selected. Supervision and guidance will be provided by the host organization and the professor. This course must be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Credits
1 credit
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3190 Independent Study
Description
Independent study in selected areas. 1 to 6 hours. Prerequisites: 6 advanced hours in Urban Studies or consent of instructor.
Credits
1 credit
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3288 Urban Studies Internship
Description
Field-work experience in a setting approved by the student, professor, and the organization selected Supervision and guidance will be provided by the host organization and the professor. The course must be taken on a graded basis. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Credits
2 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3289 Urban Studies Practicum
Description
Field-work experience in a setting approved by the student, professor, and the organization selected. Supervision and guidance will be provided by the host organization and the professor. This course must be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Credits
2 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3290 Independent Study
Description
Independent study in selected areas. 1 to 6 hours. Prerequisites: 6 advanced hours in Urban Studies or consent of instructor.
Credits
2 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3305 The City in History
Description
Cross-cultural examination of urban life in the pre-industrial and industrial cities of Asia, Europe and the Americas from a historical perspective with special emphasis on the U.S. urban experience. Lecture and discussion format. (Also listed as HIST 3382.)
Credits
3 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3330 Economics and the Environment
Description
The economic problem of coping with a finite environment. Study of the interrelationships among economic growth, environmental quality, urban concentration and resource constraints. Economic analysis of pollution control and other environmental policy problems. (Also listed as ECON 3330.) Prerequisite: ECON 1311.
Credits
3 credits
Level
Upper Division
Pathways Curriculum
The Interdisciplinary Clusters
URBS-3334 Urban Economics
Description
Analytical study of the reasons for cities to exist, the location of economic activity, the economic base of urban areas and the functioning of urban land markets. Economic analysis of selected urban policy issues such as local economic development, zoning and growth controls, housing, transportation, poverty, crime, and the provision of local public services. Attention is paid to the urban experience outside as well as within the U.S. (Also listed as ECON 3334.) Prerequisites: ECON 1311, and three hours of upper-division credit in either Economics or Urban Studies.
Credits
3 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3366 Governance and Public Policy in Contemporary China
Description
This course covers most significant issues of contemporary policies and public policy in China. It explores the forces changing the lives of nearly a fifth of humanity, the 1.1 billion people of China. This course is designed to be experimental in both subject and teaching methodology. In order to explore the political, economic, and social processes of liberalization that have created this new era of the increased circulation of people, ideas, commodities and technologies across national boundaries, seminar participants must use materials and methods from many scholarly disciplines and traditions: urban studies, political science, sociology, history, anthropology, economics, and media/cultural studies. In order to study these increasingly mobile populations that often fall outside the boundaries of conventional area studies approaches, students must develop innovative comparative case study and survey methodologies. (Also listed as PLSI 3366, CHIN 3366).
Credits
3 credits
Level
Upper Division
Pathways Curriculum
The Interdisciplinary Clusters
URBS-3367 Comparative Views of Modern China
Description
This course represents an overview of the most important economic relationship of the twenty-first century. The global financial crisis that started in 2008 revealed just how much the strategic relationship between China and the United States represents the heart of the world's economy. China has recently surpassed Japan to become the world's second largest economy and America's third largest commercial partner. The rise of China has brought about a reorganization of the global economy and the international balance of power. This new world order carries challenges and opportunities. China remains a communist country with a significant legacy of a command economy. It is also a market economy. Understanding this mixture - capitalism with Chinese characteristics or the Chinese variety Capitalism - is the major aim of this course. We also cover topics relevant to the economic relationship between China and the USA, including international trade and the balance of trade, the Chinese currency system, the growth of China and its growing influence in the international sphere. (Also listed as ECON 3367, CHIN 3367, and BUSN 3367.)
Credits
3 credits
Level
Upper Division
Pathways Curriculum
The Interdisciplinary Clusters, The Core Capacities
URBS-3370 Applied Urban Studies
Description
This course combines the academic study of Urban Studies with a service learning component; classroom work will be integrated with off-campus internships. Prerequisites: URBS 1310 and Urban Studies Major, or consent of instructor.
Credits
3 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3388 Urban Studies Internship
Description
Field-work experience in a setting approved by the student, professor, and the organization selected Supervision and guidance will be provided by the host organization and the professor. The course must be taken on a graded basis. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Credits
3 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3389 Urban Studies Practicum
Description
Field-work experience in a setting approved by the student, professor, and the organization selected. Supervision and guidance will be provided by the host organization and the professor. This course must be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3390 Independent Study
Description
Independent study in selected areas. 1 to 6 hours. Prerequisites: 6 advanced hours in Urban Studies or consent of instructor.
Credits
3 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3416 Urban Politics
Description
An exploration of the urban space, including the politics, institutions, power centers, policies, and the people who live in urban environments. Emphasis is given to why cities matter, how cities are organized, how cities operate as an economic engine, and how cities shape identity and experiences while producing inequality. Contemporary urban issues are considered, such as demographic changes, community power, and public transportation. (Offered every Spring.) (Also listed as PLSI 3416.)
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
Pathways Curriculum
The Core Capacities
URBS-3430 Economics and the Environment
Description
The economic problem of coping with a finite environment. Study of the interrelationships among economic growth, environmental quality, urban concentration and resource constraints. Economic analysis of pollution control and other environmental policy problems. (Also listed as ECON 3330.) Prerequisite: ECON 1311.
