Contemporary American society is an urban society. The future American society, with all its problems and prospects, will also be urban in nature. The Urban Studies program is designed to prepare students for professional work in urban and public administrative fields, and to give students who enter other fields a broad understanding of the urban context in which they will live their lives.
The program concentrates on issues that are very close to our experience — economic growth and decline, public education, health, housing, land-use planning, poverty, racial and ethnic relations, transportation, crime, community development and others. Since no one approach to understanding and resolving such complex problems is sufficient, the Urban Studies program acquaints students with a variety of approaches to, and tools for, analyzing the interrelationships of the 21st century urban milieu. As half of a dual major, the program allows for a necessary specialized grounding in a traditional discipline, while providing a planned, interdisciplinary program in place of free electives. The student must major in one of the traditional disciplines such as Criminal Justice, Economics, Political Science, History, or Sociology/Anthropology, and then use free electives in a coordinated, interdisciplinary program comprising a major in Urban Studies.
The program is organized to permit the student a choice between Option I (Liberal Arts) and Option II (Urban Public Management). Option I provides the student with an opportunity to examine the urban phenomena from a multiplicity of different perspectives and disciplines. Option II offers a specialized series of courses that are vital to a promising public administrator.
The Urban Studies program offers a solid preparation for graduate programs in public administration, community development and planning, social work, public policy, criminal justice and urban affairs. It is also a recommended choice for pre-law students, and for those aspiring to careers in journalism, communications, teaching, government service, social work, law enforcement, community organization and land-use planning, as well as those industries that are increasingly conscious of the influence of urban society upon them and their impact on urban society.
Extensive internship and professional research experiences are an integral component of the Urban Studies program. Such activities are a vital aspect of preparation for graduate school and/or a professional career. Also, an intensive study of computer programming as applicable to the social sciences is provided.