The urban studies interdepartmental concentration is designed to take full advantage of Macalester's location in the center of a flourishing metropolitan area. The region’s historical demographic base, which is comprised of African Americans, American Indians, and Euro Americans, is becoming increasingly diverse with large and growing populations of Southeast Asians, Latinos and East Africans. The program is designed for students who wish to gain an interdisciplinary perspective on urbanization and urbanism as they appear in the United States and globally. The program combines a sound theoretical and experiential base complemented by a broad range of technical competencies. The 8-course urban studies concentration is divided into two parts: a curricular portion that provides students with a theoretical base, and an applied portion that gives students first-hand experience conducting research on specific aspects of city life. Students are also expected to acquire skills that will enable them to make an effective contribution to urban studies research or vocation. Many courses listed in the concentration have action research or service learning components.