Introductory Courses in Urban Studies

Introduction to Urban Studies (URBNST 0010)

  • This course serves as the required conceptual introduction into the Urban Studies major, or as a general course in the social sciences for the non-major. Provides an introduction into the interdisciplinary practice of urban studies through a focus on urbanism and urbanization in contemporary and historic context.
  • Offered Spring and Fall semesters
  • Gen Eds: Satisfies Diversity & Social Science Gen Eds
  • Sustainability Certificate Elective

Introduction to GIS (URBNST 0030)

  • This course introduces students to the technical elements of the Urban Studies major through an introduction to Geographic Information Science. Students will learn how to acquire, manage, analyze, and visualize geospatial data using ArcGIS products. Upon completion of the course students should expect to be proficient in basic GIS analysis and be prepared for more advanced coursework.
  • Offered Spring and Fall semesters
  • Prerequisite for Applied GIS
  • GIS Certificate Elective

Introduction to Urban Research (URBNST 0050)

  • This course introduces students to the research methods used in Urban Studies. Through active participation and field exercises students will gain the ability to acquire and analyze qualitative and quantitative research data using social science research approaches. Coursework is organized around real-world problems.
  • Offered Spring and Fall semesters

Introduction to Urban Social Theory (URBNST 0070)

  • This course introduces the practice of close and critical reading of theories about urban social theory. During the course you will encounter different theories that characterize significant evolutions in the way we think about urban form. By learning how to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these theories you will be prepared to engage with the conceptual foundations of urban studies.
  • Offered in Spring semester.

Intermediate Courses in Urban Studies

World Urban Patterns (URBNST 0100)

  • This course explores two related aspects of global urbanization: changing patterns of urban growth and urbanization, and similarities and differences in the nature of urban processes at the regional level. 
  • Offered in Fall semester.

Urban Economic Geography (URBNST 0108)

  • This course provides an introduction to the economic foundations of city-regions. Models and theories of urban economic development are provided.
  • Offered in Fall semester.

Social Justice and the City (URBNST 0112)

  • What does the term "social justice" mean in the context of urban environments? Students will examine the historical and theoretical context for social justice in the city and then evaluate different geographies of social change.  By the end of the course students will be able to use a critical perspective to understand how the rhetoric of social justice is changing the urban geographies of specific cities worldwide.
  • Offered in Fall semester.

Urban Sustainability (URBNST 0114)

  • This course provides a critical introduction to the concept of sustainability in relation to cities in the United States and internationally. We will investigate how the fuzzy concept of sustainability has developed, and look at how principles of urban sustainability are put into practice.
  • Offered in Spring semester.
  • Gen Eds: Satisfies Social Science Gen Ed.
  • Sustainability Certificate Elective.

Urban Geography (URBNST 0120)

  • The course introduces students to urban geography by addressing both theoretical and empirical areas of interest. Students will engage with  material relating to the economic, social and cultural, and historical geographies of urban areas. The course will provide the foundations for advanced Urban Studies modules, field courses and research within the Urban Studies Program. 
  • Offered in Fall semester.

Applied GIS (URBNST 0130)

  • This course provides an introduction to core methods for analyzing geo-spatial data, questions and applications with an emphasis on spatial and cluster analysis of point data using ArcGIS desktop. It will focus on teaching students the principles of GIS through computer-based exercises.
  • Offered in Spring semester.
  • Gen Eds: Satisfies Creative Work Gen Ed.
  • GIS Certificate Elective.

Crime & Punishment (URBNST 0140)

  • This course exposes students to ideas of justice as a process aimed at reintegrating wrong-doers in society through a path of reconciliation and re-socialization, so that the end of the process will produce fellow citizens rather than ex-felons.
  • Offered in Fall semester.

GIS & Community Data (URBNST 0150)

  • This course will introduce students to the application of mapping community data to inform decisions at the municipal level. The ability to problem scope, analyze and think critically about complex local issues is critical to the successful application of GIS to decision making by local groups/ actors including Community Development Corporations (CDCs), neighborhood associations, resident associations and planning groups using different types of community data. Throughout the course, students will explore real world scenarios involving real stakeholders using local data and GIS to make decisions and practice planning. Students will be expected to engage with community stakeholders and data about technical and non-technical issues to complete exercise and projects. 
  • Offered in Summer 1 semester.

Data Visualization (URBNST 0160)

  • This course is all about data visualization, the art and science of turning data into readable graphics. The course explores how to design and create data visualizations, including graphs, Story Maps and maps. 
  • Offered in Spring semester.

Amazonian Cities: Environmental Challenges & Sustainability (URBNST 0440)

  • Introduces environmental and social issues related to Latin America's Amazon cities. Students will understand the complexity of Amazon transformation through the lenses of the urbanization processes, the environmental profile of cities, and its implications for sustainable development.
  • Offered in Spring semester.
  • Latin American Studies Certificate Elective.

Advanced Courses in Urban Studies

Remaking Cities (URBNST 0300)

  • Students will engage with local and international partners to review and research contemporary themes related to urban and regional redevelopment. Active group work prepares students for real-world problem solving from an urban perspective.

  • Offered in Spring semester.

Housing & Property in US Cities (URBNST 0320)

  • Provides an advanced introduction to urban housing studies, including topics on housing behavior, urban real estate markets, and public housing policy.
  • Offered in Spring semester (NEXT OFFERED IN SPRING 2023).

Urban Mobility & Transportation Analysis (URBNST 0340)

  • This is an issue-oriented course with an emphasis on building transportation planning skills.   Students become familiar with the effect of transportation systems on patterns of metropolitan development.  Reading assignments discuss theories of transportation geography and planning, methods of empirical analysis, and policy issues as a foundation for skill-building exercises.  Students distinguish between different modes of transportation and analyze implications of modal split for urban planning.  Class discussions sharpen rhetorical skills while written assignments develop the ability to analyze literature through scholarly criticism.
  • Offered in Fall semester.

International Urbanism (URBNST 0360)

  • This seminar course provides a global perspective on urban development through close reading and critical analysis of contemporary urban processes. The course stresses a global perspective on urbanization and urbanism.
  • Gen Eds: Cross-Cultural Awareness.
  • Offered in Spring semester.

Other Courses in Urban Studies

Urban Field Placement (URBNST 0200)

  • This course gives the Urban Studies major the opportunity to get off the campus and into the community.  It allows the student to relate academic training to a real world situation by working in an urban related organization or agency.  The student works under the combined supervision of the agency personnel and the urban studies advisor.  The student is required to keep a journal, attend scheduled meetings with other field placement students and write a final reflective paper.
  • Offered in Spring, Summer, & Fall semesters.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistantship (URBNST 0220)

  • This opportunity provides students the chance to support faculty with undergraduate teaching assistance.
  • 1-3 credits, depending on need.
  • See the Director of Undergraduate Studies for details.

Urban Research Capstone (URBNST 0900)

  • This writing-intensive capstone provides a culminating seminar experience for majors in the Urban Studies Program. Through engaged writing and research students will conduct a major piece of independent scholarship related to their Urban Studies major.
  • Offered in Fall & Spring semesters.
  • Gen Eds: Writing Intensive Gen Ed.