Urban Studies

The Urban Studies major draws from classes in sociology, geography, history, political science, economics, urban studies, and urban planning to explore issues related to cities, suburban communities and metropolitan regions such as transportation, education, housing, population shifts, crime, discrimination, and more.

Urban Studies develops students analytical and critical thinking abilities through an examination of the history and growth of urban centers and the challenges they face today and into the future. Our faculty includes international specialists, but much of our curriculum focuses on American cities, and Milwaukee in particular. Our home city is unique, vibrant, and a wonderful place for hands-on study and research.

Because of their interest in urban populations and problem-solving, many graduates work in the areas of community development, land-use planning, public works, community organization, housing policy development and implementation, public education administration, social services, construction management, public health, journalism and fund-raising. Entry-level roles can include tasks ranging from research to planning to program implementation to customer support.

Students in Urban Studies take courses in a variety of disciplines with elective classes that reflect their specific interests and goals. Classes may come from the History Department, Sociology, Political Science, Economics, and more. An internship or study abroad experience is a popular option for students to gain real-world experience working in urban environments. We believe so strongly that experiential learning is an essential part of an urban studies education that we require a service learning experience for all of our majors. A certificate in Urban Studies is also available for students seeking a program that is closer to a minor.

Download our major fact sheet or our certificate fact sheet to the right to learn more about our classes and events.

Certificate Requirements

TOTAL URBAN STUDIES CREDITS

18 credits

REQUIRED COURSE (3 CREDITS)

Urban Studies 193 - Freshman Seminar, 3 credits
or

Urban Studies 250 - Exploring the Urban Environment, 3 credits
or

Urban Studies 360 - Perspectives on the Urban Scene, 3 credits

ELECTIVES (15 Credits)

The following courses in the College of Letters and Science are approved to count toward the Urban Studies Certificate. Each semester, the Advisory Committee will review and approve variable content course sections for the Certificate.

