Jun 13, 2024  
2015-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Urban Studies, B.S.

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Urban Studies Program
E-400 Avon Williams Campus

Faculty: J. Gibran, C. Robinson, K. Triplett

General Statement: The Urban Studies Program offers students the opportunity to learn a new approach to becoming committed, community-oriented professionals. Our programs will: 1) develop community-oriented professionals and citizens; 2) advance the state of knowledge about public policy problems and their solutions; 3) engage communities in the learning and problem solving process; and 3) educate future career professionals in the ethical principles of leadership and public service and innovative approaches to facilitating positive urban change and development.

The Urban Studies program is a unique undergraduate degree program combining current multidisciplinary knowledge with practical learning experiences. The program provides a broad foundation for future study in related areas such as architecture, business, criminal justice, law, planning, political science, psychology, and social work. Students are able to adapt their program of study to fit multiple academic and career interests. The program also offers a minor in nonprofit management. This minor was developed to meet national standards for professional nonprofit management. It also has a strong service learning component which provides students with enriching learning and service experiences in the nonprofit sector. Five three-credit courses are required in addition to an internship.

Service learning is a core element of the Urban Studies and Nonprofit Management curriculum. As stated above, service learning is a teaching method built into our courses which combines community service with academic instruction. It focuses on critical, reflective thinking, civic responsibility, and strengthening communities. Our program involves students in organized community service which addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, a sense of civic responsibility, and a commitment to the community.

Mission Statement: We aim to improve public service by pursuing the following purposes:

  1. Focus primarily on serving the professional needs of the public and nonprofit sectors by providing an education rich in the skills and knowledge of leadership and administration,
  2. Provide an education which instills and reinforces the unique values of the public and nonprofit sectors,
  3. Conduct research and service activities supportive of these educational purposes,
  4. Serve the public and nonprofit sectors as a source for consultation, applied research, and knowledge about management and leadership issues,
  5. Meeting the professional training and development needs of public and nonprofit professionals

Shared Values: The following reflects the shared values of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs and the Urban Studies Program. These values are:

  1. An appreciation of the value and rewards associated with public service.
  2. An appreciation of the importance of citizen participation in community programs and actions which seek to enhance the quality of urban life.
  3. An understanding of the importance of evaluating urban policies from the perspective of how they enhance contribute to enhancing the quality of urban life and promote social justice.
  4. A commitment to the principle of sustainability as a standard for urban planning and managing healthy and sustainable cities.
  5. A belief in the essential need for ethical, transparent, responsible, and responsive urban governance.

Student Learning Outcomes: Students graduating from the Urban Studies Program should be able to demonstrate achievement of the following learning objectives:

  1. Describe the history of urbanization in the United States and how this history both influences and is influenced by social, cultural, economic and political processes.
  2. Explain the significance and influence of geographic factors in shaping urban life.
  3. Identify and describe the common theories used to explain such phenomena as urbanization, suburbanization, the experience of urban life, and urban crime.
  4. Explain the general principles urban planning, the theories and methodologies of planning, and the different approaches to urban planning.
  5. Describe the political processes at work in the urban world and explain how they interact with social, economic, geographic and other factors to shape urban life.
  6. Identify social structures and expressions of urban life and evaluate how they are a product of, and interact with economic, political, geographic, and cultural variables.
  7. Explain urban issues, trends and problems, and evaluate theoretical explanations of their sources and policy approaches to addressing these problems.
  8. Identify and discuss the concept sustainability as a foundational objective for urban planning and community development.
  9. Apply social science research methods and technology based tools to gather data and analyze data relating to urban issues, draw conclusions and present research in written and oral formats.

Communications (9 hours)

Humanities and/or Fine Arts (9 hours)

  • ENGL 2110 -ENGL 2230  - Sophomore Literature Course (3)
  • Elective - One course from approved list. (3)
  • Elective - One course from approved list. (3)

Total General Education Hours: 41

Total Hours: 42

Upper-division Admission

For admission into the upper-division program of the Urban Studies major, students must complete all of the requirements listed above under General Education Core and Other Requirements. In addition, they must have removed all high school deficiencies, passed all required remedial/developmental courses, earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on college-level course work. They must also have earned a minimum grade of C in URBS 2010  and POLI 2020.


Students must also complete a minimum of 15 hours of electives at the 3000-4000 level. Students must earn at least a C in all major courses.

Community Leadership and Public Service Concentration: (18 Hours)

This concentration prepares students for leadership roles in the community, state, and local government. This cluster of courses builds professional leadership skills and highlights ethical and social issues with a strong focus on community service. A total of 18 credit hours are required from an approved list of courses, which includes, but is not limited to:


MGMT 3010  is a prerequisite for other management courses.

Urban Policy and Planning Concentration: (18 Hours)

The Urban Planning and Policy concentration focuses on applying the tools of policy analysis and urban planning to understanding urban issues and using the tools of urban planning to address these issues. Eighteen (18) credit hours are required from an approved list, which includes, but is not limited to


REUD 3130 is a prerequisite for the other Real Estate Courses. AGSC 2510  is a prerequisite for the other GIS related AGSC courses.

Urban Diversity Concentration: (18 Hours)

This concentration includes a set of courses which introduce urban issues and policy alternatives from diverse social, cultural, economic and political perspectives. Students will explore the significance of these issues for diverse social, cultural, and minority groups. Four courses are required from an approved list, which includes, but is not limited to

Minor Requirements:

Students may earn a minor in nonprofit management by completing 15 hours of nonprofit management courses plus a 3 hour internship. See minor requirements below in this section of the catalog.

Suggested Four-Year Plan:

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester

Total: 15 Hours

Spring Semester

Total: 15 Hours

Junior Year

Fall Semester

Total: 15 Hours

Total: 15 Hours

Senior Year

Fall Semester

  • Social Research (3)
  • Urban Studies Electives (12)
Total: 15 Hours

Spring Semester

Total: 15 Hours

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