The Master’s Degree in Urban Studies is one of the oldest graduate programs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Created in the early 1960s with a grant from the Ford Foundation, the establishment of the program was a key element in the emergence of UWM as a major urban research university. The Urban Studies master’s degree is both “academic” and “professional,” offering students a liberal arts approach to the understanding of the operation of urban social processes and their implications, and a set of research and policy tools designed to equip the urban policymaker for success in his or her career. Since its inception, the Urban Studies MS Program has graduated over 500 students.
Faculty in Urban Studies have earned their doctorates at some of the nation’s most prestigious universities. Faculty members are generally drawn from social sciences departments, chiefly from Sociology and History but also including faculty from the departments of Political Science and Geography. Areas of expertise are diverse, consistent with the program’s goal of providing students with a range of possible specializations. See individual faculty pages.
The Student and Intellectual Climate
The program is designed to serve the recent college graduate, particularly with a social science undergraduate background, the part-time returning student already well established in a career, and the individual wishing to change careers. Courses are generally offered after 4:30 pm, and most meet once a week in order to accommodate the demanding lives of adult students. Student are encouraged to frame the 15 credits they devote to their areas of emphasis to maximize their future professional goals. In addition to variation in professional backgrounds and career goals, Urban Studies Master’s students are highly diverse in terms of age, sex, race, and ethnicity.
Students completing the program are prepared for positions in a variety of governmental and private agencies as well as for academic positions in disciplines that are related to urban studies. Some students seek the PhD degree to gain greater employment mobility within their present occupations. Others wish to explore new professional opportunities after graduation. See the Scott Greer Alumni Awards and our Careers webpages.
Fellowship and Financial Aid Opportunities
Students admitted into the Program are eligible to compete for a variety of types of financial aid. The Program offers a number of project and teaching assistantships on a competitive basis to students who complete their applications by Feb. 1 each year. In addition, students may apply to a number of different graduate fellowships administered through the Graduate School. Advanced doctoral students may apply to be Urban Studies Graduate Teaching Fellows and teach an upper division undergraduate course in their area of specialization.