UWM Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018

College of Letters and Science

Urban Studies

Joel Rast, Associate Professor of Political Science, Program Director
James Harris, Associate Director
Bolton Hall 702
Phone: (414) 229-4751
Fax: (414) 229-5942

The urban studies program offers both an undergraduate major and an undergraduate certificate in urban studies. For information on the Urban Studies Certificate, see the L&S Certificate Programs section of this catalog.

Urban Studies Major

The urban studies major provides the opportunity for students to explore scholarship on cities, suburban communities, and metropolitan regions with an interdisciplinary lens. Coursework in the major is drawn from the affiliated areas of architecture, africology, criminal justice, geography, educational policy and community studies, history, political science, public and nonprofit administration, public health, sociology, and urban planning, in addition to urban studies. Although interdisciplinary, the field of urban studies encompasses a distinct body of knowledge, one that combines both theoretical and applied approaches to understanding urban processes. The major is designed to be flexible in order to allow the student to develop a strong foundation from the core courses and then build a set of elective courses that address particular urban histories and problems from different disciplines, depending on student interest and future goals.

Four required urban studies courses form the foundation of the major: Urb Std 150 Multicultural America, a core course in which students conduct service learning by working in an urban organization or agency; one of two urban studies survey courses; a theory course on urbanism and urbanization; and a capstone course (Urb Std 600) taken in the senior year. Students also take a statistics course, which is a standard requirement for social science majors. In addition, students complete five elective courses selected from urban studies and approved courses in the affiliated areas. Student internships (Urb Std 289 or 489) are encouraged strongly. Students also are encouraged to participate in and present at various urban studies-sponsored events, such as the annual Urban Studies Student Research Forum conference and the Henry W. Maier State of Milwaukee Summit, and to contribute to the epolis ejournal (currently, each issue includes one paper from an undergraduate).

Urban Studies prepares students for careers in non-profit organizations, government, business, education, law, and social work. Students who major in Urban Studies are equipped for graduate study in many fields, including the social sciences and the professional fields of urban planning and law.

To declare a major in Urban Studies, students make an appointment with the Urban Studies Associate Director in order to complete the “declaration of major” form.

Course of Study

The Urban Studies major requires a minimum of 30-31 credits, including at least 18 credits in the College of Letters and Science with coursework from at least two L&S departments. No more than 9 credits in a single curricular area outside of urban studies may count toward the major. Sociol 377, which is jointly offered in the Urb Std curricular area, will count as an Urb Std course for this purpose. Students must complete at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 and above) L&S courses for the major in residence at UWM. In addition, students must attain a minimum GPA of 2.500 in all UWM credits attempted for the major. The College also requires that students attain a 2.500 GPA in all major credits attempted, including any transfer work. The following are required:

Core Course: 3 cr


Urb Std 150

Multicultural America, which includes conducting service learning at an urban organization


Survey Course: 3 cr (one of the following):


Urb Std 250

Exploring the Urban Environment


Urb Std 360

Perspectives on the Urban Scene (any topic)


Statistics: 3-4 cr (one of the following):


Geog 247

Quantitative Analysis in Geography


Hist 595

The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data


Pol Sci 390

Political Data Analysis


Sociol 261

Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology


Or equivalent course approved by the program director.


Theory: 3 cr


Sociol/Urb Std 377

Urbanism and Urbanization


Capstone: 3 cr


Urb Std 600

Capstone Seminar in Urban Studies (satisfies L&S research requirement)


Electives: 15 cr Selected from the following courses or other appropriate courses approved by the program director. (No more than nine credits from the same department outside of urban studies may apply to the 30- or 31-credit minimum in the major.)

