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Major in Urban Studies

The Urban Studies program will be an intensive interdisciplinary BA that focuses on a close study of urban phenomena. Crucial to the program is a multifaceted understanding of the urban experience which includes history and theory; urban design and architecture; urban policy; arts and media (including communication and social media); social, political and economic forces; class, race and gender; and global conceptions of the urban. 

The 44-unit major will include courses in the following program areas:

A. Urban Sociology and Political Economy

B. Urban Histories, Theories and Methods

C. Urban Planning and the Built Environment

D. Urban Cultures and Representations

Learning Outcomes:

General Outcomes

By the end of this program:

a) Students will demonstrate a critical understanding of the histories, theories and methodologies related to the production of urban space.

b) Students will demonstrate a grasp of the political, economic, social and cultural forces that shape the urban experience locally and globally.

c) Students will demonstrate and express the importance of urban representations in the arts, literature and media, both locally and globally.

d) Students will acquire basic skills related to practices of city planning and urban public affairs.

e) Students will demonstrate a critical and interdisciplinary understanding of San Francisco’s urbanism

For general learning outcomes a, b and c: Students will have to complete a total of four core classes from the four program areas — Area A. Urban Sociology and Political Economy; Area B. Urban Histories, Theories and Methods; Area C. Urban Planning and the Built Environment; Area D. Urban Culture and Representation. 

How will this outcome be met: Apart from required reading material, students will produce written and oral assignments as specified in the syllabi of each of the classes which will rigorously assess the students’ fulfillment of this outcome.

Specific Outcomes

f) By the end of this program, students will experience and understand the complexity of urban issues internationally, both in the developing and developed world. Students will be encouraged to enroll in study abroad programs with an urban studies focus. (If they are not able to travel abroad they can continue to take courses at USF.)

g) By the end of this program, students will take a capstone seminar on specific topics where they will demonstrate the ability to synthesize knowledge from the four core areas, and whose reading material and written work are designed to prepare students to research.

Practical Outcomes

h) Fulfill a practicum requirement in which students engage directly with an urban aspect of the Bay Area that includes but is not exclusive to the history of the area, contested urban issues, the ideology underpinning design, urbanism and landscaping initiatives, the sociology and politics of city planning and urban design.

Program Requirements:

The broad introductory program requirements include:

Courses Required for Major 

Intro to Urban Studies (Mandatory) = 1

1 class in each area  (A, B, C, D) = 4

4 electives from any of the Urban Studies course offerings = 4

Capstone seminar = 1

Internship = 1

Four Program Areas 

The term “Program Areas,” suggests specific areas of research that students may choose in their senior year, and also future paths for graduate school or research. For example, students may wish to pursue careers in city planning, which relates to Area C (Urban Planning and the Built Environment), or they may be interested in careers in urban documentary film making, which relates to Area D (Urban Culture and Representation).

Urban Sociology and Political Economy – Area A

Urban Histories, Theories and Methods – Area B

Urban Planning and the Built Environment – Area C

Urban Culture and Representation – Area D

Double Dipping

Students will be allowed to use no more than two classes to count for both Urban Studies and another major or minor program. We will provide advisors of the program with a form to track courses majors are enrolled and to avoid double dipping.

Course requirements for Urban Studies major: 

Take one intro course (4 units):

URBS 100: Introduction to Urban Studies – Rachel Brahinsky, Tanu Sankalia, Corey  D Cook, Keally McBride, James Taylor (new course taught by rotation)

Area A - Urban Sociology and Political Economy 

Required

URBS 210: Urban Politics – Corey Cook 

Electives

COMS 195: Landscapes of Communication - Marco Jacquemet

POLS 195: San Francisco Development Politics – Corey D Cook (Core E)

SOC 302: Global Inequalities and Social Justice - Cecilia Santos

SOC 361: Brazilian Culture and Society – Cecilia Santos

POLS 363: Housing and Homelessness Policy – Corey D Cook

POLS 369/ANST369: Asian Politics, Activism & Justice – Jay Gonzalez

COMS 490: Geographies of Communication  - Marco Jacquemet

Area B – Urban Histories, Theories and Methods

Required

URBS 220: Urban Theory – Pedro Lange, Tanu Sankalia, John Zarobell (by rotation, new course) 

Electives

ANTH 250: Urban Anthropology – Rue Ziegler 

HIST/URBS 200/200: The City in U.S History - Candice L. Harrison (new course)

LAST 300/MS 300: Memory Marks in the Urban Space – Susanna Kaiser (new course)

PHIL 300: Ethics: The Good City – Ron Sundstrom (new course)

