Concentration

Urban Studies

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.

Urban Studies

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.

Structure of the Concentration

A concentration in urban studies will consist of eight courses distributed in the following manner.

Curriculum

  1. GEOG 201 - Introduction to Urban Studies.
  2. Four discipline-based theoretical approaches to the city drawn from the following set of courses. Courses must be selected from at least TWO disciplines. A relevant course that does not appear on this list, including a course taken through a study away/study abroad opportunity, may be substituted for one of these courses, pending approval of the concentration director.

    AMST 294 - Topics Course (Placing Race and Seeing Social Inequality)
    ECON 342 - Economics of Poverty in US
    EDUC 240 - Race, Culture, and Ethnicity in Education
    EDUC 280 - Re-envisioning Education and Democracy
    ENGL 341 - 20th Century British Novel
    ENGL 385 - Los Angeles and the American Dream
    GEOG 241 - Urban Geography
    GEOG 261 - Geography of World Urbanization
    GEOG 262 - Metro Analysis
    GEOG 341 - Urban Social Geography: City Life and Landscapes
    GEOG 488 - Seminar
    HIST 232 - Immigration and Ethnicity in US History
    HIST 233 - Introduction to the History of the US Working Class
    HIST 248 - Jim Crow
    HIST 249 - African Americans and the Transformation of the City: 1890-1945
    HIST 282 - Latin America: Art and Nation
    HIST 294 - Topics Course (The City in Latin American History)
    HIST 294 - Topics Course  (Imagining the Modern City)
    POLI 204 - Urban Politics
    POLI 244 - Urban Latino Power
    POLI 394 - Topics Course: Urban Politics in Latin America
    SOCI 190 - Criminal Behavior/Social Control
    THDA 294 - Topics Course (Hip Hop Performance)
    THDA 489 - Seminar in Performance Theory and Practice
     
  3. Two applied courses drawn from the following set of courses. A relevant course that does not appear on this list, including a four-credit internship or a course taken through a study away/study abroad opportunity, may be substituted for one of these courses, pending approval of the concentration director.

    AMST 300 - Jr Civic Engagement Seminar (with approved topic)
    ANTH 230 - Ethnographic Interviewing
    EDUC 390 - Teaching and Learning in Urban Schools
    EDUC 614 - Independent Project
    ENVI 345 - Car Country: The Automobile and the American Environment
    GEOG 365 - Urban GIS
    GEOG 377 - Qualitative Research Methods
    GEOG 488 - Seminar
    HIST 376 - Public History
    HIST 382 - Remembering the Modern City
    POLI 203 - Politics and Inequality
    THDA 210 - Community-Based Theatres
    THDA 265 - The Oral History Project
     
  4. INTD 401 - Urban Studies Colloquium

 

Technical Competency

Urban studies students should attempt to master several of the following communication and technical skills. With their advisors they will develop goal attainment schedules for each of the required skills. All students will not be equally proficient in all skills.

  1. Oral Communication -  Students will be expected to be articulate and should have some experience with creative oral communication.
  2. Written Communication -  All students will be expected to write concise, jargon-free technical reports.
  3. Quantitative Reasoning - All students will be expected to be able to analyze and present numerical information. Students are advised to take an appropriate quantitative methods course in the department in which they major.