Urb Std

All courses


All courses

Africol 125

Economics of Black Communities

Africol 300

Urban Violence

Africol 319

History of Blacks in the American City

Africol 417

Race, Injustice, and Change in America

Arch 190

Special Topic: Buildings, Landscapes, Cultures, Field School

Crm Jst 291

Current Issues in Criminal Justice

Crm Jst 295

Crime and Criminal Justice Policy

Crm Jst 370

Criminal Justice Administration

Crm Jst 372

Criminal Justice Policy and Community

Crm Jst 674

History of Criminal Justice

Ed Pol 111

Organizing for Social Action in Urban Communities

Ed Pol 113

The Milwaukee Community

Ed Pol 114

Community Problems

Ed Pol 203

Communities and Neighborhoods in America

Ed Pol 501

Concepts in Community Organizing: Conflicts and Change

Ed Pol 503

Foundations of Community-Based Organizations

Ed Pol 630

Race and Public Policy in Urban America

Geog 114

Geography of Race

Geog 140

 Our Urban Environment: Introduction to Urban Geography

Geog 215

Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences

Geog 440

City Systems and Metropolitan Areas

Geog 441

Geography of Cities and Metropolitan Areas

Geog 443

Cities of the World: Comparative Urban Geography

Geog 464

Environmental Problems

Geog 520

Physical Geography of the City

Geog 540

Globalization and the City

Geog 564

Urban Environmental Change and Social Justice

Geog 625

Intermediate Geographic Information Science

Hist 192

Freshman Seminar: "Living in Ancient Rome" and "The Burbs: History of American Suburbs" subtitles

Hist 404

Topics in American History: "Big City Life Viewed Through HBO’s 'The Wire'" and "A Tale of Two Cities: Milwaukee and Los Angeles" subtitles

Hist 436

Immigrant America Since 1880

Hist 440

History of the American Working Classes

Hist 446

African Americans Since the Civil War

Hist 450

Growth of Metropolitan Milwaukee

Hist 460

History of Poverty

Hist 463

History of the American City

PH 319

Introduction to Health Disparities

Pol Sci 213

Urban Government and Politics

Pol Sci 243

Public Administration

Pol Sci 387

Seminar in American Politics: "Municipal Finance" subtitle

Pol Sci 413

Governing Metropolitan Areas

Pol Sci 444

Politics and Bureaucracy

Pol Sci 450

Urban Political Problems

Pol Sci 452

Administrative Law

Pub Adm 243

Public Administration

Pub Adm 331

Comparative Public Administration

Pub Adm 452

Administrative Law

Pub Adm 462

Public Policy Planning

Sociol 193

Freshman Seminar: "College in the City" subtitle

Sociol 224

American Minority Groups

Sociol 235

Social Change in the Global Economy

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 423

Immigration and Incorporation: (all topics)

Sociol 450

Environmental Sociology

Sociol 472

Population and Society

Sociol 610

Reproduction of Minority Communities



Urban Studies (URB STD)



Jasmine Alinder, Assoc. Prof., PhD, History
University of Michigan

Margo J. Anderson, Distinguished Prof., PhD, History
Rutgers University

Anne Bonds, Asst. Prof., PhD, Geography
University of Washington

Marcus Britton, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Sociology
Northwestern University

Tina L. Freiburger, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Criminal Justice
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Rina Ghose, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Geography
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Donald E. Green, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Sociology
University of Minnesota

James Harris, Sr. Lect., PhD, Urban Studies
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Ryan Holifield, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Geography
University of Minnesota

Lingqian (Ivy) Hu, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Urban Planning
University of Southern California

Douglas M. Ihrke, Prof., PhD, Public and Nonprofit Administration
Northern Illinois University

Jennifer R. Jordan, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Sociology
University of California, San Diego

Marc V. Levine, Prof., PhD, History
University of Pennsylvania

Jenna Lloyd, Asst. Prof., PhD, Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Genevieve McBride, Prof. Emerita, PhD

Linda McCarthy, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Geography
University of Minnesota

Daniel McClure, Asst. Prof., PhD, Africology
University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Stacey J. Oliker, Assoc. Prof. Emerita, PhD, Sociology

Joel Rast, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Political Science, Chair
University of Oregon

Lex Renda, Assoc. Prof., PhD, History
University of Virginia

Aki Roberts, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Sociology
University of New Mexico

Joseph A. Rodríguez, Assoc. Prof., PhD, History
University of California, Berkeley

Robert Schneider, Asst. Prof., PhD, Architecture
University of Southern California, Berkeley

Aaron Schutz, Prof., PhD, Educational Policy and Community Studies
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Amanda Seligman, Prof., PhD, History
Northwestern University

Arijit Sen, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Architecture
University of California, Berkeley

Paru R. Shah, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Political Science
Rice University

Robert Smith, Assoc. Prof., PhD, History
Bowling Green State University

Kristin Sziarto, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Geography
University of Minnesota

William Vélez, Prof. Emeritus, PhD, Sociology

Frank H. Wilson, Prof. Emeritus, PhD, Sociology

Erin Winkler, Assoc. Prof., PhD, Africology
University of California, Berkeley

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