Area C – Urban Planning and the Built Environment 

Required

URBS 230: Urban Planning and Design – Tanu Sankalia (new course) 

Electives

ARCD 195: FYS: San Francisco Urbanism – Tanu Sankalia (Core F)

URBS 260: Sacred Cities – TBA (new course)

URBS 300: Colonial Cities – John Zarobell (new course)

MSEM 680: Processes of Urban Planning and Design – Tanu Sankalia 

Area D – Urban Cultures and Representations 

Required

URBS 220: Urban Cultures – Pedro Lange (new course) 

Electives

DANC 195: FYS: Mapping the City - Megan Nicely (Core F)

DES 195: FYS: San Francisco Signage - Stacey Asher (Core F)

SPAN 200: Cityscapes of the Post-Movida – Ana Urrutia

GERM 320: German Literature and Culture - Susanne Hoelscher

YPSP 323: Filipino Politics and Justice – Jay Gonzalez

GERM-FREN 350: Paris-Berlin – Susanne Hoelscher (Core C1)

MS 200/300: Contesting Culture, Remaking the City – Dorothy Kidd (new course)

SPAN 491: The City in Latin American Cinema – Pedro Lange

 

COURSE OFFERINGS -  ELECTIVES (existing and new courses)

Area

Division

Introduction to Urban Studies – McBride, Cook, Taylor

Area A,B,C,D

Lower

Urban Theory – Lange, Sankalia, Zarobell

Area B

Lower/Upper

Urban Planning and Design – Tanu Sankalia

Area C

Lower/Upper

Urban Culture – Pedro Lange

Area D

Lower/Upper

Urban Anthropology – Rue Ziegler

Area B

Lower/Upper

Colonial Cities – John Zarobell

Area C

Upper

Global Inequalities and Social Justice - Cecilia Santos

Area A

Upper

The City in U.S. History – Candice L. Harrison

Area B

Lower/Upper

The City in Latin American Cinema – Pedro Lange

Area D

Upper

Urban Politics – Corey Cook

Area A

Lower

FYS: San Francisco Development Politics – Corey D Cook (Core E)

Area A

Lower

Housing and Homelessness Policy – Corey D Cook

Area A

Upper

German Literature and Culture - Susanne Hoelscher

Area D

Lower/Upper

Paris-Berlin – Susanne Hoelscher (Core C1)

Area D

Lower/Upper

Brazilian Culture and Society – Cecilia Santos

Area A

Upper

Landscapes of Communication - Marco Jaquemet

Area A

Lower

Geographies of Communication  - Marco Jaquemet

Area A

Upper

Memory Marks in the Urban Space – Susanna Kaiser

Area B

Upper

Filipino Politics and Justice – Jay Gonzalez

Area A

Upper

FYS: San Francisco Urbanism – Tanu Sankalia (Core F)

Area C

Lower

Contesting Culture, Remaking the City – Dorothy Kidd

Area D

Upper

FYS: San Francisco Signage - Stacey Asher (Core F)

Area D

Lower

Sacred Cities – TBA

Area C

Lower

FYS: Mapping the City - Megan Nicely (Core F)

Area D

Lower

4-year Program Map

The program requirements are listed below. All required courses for the Major are listed in Bold Italics.

First Year, Fall

  • Introduction to Urban Studies (meets requirement for major)
  • Rhetoric and Language 1
  • Public Speaking
  • Foreign Language 1

First Year, Spring

  • Area A - Required (meets requirements for major)
  • Rhetoric and Language 2
  • Foreign Language 2
  • Theology and Religious Studies Core

Second Year, Fall

  • Area B – Required (meets requirement for major)
  • Area C – Required (meets requirements for major)
  • Foreign Language 23
  • Science Core

Second Year, Spring

  • Area D – Required (meets requirements for major)
  • Area Elective 1 (meets requirements for major)
  • Ethics Core
  • Math Core

Third Year, Fall

  • Free Elective from Urban Studies offerings (meets requirements for major)
  • Free Elective from Urban Studies offerings (meets requirements for major)
  • Social Science Core
  • Philosophy Core

Third Year, Spring (Study Abroad)

  • Free Elective from Urban Studies offerings (meets requirements for major)
  • History Core  
  • Literature Core
  • Free Elective

Fourth Year, Fall

  • Capstone Seminar (meets requirements for major)
  • Elective (Urban Studies)
  • Elective (Urban Studies)
  • Free Elective

Fourth Year, Spring

  • Internship (meets requirements for major)
  • Free Elective
  • Free Elective
  • Free Elective