Urban Studies

The Urban Studies Program focuses on urban phenomena through the approaches of different disciplines, thus providing an interdisciplinary context in which to understand various dimensions of urban life and the urbanization process. Although the program provides sufficient flexibility to allow students to pursue specific interests without being overly bound by requirements, it is designed so that there is a basic core content to the program of study. Within that, students can follow one of three focus areas, mix and match, or design their own focus. The program is structured to ensure that each student will undertake two or more research or fieldwork projects, as part of their course work as an undergraduate. The primary aim of the program is to contribute to a broad, liberal education. Its purpose is to satisfy the needs of those students who are interested in urban phenomena but do not feel well served by the existing departmental programs in a single discipline.

For a concentration, the program requires ten courses selected from four course groups:

1. Introduction (one course): URBN 0210 or POLS 0220.

2. Research Skills (one course): ECON 1620; EDUC 1110; POLS 1600 or SOC 1100. There are also other statistics courses offered by other departments (e.g., Applied Mathematics, Cognitive Sciences, and Psychology). On occasion, an alternative research skills course may be approved for a specific concentration.

3. Basic Curriculum (total of 6 different courses required):

a. Core Courses: Three courses required (covering 3 of the 7 core areas: American Civilization, Economics, History, History of Art and Architecture, Literature, Political Science, and Sociology) selected from among: AMCV 1520, 1530; COLT 1810C; ECON 1410; ENGL 0800A; HIAA 0700, 0840, 0850, 0860, 0900, 1850D; HISP 1500C; HIST 1820, 1830; POLS 0220, 1320; SOC 1330, 1640; URBN 1200.

b. Seminar Courses: (3 courses required). The courses provide opportunities to undertake research or fieldwork projects and all qualify as "capstone" experiences. AMCV 1903E; EDUC 1650; ENGL 1760F, 1760K; ETHN 1870A; HIAA 1910A; HIST 1974F, 1974T; POLS 2220; URBN 1000, 1010, 1420, 1870A, 1870D, 1870E, 1870F, 1870H, 1870I, 1870J, 1870M, 1870N.

4. Complementary Curriculum (two courses required):

a. Any course(s) listed in groups 1 and 3 above, and not used to fulfill this requirement.

b. Any of the following from recent listings of courses around the University: AFRI 0600, 0620; AMCV 0150I, 1611A, 1612D, 1912A; ARCH 0400, 1150, 1200F, 1600, 1900, 2020B, 2040A; COLT 1810H, 2820; EDUC 1150; ENGL 0200K, 1710I; ENGN 1930S; ENVS 1410, 1700A, 1920; ETHN 1890A; GEOL 1320; GRMN 1660B; HIAA 0020, 0490, 0550, 0560, 1200D, 1560C, 1850C; HIST 1540, 1670, 1972V; POLS 1310; PPAI 1200, 1700J, 1700Q, 1700R; SOC 0130, 1270, 1540, 1871F. Other options may be available with approval of the concentration advisors.

c. RISD courses approved by the Urban Studies Program each semester as applicable to the Urban Studies concentration. No more than two may be used to satisfy the requirements of this concentration. The RISD course is identified in the student's record at Brown by a RISD course code.

Off-Campus Courses: Some courses taken outside Brown (e.g., in study abroad programs) may be used for credit towards the concentration if the material covered directly corresponds to that taught in Brown courses, or is relevant to the complementary curriculum. Such courses will be approved each semester by the concentration advisor.

5. Honors Candidates for Honors must apply to the Director of the Program in letter form by the middle of the second semester of their junior year. They must include a brief statement of the intended research proposal required for honors, as well as the name of the member of the Urban Studies faculty who would serve as their advisor and with whom they must work closely. They must also arrange for a second advisor/reader. Honors candidates must maintain a high grade record. Twelve courses are required of an Honors concentrator, two in addition to the ten courses required for a standard program. These two courses may be either one research skills course and one thesis preparation (one independent reading and research - URBN 1970, one semester course), or two thesis preparation (URBN 1970, two semesters). The candidate's thesis and course record must be of outstanding quality, in order to qualify for honors.

Possible Focus Areas: To help guide students in the basic curriculum, we list courses that belong to three broad focus areas. Students need not follow these areas and are encouraged to "mix and match" or develop their own focus. The basic curriculum is divided between core and seminar courses. The latter all provide students with opportunities to carry out research and fieldwork projects and all qualify as "capstone" experiences. The focus areas are:

Literature and Arts: AMCV 1611A; COLT 1810C; ENGL 0800A, 1760F, 1760K; HIAA 0700, 0840, 0850, 0860, 0900, 1850D; HISP 1500C; URBN 1870A.

Social Sciences: AMCV 1520, 1530, 1903E; ECON 1410; EDUC 1650; HIST 1820, 1830, 1974F, 1974T; POLS 0220, 1320; SOC 1640; URBN 1000, 1200, 1420, 1870A, 1870D, 1870F, 1870I, 1870J, 1870M.

Urban Built Environment: AMCV 1520, 1530, 1903E; ECON 1410; HIAA 0700, 0840, 0850, 0860, 1850D, 1910A; HIST 1820, 1830; URBN 1000, 1010, 1200, 1870D, 1870E, 1870F, 1870N.

Total number of courses: 10 (concentration) 12 (honors)

Page last updated in October, 2010.

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