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Earn a Bachelor Degree with a Minor in Urban Studies

The Urban Studies minor equips students to actively engage cities through research, non-profit work, entrepreneurship, community organizing and activism, city planning and economic development, and public administration. Students grapple with difficult problems such as poverty, inequality, racism, gentrification, criminalization, and immigration; they examine complex processes such as housing, food systems, and transportation; they explore problem-solving approaches such as public-private partnerships, mixed-use and mixed-income development, enterprise zones, small business growth, and social movements like Sanctuary Cities and the Right to the City; they study the evolution of cities from antiquity's city-states to today’s global metropolises; they are exposed to the art, culture, subcultures, and multicultures of urban settings; and they practice moral and civic reflection on the social responsibilities cities have to their diverse inhabitants, visitors, and communities.

The Albertus Difference

What Makes Urban Studies at Albertus Different?

Engaged
Students

  • Hands-on, experiential learning
  • Interdisciplinary perspectives
  • Emphasis on collaborative work

Great
Teaching

  • Personally invested professors
  • Small class sizes
  • Innovative, well-rounded programs
  • Resources and opportunities for research

Vibrant
Communities

  • Lively extracurricular activities
  • Campus-wide events
  • Service and community engagement

Successful
Outcomes

  • Active career counseling
  • Opportunity-building networks
  • Access to internships and professional experiences
Hands-On Learning

The Albertus Urban Studies Degree Program

As an 18-credit minor, the Urban Studies program is designed to complement majors in the School of Business, Social Work, Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Art Management, providing practical learning experiences and internship opportunities that allow students to enhance their resumes and significantly expand their career options.

It Takes a Village

Community Partners

Students in the Urban Studies minor are introduced to and work with a number of local and regional community partners, providing practical experiences and valuable networking opportunities.

New Haven Farms
Food as medicine program, Urban gardens

Bradley Street Bicycle Co-op
Used bicycle provider for shelters & resettled refugees

New Haven Land Trust
Urban gardens

Cityseed
Farmers markets

Emerge
Prisoner reentry and work placement

IRIS
Refugee resettlement

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven
Low-income housing placement

Fair Haven Community Health Clinic
Health services

New Haven Preservation Trust
Architectural preservation

Arts Council Greater New Haven
Arts advancement

City of New Haven Community Services Administration
Community services

City of New Haven Economic Development Administration
Business development and urban planning

City of New Haven Development Commission
Development and planning consultation

Careers

Where Will Your Urban Studies Degree take You?

The Urban Studies curriculum develops an understanding of modern cities, as well as the social, historical, political, economic, and cultural forces shaping urban areas. Many transferable skills such as analytical, organizational, research, interpersonal, computer, leadership, teamwork, and oral/written communication are associated with the minor. A job in urban studies can be a rewarding way to build a career to help local communities grow and thrive. By obtaining a minor in Urban Studies from Albertus, students will be provided a path to a bright future.

Possible career paths with a minor in Urban Studies include:



Public Administration
Community Development
City Planning
City and Town Management
Law Enforcement
Lobbying
Political Campaigns
Transportation
Urban Renewal
Grant Writing
Real Estate
Administration
Courses

