University of Minnesota
Urban Studies Program
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UrbS Courses

Urban Studies courses are open to all CLA majors and can be used to fulfill CLA requirements. Majors and minors in Urban Studies are required to take courses offered by the program.

Course List

Verify all course offerings on the web

Number Title Description
URBS 1001W/
URBS 3001W
Introduction to Urban Studies: The Complexity of Metropolitan Life This course draws from the multiple different disciplines that contribute to the study of cities, and tries to promote an understanding of the complexity of urban and metropolitan environments. Many subjects are examined: spatial-historical urban development; urban culture (art and film); social-political processes (including planning and citizen involvement); metropolitan government and challenges; urban design; and international comparisons. The Course requires fieldwork and is Writing Intensive (3 cr.). Taught fall and spring.
URBS 3201/
URBS 3202
Urban Studies Colloquium Seven week discussion based course. Topics change each semester. (1 cr.) Taught five times each year, this course is set at a maximum of 15. Permission required. Should have taken UrbS 1001/3001
URBS 3301 American Cities As Settings for Cultural Diversity This course focuses on the development of cultural diversity in U.S. cities from the early nineteenth century to the present. It explores the complex and continually shifting relationships of culture, ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, nationality, age, color, religion and class in American life as imprinted upon and within U.S. cities. It critically examines historical memory to understand the processes of becoming Americans in the 19th, 20th, and a vastly different hyphenated 21st century where all types of social relations are sometimes open (public), sometimes closed (private), sometimes cloaked and increasingly repressed. Meets the CLE diversity theme, (3 cr.).
URBS 3500 Urban Studies Workshop Experiential-learning with fieldwork or other hands on activities. Topic changes each semester. (3 cr.) This course is offered four times per year and is set at 20 students per section. Permission required. Should have taken UrbS 1001/3001
URBS 3751 Understanding the Urban Environment: Urban Ecological Systems Where is nature in the city? Ecological function? This course focuses on the effect of cities on natural systems. Students examine links between cities and the environment with an emphasis on air, soil, water, pollution, parks, waste and environmental justice. Students are required to complete one field trip. Fulfills CLE environment theme, (3 cr.).
URBS 3771 Fundamentals of Transit Taught each spring term. This course provides students with an understanding of transit’s role in the urban area and the issues surrounding the development and operation of transit. Specific attention is paid to defining the various modes of transit and evaluating why and where each of these modes may be used. The course reviews the process of capital improvements to the transit system including finance, travel demand forecasting and environmental assessment. (3 cr.).
URBS 3781 A Suburban World Taught in odd numbered fall terms. Why do people live in the suburbs today? What happens there and why? What might happen next? This course focuses on battles over resources and values, notably land use, "choice," security, and freedom. (3 cr.).
URBS 3861 Financing Cities Taught in even fall terms. An expectation exists among residents of cities that certain services will be provided and an acceptable quality of life will be maintained, regardless of funding shortfalls or expanding municipal financial obligations. Through readings, lecture, discussion, and coursework you will learn about the numerous services and projects cities provide or initiate and the innovative ways they finance them. You will also examine the ways in which non-governmental actors such as developers and consumers participate in urban development and community building through the use of various policies and financial tools. As a result, you will be able to comprehend the challenges cities face in determining socially equitable and fiscally responsible budgets, and understand the difficulties associated with civic responsibility.
URBS 3900 Urban Studies Internship Seminar A weekly seminar, which serves to integrate an internship experience with the academic programs of students. Must be taken in conjunction with the internship placement. (2 cr.) Permission required.
URBS 3993 Urban Studies Directed Study For students who wish to complete an independent study.
URBS 3955 Senior Paper Seminar Offered fall and spring term. Required for majors while writing their senior paper. (2 cr.) Permission required