The Urban Studies Program fosters student understanding of urban systems and problems, and encourages and emphasizes integrated interdisciplinary approaches to urban studies. The Urban Studies minor often completes a major with a participating department (e.g., Political Science, Geography, History, Sociology, Religion, Psychology, Education or Economics). The student, in consultation with an Urban Studies adviser, may design the minor to focus upon a particular interest such as public policy, urban planning or city administration.
The Urban Studies curriculum includes three levels. The first level consists of the interdisciplinary, team-taught course Urban Studies 171. The second level is drawn from existing departmental course offerings and includes a set of basic Urban Studies courses as well as suggested urban interest courses. It is expected that students would also take methodology courses appropriate to their majors; these would also be considered second-level courses, although they are not specifically required for the completion of an Urban Studies minor. A third level comprises of several opportunities for higher-level analysis of urban affairs such as the writing of a senior paper and practical experiences in urban agencies or urban schools. Internships are available in Springfield and in other cities as arranged.