Urban Studies Courses

Required Courses - 3 Credits
PO 115 Introduction to Urban Studies Urban Studies examines urban social issues, urban planning strategies, and urban cultural movements. This course introduces to practical, historical, and theoretical approaches to the field of Urban Studies as an interdisciplinary program of study that addresses the way cities shape and are shaped by race and class, inequality, built environments and infrastructures, housing, community services, entrepreneurship, economic development, local governance, and urban art and culture. Applying knowledge of classic and contemporary texts in Urban Studies, students participate in experiential learning activities, including a class project that engages a current problem or project underway in the City of New Haven. Toward completion of the project, students visit sites in the city and meet with government officials, local non-profit directors, and community organizers. (3 credits)
Electives - 15 credits
PO 303 Urban Gardens Studio In this course, students will learn how forces such as public policy, market imperatives, and global logistics affect food production and distribution. What specific challenges to food production, circulation, and consumption, emerge from urbanization and what kind of initiatives and organizations have arisen to address these issues, and ensure adequate food for all. Service learning projects will give students first-hand exposure to the specific ways the New Haven community has worked to address these issues. Paying specific attention to urban agriculture, students will see how many urban farms make use of complex multifunctional urban spaces, forcing us to rethink the urban environment in novel ways. Lastly, the course will examine the connections between cultivated urban spaces and cultural expression and meaning, with specific attention paid to the connection between urban gardening and various diaspora communities that are found in urban environments. (3 credits)
PH 321 Modern Art & Architecture This course examines two influential cultural movements, modernism and postmodernism, through the lens of art and architecture with a special interest in their impact on cities and the City of New Haven. The first half of the course is concerned especially with the visual arts and with approaches to understanding modernism and postmodernism. The second half of the course shifts toward architecture, street art, and art spaces in urban areas. The course includes a number of experiential learning activities, such as an architecture tour of New Haven, visits to Citywide Open Studios and the Yale University art galleries, a guided graffiti and street art walking tour in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, and problem-based group projects. (3 credits)
PH 303 Sustainable Transportation Studio This course explores the historical and contemporary dimensions of how cities form and develop and how human interventions shape these complex processes. Students draw from a diverse range of sources and disciplines to examine the past, present, and future of cities by looking at four distinct yet interrelated themes: environment, equity, economy, and culture. These themes are used to explore cities you might be familiar with, such as New York City, as well as our context here in New Haven. As a Studio course, students participate in a major problem-based learning project, centered in New Haven, that involves research, strategization, collaboration, and partnerships with local officials and agencies. The studio project varies from term to term and addresses a local current issue, such as housing equity and accessibility, greenspace preservation and urban ecological practices, multi-modal transit expansion, and neighborhood integration and social inclusion strategies. (3 credits)
PO 230 State and Local Government This course looks at the practical workings of government at the local and state level in the United States. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which Federalism and separation of powers has shaped politics in these areas, as well as the ways in which democracy, social movements, and political parties shape the process and outcomes of state and local government. (3 credits)
PH 261 Social & Political Philosophy What is the best form of government? What makes a government legitimate? What should the relationship be between the individual and the state, and between states and other states? In this course, we will trace the development of social and political theory in an attempt to consider critically the possible responses that one can offer to such questions. P: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. (3 credits)
MG 311 Introduction to Public Health The public health system is charged with assessing and promoting the health of communities and diverse populations. This course introduces the core public health disciplines of epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, social and behavioral health, and health policy and management. Students explore historical and contemporary public health approaches to promoting health behaviors; responding to emerging diseases; identifying environmental risk factors; preparing for and managing disasters; and alleviating health disparities across populations. (3 credits)
MG 313 Non-Profit Management This course will analyze the legal, organizational and management issues present in operating nonprofit organizations at the community level. Students will gain an understanding of how nonprofit managers and organizations interact with their general and task environments, with an emphasis on the unique challenges posed in the sector. (3 credits)
SO 305 Race, Class, and Gender in City This course will take an intersectional approach to examining how race, class, and gender shape and are shaped by urban spaces. We will explore how the structure and organization of urban space can exacerbate or reduce inequalities, and how oppressed groups organize around and within the social and economic structure of cities (for example marches against sexual assault and other public protests). Special attention will also be paid to the role of urban arts, culture and architecture in reinforcing or challenging urban inequalities (for example public concerts and parks, the origins of rap and hip hop, graffiti, parkour or freerunning). (3 credits)
RS 223 Religion and Popular Culture Religion and Popular Culture is a multi-disciplinary investigation into the way religion occupies spaces of contemporary society, including mass media and the urban environment. The course draws from Religious Studies, Cultural Studies, and Urban Studies, inviting students to think critically about such contemporary phenomena as: storefront churches and megachurches; the decline of mainline Christianity and the rise of evangelicalism; televangelism; the role of religion in activism, social movements, and community organizing; urban street festivals among immigrant communities; Western cultural appropriation of Eastern religious practices, such as yoga; religion and film, music, sports, and politics. (3 credits)
HI 140 Migration and the City Cities have long been centers of attraction and interaction between diverse groups drawn to the economic, social and cultural opportunities provided by urban centers. This course provides an introduction to historical and contemporary issues of migration, residential mobility, housing and neighborhood change, and immigrant populations in urban centers. It explores the differences and commonalities between immigrant and non-immigrant communities, programs and policies tackling social and ethnic inequalities, and the creative development of arts, literature and music that arise from contact between people with different resources, abilities, preferences and cultures. Attention will be paid to both domestic and international migrations. (3 credits)
CJ 121 Contemporary Social Problems Focuses on how institutional and organizational features of societies generate problems for people. Particular attention is directed at a set of problems related to political and economic inequalities, health and illness, education, the environment, and the criminal justice system. (3 credits)
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Purposeful Vision & Direction

The Albertus Urban Studies Degree Program Mission Statement

The curriculum in the Department of Sociology provides strong academic training in the field, as well as an exposure to varied pre-professional training. The three-fold mission of the department is: (1) to provide course offerings in the Liberal Arts curriculum of the College, in order to introduce students to the sociological perspective, thereby adding that dimension to their critical thinking processes; (2) to provide an academically strong major which affords an approach to the study of social systems and social change; (3) to provide a major within the discipline of sociology which can reflect a student’s vocational interest, for example, criminal justice, social gerontology, or social work and social welfare.

Students majoring in sociology or criminal justice may plan to continue their work in graduate and professional schools. Others study sociology in preparation for careers in social work, teaching, law, business, criminal justice, or governmental service. Graduates in sociology may look toward careers in teaching, administration, or research.

Within the Department of Sociology, a student may choose the general sociology major, the criminal justice major, or a major in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice, social gerontology (Continuing Education only), urban studies, or social work and social welfare. Students finding an interest in sociology, but committed to majoring in other fields, may choose to minor in the department. The analytical skills and critical ability developed in this program are complementary to numerous other disciplines.

The possibility exists for the applied sociology-oriented student to design, in consultation with the department, an off-campus practicum/internship (CJ/SO 280, 380) for which college credit is given. Internships are required of students majoring in Criminal Justice, Social Gerontology, Urban Studies, and Social Work, and are optional for those choosing the General Sociology major. Many sociology courses may be used toward interdisciplinary majors as well as electives or General Education requirements.

The educational objectives which emerge from the mission and purpose of the department are:

  • Students will develop a solid understanding of the discipline of Sociology and demonstrate the ability to use the sociological perspective in analyzing society. This includes learning to use the knowledge, methods and theories of the discipline in various courses.
  • Students will follow a sequence of courses from SO111 Introduction to Sociology, through the various concentrations, including methods and statistics, and finally culminating in Senior Seminar, a capstone course which builds upon previous knowledge and skills.
  • Students will participate in the Internship Program in the various concentrations and will be evaluated by supervisors on their performance.
  • Students will be prepared to secure employment in their fields of concentration or related fields or will go on to graduate school.
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