Catalog
2014-15

Urban Studies

Dr. Cory Blad
Director of the Program

Urban Studies introduces the student to the structural conditions and social interactions that make urban societies unique. The program is designed as an interdisciplinary opportunity to understand the cultural, political, economic, and social diversity of cities of varying types throughout the world. Through historical, ecological, cultural, and social scientific perspectives, the program focuses on the rise and fall of cities, the countless opportunities and problems that are created when large groups of people live in close proximity, and the unique urban challenges to common issues such as education, housing, politics, sustainability, and many others. The goal is to examine the city not as an isolated space, but as a part of a larger, interconnected world, from art to politics to economics to sports. Cities are more than just places -- they are engines of creativity and growth, while also being dependent on their global and local connections.

Urban Studies majors obtain jobs in private industry, such as banks, corporations, or planning firms, or with non-profit agencies and foundations such as organizations that create affordable housing, or in state, local, and national government agencies. Many Urban Studies majors pursue graduate work in fields such as urban planning, public administration, and related professions such as urban education, policing, real estate, or health care. Others attend law school, professional schools of social work, or graduate school in economics, political science, sociology, and urban studies.

Major

Requirements for a Major in Urban Studies

A total of 30 credits or 10 courses are required, including one course dealing primarily with urban subject matter in at least 3 of the following departments:

  1. Economics
  2. Fine Arts
  3. Government
  4. History
  5. Psychology
  6. Sociology

All majors are required to take the introductory course in Urban Studies, URBN 202 Urban Environments; the introductory field course, GOVT 222 Power in the City; and a senior Research Seminar,URBN 401 Seminar - Urban Affairs, or URBN 406 Urban Honors Thesis I and URBN 407 Urban Honors Thesis II. Also required is a supervised field experience/internship in an urban context. This requirement may be satisfied by URBN 475 Internship or URBN 205 Urban America and Catholic Social Teaching. A field-oriented independent research study, URBN 402 Independent Study, may substitute for the internship/field experience only by permission of the program director.

No more than 4 courses in any academic discipline can be counted towards the major in Urban Studies. A minimum grade of C is required to fulfill the requirements for the major.

Minor

The minor in Urban Studies is available to students in all schools of the College. 15 credits or 5 courses are required, including one of the two introductory courses in Urban Studies: URBN 202 Urban Environments or GOVT 222 Power in the City. No more than two courses from any one discipline can be counted towards the minor. A minimum grade of C is required to fulfill the requirements for the minor.

Courses for Urban Studies Majors and Minors

ART 358The New York Skyscraper3
ART 360New York City Architecture, Urbanism and Design3
ART 370Current Trends3
ECON 333Public Finance3
ECON 405Labor Economics3
ENGL 285Literary New York3
GOVT 212Wall Street3
GOVT 222Power in the City3
GOVT 223Environmental Politics3
GOVT 254Global Cities3
GOVT 315State and Local Government in the United States3
GOVT 321Urban Government and Politics3
GOVT 322Public Administration3
GOVT 420Senior Seminar: Conflict Resolution3
GOVT 426Senior Seminar: The Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and Class in the United States3
HIST 358The Industrial Revolution3
HIST 387New York City and the American Urban Experience3
HIST 390Terror and Terrorism: The Uses of Political Violence3
MGMT 430Business, Government, and Society3
MUSC 310History of the Broadway Musical3
PSYC 321Social Psychology3
RELS 204Religion and Social Justice3
RELS 363Religious Faith and the Arts3
SOC 204Urban Anthropology3
SOC 209NYC Ethnic Communities3
SOC 220Social Problems3
SOC 270Criminology3
SOC 273Prisons and Probation3
SOC 275Police and Society3
SOC 302Race and Resistance3
SOC 304Social Inequalities3
SOC 305Urban Sociology3
SOC 308Juvenile Justice3
SOC 310Sociology of Deviance3
SOC 327Power and Conflict3
SOC 338Schools and Society3
SOC 361Criminal Justice Administration3
SOC 362Organized Crime3
SOC 364Law and Society3
SOC 366White Collar Crime3

Courses

URBN 202. Urban Environments. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the complexities of urban life and space emphasizing the interaction of socio-cultural, political, economic, natural, and built environments. The course will examine the factors that influence urbanization, the distinct patterns of social interaction that typify urban life, motivations for various patterns/strategies of urban development, and the effect of globalization on urban expansion and decline. These points of emphasis are founded on the understanding of cities as unique environments with distinct challenges to social organization, economic growth and inequality, and sustainability.

URBN 205. Urban America and Catholic Social Teaching. 3 Credits.

An interdisciplinary, service learning course. Sociological, political science, economic analysis of urban poverty, combined with reflections on Catholic social teaching, provide the framework for student-volunteer work at various Bronx-based community organizations.

URBN 301. Special Topics in Urban Affairs. 3 Credits.

Course descriptions will be announced when courses are offered.

URBN 302. Sustainable Cities. 3 Credits.

This course examines issues related to urban environmental sustainability through classroom instruction and field experiences in New York City. Primary topics will include an introduction to the methods used by environmental scientists to measure environmental conditions, historical and contemporary environmental issues facing urban communities, the potential for sustainable urban development and growth, and issues pertaining to urban inequalities and environmental justice.

URBN 303. Urban Planning. 3 Credits.

Introduction to the principles and techniques of urban planning. Practical application of knowledge from many disciplines in forming physical design for urban spaces. Consideration of demographic, political, economic, and legal factors in the planning process.

URBN 375. Internship. 3 Credits.

Students participate in an off-campus training experience closely related to their area of study. Frequent meetings with the internship advisor and a paper are required. Internships are arranged through the Center for Career Development and must be approved in advance by the chair and the Dean of the School of Arts.

URBN 401. Seminar - Urban Affairs. 3 Credits.

Environmental Politics and Public Policy; Conflict Resolution; Women in Politics and the Politics of Race, Ethnicity and Class in the U.S.A. Interdisciplinary consideration of selected modern urban problems.

URBN 402. Independent Study. 3-6 Credit.

Supervised reading and/or research designed to allow majors to pursue areas of special interest. Topic and outline of plans must be approved by director of program and supervising professor.

URBN 406. Urban Honors Thesis I. 3 Credits.

The first of a two-semester progression, Urban Honors Thesis I allows exceptional junior and senior students the opportunity to engage in an independent research project under the direction of the program director and a committee drawn from Urban Studies faculty. In the first semester, the student will conceptualize and propose the independent project and pursue advance study in theory, method, and analysis. Open only to Urban Studies majors who meet program criteria. Approval of program director required.

URBN 407. Urban Honors Thesis II. 3 Credits.

The culmination of a two-semester progression, Urban Honors Thesis II, allows exceptional junior and senior students to collect and analyze data to complete an original independent research project. Open only to Urban Studies majors who meet program criteria and successfully complete URBN 406. Approval of program director required.

URBN 475. Internship. 3 Credits.

Students participate in an off-campus training experience closely related to their area of study. Frequent meetings with the internship advisor and a paper are required. Internships are arranged through the Center for Career Development and must be approved in advance by the chair and the Dean of the School of Arts. Open to majors only.

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