A profile of the Urban Studies Program
Take a look at what past grads from Witt have done with their majors – internships, grad school programs, and first jobs after graduation. It’s not always as cut and dried as you think; a Liberal Arts degree has a lot of flexibility!
Why Urban Studies?
The Urban Studies Program fosters student understanding of urban systems and problems, and encourages and emphasizes integrated interdisciplinary approaches to urban studies. The Urban Studies minor often completes a major with a participating department (e.g., Political Science, Geography, History, Sociology, Religion, Psychology, or Economics). The student, in consultation with an Urban Studies adviser, may design the minor to focus upon a particular interest such as public policy, urban planning or city administration.
The Urban Studies curriculum includes three levels. The first level consists of the interdisciplinary, team-taught course Urban Studies 171. The second level is drawn from existing departmental course offerings and includes a set of basic Urban Studies courses as well as suggested urban interest courses. It is expected that students would also take methodology courses appropriate to their majors; these would also be considered second-level courses, although they are not specifically required for the completion of an Urban Studies minor. A third level comprises of several opportunities for higher-level analysis of urban affairs such as the writing of a senior paper and practical experiences in urban agencies. Internships are available in Springfield and in other cities as arranged.
Minor: Urban Studies
Requirements for Minor
The Urban Studies minor consists of 21 semester hours including Urban Studies 171, three 4-semester-hour basic urban courses, a 4-semester-hour Urban Internship or Urban Term field placement , and a 1-semester-hour senior paper in consultation with a student’s minor adviser and at least one other member of the Urban Studies faculty. Additionally, to provide a broader contextual background to the minor, the student may wish to take one or more of the suggested urban interest courses listed in the description of the Urban Studies curriculum.
171S. Introduction to the City. 4 semester hours.
Focuses on human interaction in the city, highlighting the American city from the perspectives of all participating disciplines — its development, its functions and structures, its population and its problems. Every year.
490. Independent Study.
An option in lieu of the internship experience. The student should consult the chair of his or her major department to receive approval, along with that of the Director of the Urban Studies program, to receive credit under Level III of the Urban Studies curriculum. The student taking Geography 250: Applied Urban Geography may receive Level III credit.
491. Urban Internship.
Work-study course opportunity for the student to observe decisionmaking processes, relate course material to practical urban problems and participate appropriately in an urban work environment. Each student is responsible to the Urban Internship adviser specified by the student’s major department, and an application form must be submitted to participate in this course. Every year.
492. Senior Paper 1 semester hour.
An integrated learning opportunity geared toward assessing student understanding of theories, methods and concepts central to at least two disciplinary approaches to urban studies, the ability to integrate knowledge from two or more disciplines, and the skill in formulating and defending a thesis. The precise nature of the paper is determined in consultation with the student’s minor adviser and one other member of the Urban Studies faculty. Every year.
495. Urban Term.
An off-campus experience that permits the serious student interested in urban problems to do research in a large urban setting. The student studies the life and operations of the metropolitan area in an urban term seminar and works at an urban field placement site. Participation in urban term is encouraged during the student’s junior or senior year.
Basic Urban Courses
- Economics 250: Urban and Regional Economics. 4 semester hours.
- Geography 230: Urban Geography. 4 semester hours.
- History 323: Urban History. 4 semester hours.
- Political Science 222: Urban Politics. 4 semester hours.
- Religion 171: Urban Life and Social Ethics. 4 semester hours.
- Sociology 296: Urban Sociology. 4 semester hours.
Recommended Urban Interest Courses
- Economics 340: Public Finance. 4 semester hours.
- Geography 330: Applied Urban. 2 or 4 semester hours.
- Geography 390: Geographical Information Systems. 5 semester hours.
- Political Science 221S: State and Local Government. 4 semester hours.
- Political Science 321: Public Policy. 4 semester hours.
- Psychology 361B: Experimental Social Psychology. 5 semester hours.
- Religion 172S: Poverty and Social Ethics. 4 semester hours.
- Religion 176H: Racism and Social Ethics. 4 semester hours.
- Sociology 270S: Sociology of Minority Groups. 4 semester hours.
Topics: Many topics courses are offered by participating departments that qualify as urban interest courses