  • Africol 300 - Urban Violence
  • Africol 319 -History of Blacks in the American City
  • Africol 341 - Black Politics and City Government
  • Africol 372 - African American Literary Movements: Harlem Renaissance
  • Anthro 022 - Ancient Cities of the Americas
  • Anthro 431 - Urban Anthropology
  • Arch 584 - Urban Landscape Architecture
  • ArtHist 106 - Art Cities of Europe
  • ArtHist 360 - Modern Architecture II: The Rise of Modern Architecture
  • ArtHist 361 - Modern Architecture III: Contemporary Architecture
  • ArtHist 412 - Cities and Sanctuaries of Ancient Greece
  • ArtHist 425 - Romanesque Architecture
  • ArtHist 426 - French Gothic Architecture
  • ArtHist 429 - English Medieval Architecture
  • ArtHist 431 - Renaissance Architecture in Italy
  • ArtHist 458 - A Comparative History of Architecture and Urbanism: (Subtitle)
  • ArtHist 459 - American Architecture
  • ArtHist 461 - Early Modern Architecture in the Midwest
  • ArtHist 462 - Frank Lloyd Wright
  • CompLit 230 - Literature and Society: (Subtitle)
  • CompLit 232 - Literature and Politics: (Subtitle)
  • Crm Jst 370 - Criminal Justice Administration
  • Crm Jst 372 - Criminal Justice Policy and Community
  • Dance 370 - World Movement Traditions: “Hip Hop” subtitle
  • Econ 323 - Urban Economics
  • Ed Pol 113 - The Milwaukee Community
  • Ed Pol 114 - Community Problems
  • Ed Pol 203 - Communities and Neighborhoods in America
  • Ed Pol 401 - Foundations of Community-Based Organizations
  • Ed Pol 500 - Sociology and the Policy of Urban Communities and Schools
  • Ed Pol 503 - Foundations of Community-Based Organizations
  • Ed Pol 507 - Action Research on Milwaukee Institutions
  • English 248 - Literature and Contemporary Life: “Mapping the City” subtitle
  • English 394 - Theories of Mass Culture
  • Geog 114 - Geography of Race
  • Geog 140 - Our Urban Environment: Introduction to Urban Geography
  • Geog 297 - Study Abroad: “Urban Environmental Changes in Guatemala” subtitle
  • Geog 440 - City Systems and Metropolitan Areas
  • Geog 443 - Cities of the World: Comparative Urban Geography
  • Geog 497 - Study Abroad: “Urban Environmental Changes in Guatemala” subtitle
  • Geog 520 - Physical Geography of the City
  • Geog 540 - Globalization and the City
  • Geog 564 - Urban Environmental Change and Social Justice
  • Geo Sci 465 - Advanced Environmental Geology
  • Geo Sci 466 - Advanced Environmental Geology Laboratory
  • German 647 - Seminar on Themes and Motifs in German Literature: “Cities of the German-Speaking World”
    “Stories from Urban Landscapes of Ireland and Germany” subtitles
  • Global 321 - The Global City in History
  • Global 421 - Cities in the Global Economy
  • Hist 192 - Freshman Seminar: “Living in Ancient Rome”
    “The Burbs: History of American Suburbs” subtitles
  • Hist 200 - Historical Roots of Contemporary Issues: “Making of the American Ghetto” subtitle
  • Hist 303 - A History of Greek Civilization: The Greek City-State
  • Hist 307 - A History of Rome: The Republic
  • Hist 308 - A History of Rome: The Empire
  • Hist 371 - Topics in European History: “Rome in the Age of Constantine – Society and Culture” subtitle
  • Hist 404 - Topics in American History: “The Wire” subtitle
  • Hist 436 - Immigrant America Since 1880
  • Hist 440 - History of the American Working Classes
  • Hist 450 - Growth of Metropolitan Milwaukee
  • Hist 460 - The History of Poverty in America
  • Hist 463 - History of the American City
  • Hist 595 - The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data
  • Hist 600 - Seminar in History: “American Suburban History” and “Milwaukee and the World” subtitles
  • Linguis 432 - Urban Dialects
  • Philos 237 - Technology, Values, and Society
  • Philos 355 - Political Philosophy
  • Pol Sci 213 - Urban Government and Politics
  • Pol Sci 387 - Seminar in American Politics: “Municipal Finance” subtitle
  • Pol Sci 413 - Governing Metropolitan Areas
  • Pol Sci 450 - Urban Political Problems
  • Pol Sci 452 - Administrative Law
  • Soc Wrk 205 - Social Welfare: A Societal Imperative
  • Soc Wrk 206 - Society, Poverty, and Welfare Programs
  • Soc Wrk 630 - Women, Poverty, and Welfare Reform
  • Sociol 193 - Freshman Seminar: “College in the City” subtitle
  • Sociol 224 - American Minority Groups
  • Sociol 307 - Industrial Sociology
  • Sociol 323 - Perspectives on Latino Communities
  • Sociol 324 - Comparative Race Relations
  • Sociol 325 - Social Change
  • Sociol 330 - Economy and Society
  • Sociol 377 - Urbanism and Urbanization
  • Sociol 450 - Environmental Sociology
  • Sociol 472 - Population and Society
  • Sociol 495 - Seminar in Sociology: “International Urban Sociology” subtitle
  • Sociol 603 - Urban Minority Communities
  • Sociol 604 - Research in Urban Minority Communities: (Subtitle)
  • Sociol 610 - Reproduction of Minority Communities
  • Theatre 305 - The Theatre Experience: “Out and About in Milwaukee” subtitle
  • UrbPlan - All U and U/G courses
  • Urb Std - All U and U/G courses
  • WGS 489 - Internship in Women’s Studies

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

No more than 9 credits from any one department outside Urban Studies and a maximum of 6 credits in independent study courses may be applied to the certificate requirements.

While students may elect courses outside the College of Letters and Science to count toward the certificate, at least 12 credits must be completed in L&S courses and at least 6 of these must be at the 300 level or above. A total of 9 credits at the 300 level or above must be taken in residence at UWM. Credits earned at other institutions in equivalent Urban Studies programs and accepted by UWM as transfer credits may count in partial fulfillment of the certificate requirements.

RECOMMENDATIONS

One course is recommended in the natural sciences.

In the senior year, a student may plan an independent study course to synthesize previous work in Urban Studies.

An internship in Urban Studies 289 or 489 is recommended highly.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Students currently involved in baccalaureate studies who complete the requirements of the program successfully will be awarded the certificate at the time of graduation. Post-baccalaureate and non-degree students will receive the certificate upon successful completion of the program requirements.

GPA REQUIREMENTS

The College requires that students attain at least a 2.5 GPA on all credits in the major attempted at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.5 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work.