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
Pathways Curriculum
The Interdisciplinary Clusters
URBS-3440 Urban Geography
Description
This course examines the history and contemporary processes of urbanization, primarily in the North American context. In particular, we are concerned with the geography of these processes, resulting in differentiation of space and the creation of distinct places. We will examine the geography of urbanization at several scales, ranging from development of the North American urban system to the experiences of neighborhoods within cities. (Also listed as SOCI 3440.) Prerequisite: At least 3 hours completed in Sociology
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3445 Understanding Refugees
Description
An interdisciplinary study of the refugee experience from global and local perspectives. The course will examine how the human rights of refugees are understood from the points of view of international law, humanitarian institutions, and of refugees themselves. The ways in which refugees negotiate the trauma of the past and the demands of everyday life in cities in their hose countries will also be examined. Includes a directed field research experience. (Also listed as ANTH 3445 and SOCI 3445.) (Offered every other year.) Prerequisite: At least 3 hours completed in ANTH, SOCI, or URBS
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3452 Global Cities: Africa, Asia, and the Americas
Description
This course offers theoretical and empirical tools for the study of urban processes in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. It examines the major problems of housing and infrastructure confronting cities in these regions, and emphasizes the role of globalization in urban transformation. (Offered every other year.) (Also listed as ANTH 3452.) Prerequisite: URBS 1310 or at least 3 hours completed in ANTH
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3456 United States Social Policy
Description
This course is designed to give students a working understanding of some of the United States' most impactful Federal and State government policies. The course will explore a number of themes including the "submerged" aspects of the U.S. welfare state, the role of policy choices in shaping poverty and inequality, and the importance of federalism in how policies are structured. The course will be run in seminar format, and class sessions will primarily involve group discussions and activities. Assignments will consist of weekly memos, short papers, and a semester-long research project. (Also listed as SOCI 3456.) Prerequisite: take one lower-division Sociology course.
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3460 Research Methods: Applied Social Statistics
Description
This course provides hands-on approach for learning how to undertake quantitative social research focused on the design and completion of a semester long research project. A variety of statistical tools are addressed, including descriptive statistics, tests of significance, and linear regression and correlation. The course goals emphasize writing and rewriting, learning how to formulate and test research hypotheses, and understanding how to present results in an accurate and effective manner. (Also listed as SOCI 3460 and ANTH 3460.)(Offered every Spring.) Prerequisite: ANTH or SOCI 3359
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
Pathways Curriculum
Approaches to Creation and Analysis
URBS-3465 Research Methods: GIS
Description
This course provides a hands-on approach for learning how to undertake spatial social research focused on the design and completion of a semester long research project. Spatial tools introduced emphasize geographic information systems. The course goals include map making and the integration of information technology and cartography. (Also listed as SOCI/ANTH 3465.) (Offered every year.) Prerequisite: SOCI 3359 or ANTH 3359
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
Pathways Curriculum
The Core Capacities, The Core Capacities
URBS-3488 Urban Studies Internship
Description
Field-work experience in a setting approved by the student, professor, and the organization selected Supervision and guidance will be provided by the host organization and the professor. The course must be taken on a graded basis. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3489 Urban Studies Practicum
Description
Field-work experience in a setting approved by the student, professor, and the organization selected. Supervision and guidance will be provided by the host organization and the professor. This course must be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3490 Independent Study
Description
Independent study in selected areas. 1 to 6 hours. Prerequisites: 6 advanced hours in Urban Studies or consent of instructor.
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3590 Independent Study
Description
Independent study in selected areas. 1 to 6 hours. Prerequisites: 6 advanced hours in Urban Studies or consent of instructor.
Credits
5 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3689 Urban Studies Practicum
Description
Field-work experience in a setting approved by the student, professor, and the organization selected. Supervision and guidance will be provided by the host organization and the professor. This course must be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor
Credits
6 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-3690 Independent Study
Description
Independent study in selected areas. 1 to 6 hours. Prerequisites: 6 advanced hours in Urban Studies or consent of instructor.
Credits
6 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-4391 Special Topics in Urban Studies
Description
Announcement of each course will be by prospectus. May be repeated when topics vary.
Credits
3 credits
Level
Upper Division
URBS-4494 Senior Seminar
Description
The Senior Seminar in Urban Studies is the capstone experience for the Urban Studies Major. It serves as a synthesis course for the wide variety of courses taken in this interdisciplinary program. In it, students undertake either a traditional research project, or community-based research project, for which they are responsible for primary data collection, analysis, and presentation. Projects are true synthesis of the various discipline perspectives of the city and urban issues.
Credits
4 credits
Level
Upper Division
Photo of Christine Drennon
Christine Drennon, Ph.D.
Program Director
Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
Nels Peter Christiansen
Nels Peter Christiansen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Economics
Carey Latimore
Carey Latimore, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
" "
Kenneth Loiselle, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Shana McDermott
Shana McDermott, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Economics
" "
Tahir H. Naqvi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
" "
Kathryn O'Rourke, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Art and Art History
Headshot of faculty member Tim O'Sullivan
Timothy O'Sullivan, Ph.D.
Professor, Classical Studies
" "
Curtis Swope, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures

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