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urban studies

College of Education ¦ Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences


Below is a list of courses that were originally approved for the Urban Studies Minor. This is not an exhaustive list, given that new courses having urban themes are continually generated. Please check with the Program Director if you have any questions about the suitability of an unlisted course for satisfying the requirements of the minor. 

ANTH 3500 Culture and the City (4 qtr. hrs.)
Examines the past and future of the city as a human built environment that reflects and reproduces social, political, economic, and cultural forces and ideals. Begins with the origin of cities in antiquity and ends with contemporary urban landscapes. Analysis is sensitive to both the technologies and aesthetics of urban form. Emphasis is on the possibilities for urban redesign to meet the problems of 21st century city life. 

economics (econ)


ECON 2590 Regional Economics of Metro Denver (5 qtr. hrs.)
This course covers theories of regional economic development and applies these theories to the economy of the Denver metro region. The course will be divided into three main parts. The first part will examine the historical process of regional development in the United States along with the development of American regional policy. This section will discuss the economic history of the Denver metro area by relating it to regional development trends in the U.S. as a whole. The second part will cover theories of regional development and discuss how these relate to the economic history of the Denver metro area. The third part will be an in-depth look at the current structure of the Denver metro economy, the influence of state and federal policies, and its prospects for future development. Prerequisites: ECON 1030 or permission of instructor
ECON 3590 Urban Economics (5 qtr. hrs.)
This course will study urban economic issues associated with economic growth and decline within metropolitan regions. The course will study this topic from an interdisciplinary perspective, emphasizing economic, historical, political, and sociological aspects, among others. A broad range of topics in urban economic policy will be discussed including: welfare reform and the working poor, housing policy and racial segregation, urban transportation policy, urban environmental policy, educational inequality and the digital divide, family structure and social institutions, zoning and livability issues, the smart growth movement. The student will become familiar with contemporary urban economic research and online sources of economic data. Specific analytical tools that will be covered include: input-output analysis, shift share analysis, location quotients, and fiscal impact analysis. Prerequisites: ECON 1030 or permission of instructor

education (cui)


CUI 3995 Urban Education (5 qtr. hrs.)

This course examines issues, concepts, and characteristics of urban public education. Students should be interested and willing to explore this topic through readings and discussion. We will be exploring various perspectives, including our own, which inform the discussion on this critical area of education.
CUI 3996 Urban Youth Development (5 qtr. hrs.)
This course examines urban youth development from several perspectives, including the social-psychological, the cognitive/creative, the physical and health-related, and the philosophical. Students will understand the principles of youth development in urban settings; keys to the success of effective youth development programs in urban communities, including those that focus on self-esteem and leadership development, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, community organizing/development, recreational and cultural activities, etc.

geography (geog)

GEOG 3400 Urban Landscapes (4 qtr. hrs.)

Urban geography is concerned with the spatial interpretation of areas containing city-centered populations. Urban geographers want to know where something is, why it is there, and why that location is important. Moreover, they are interested in spatial patterns in the city- they attempt to describe and explain the city's spatial layout. There are two broad areas: interurban geography and intraurban geography. The interurban section deals with linkages and interaction between cities on a regional, national and global scale. The intraurban portion concentrates on the urban form of the individual city and how transportation, housing and economics shape the individual city. By studying these different areas, students gain a greater understanding of the forces that shape urban areas and the complexity found within these areas.

GEOG 3420 Urban and Regional Planning (4 qtr. hrs.)
This is the core urban planning course, which is a prerequisite for additional courses in land-use planning and transportation planning. Topics include the theory of planning; the history of planning in the U.S. Planning methods including GIS and the legal, political, economic, social and environmental aspects of urban planning.
GEOG 3440 Urban Transportation Planning (4 qtr. hrs.)
A specialized course in the urban planning sequence focused on issues, practices, and policies of urban transportation planning.



HIST 2701 Topics in History: History in the Community(4 qtr. hrs.)

This is a service-learning course and it is designed to give students the opportunity to use their skills and interests as historians in a community-based project. What exactly does that mean? At the beginning of the quarter, students will work with me on developing an independent or group project that brings their skills and knowledge directly into the community. Projects include but are not limited to: working with local public schoolchildren in class and in after-school history clubs; researching and writing histories of nonprofits and other community organizations; working in museums and historical societies. During the rest of the quarter, students will work with community partners to realize their project goals and then assess their contribution to the community through this project. Throughout the quarter, students will work with me and their community partners; they will also work independently.
HIST 3190 Immigrants in American History(4 qtr. hrs.)
Immigration to America from Colonial period to 20th century, responses of Native Americans, role of ethnicity in American life, assimilation in American society.

communication studies (comn)

COMN 1700 Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
This course explores the fundamental concepts and issues in intercultural communication with a particular emphasis on issues surrounding identity. This course will address intercultural issues on a local, national, and international level, maintaining an identity focus throughout.

COMN 3315 Public Deliberation (5 qtr. hrs.)
An introduction to the theories and problematics of public deliberation. The course pays particular attention to the demands of inclusion, equality, and public reason as requirements of public deliberation. Instructors permission required.
COMN 3140 Intercultural Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
Contrast and comparison of communication patterns, norms, customs as they vary across national ethnic and gender groups.
COMN 3142 Dialogue, Culture & Conflict(5 qtr. hrs.)
Dialogue as a mode of public deliberation and community problem solving is being taught widely by organizations in the private and public sector. This course addresses how dialogue and dialogue programs are being used as a way of resolving conflict in intercultural communities and to approach controversial topics about culture and communication. The course includes attention to conflict, negotiation, mediation, resolution, and transformation as well as culture, cultural identifications and representations, and dialogue as communicative practice. A number of specific dialogue programs in international and national conflicts are assessed.
COMN 3701 Topics in Human Communication Studies: Latino/a Communication Studies (5 qtr hrs.)
As the Latina/o population continues to grow in the United States, having become the largest "minority" population in the United States, it becomes increasingly important to understand and respect the cultures of this heterogeneous community. Latina/os are often erroneously subsumed or rendered invisible by dominant constructions of race within the United States that rely on a hegemonic black/white binary. Given the increasing visibility and growth of this group, this course will examine the development of Latina/o Studies within the field of Communication Studies by taking both a historical and a contemporary approach.

Political Science

PLSC 1000 Introduction to American Politics (5 qtr. hrs)

This course offers a broad introduction to the primary institutions, core philosophical concepts, and political dynamics of American government. Using an approach that emphasizes American political culture and historical development, the topics we will explore include: the founding, federalism, civil rights and liberties, public opinion, political participation, parties, interest groups, social policy, and the three branches of government.
PLSC 2350 Urban Politics (5 qtr. hrs)
This upper-division seminar focuses on the theory and practice of urban politics in the United States. Students read classic works on the structures and political processes of metropolitan government in the United States. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing.
PLSC 2470 State and Local Politics (5 qtr. hrs)
This States have long been considered the “laboratories of democracy.” Many of the policies and political reforms that national politicians debate today have been attempted at the state or municipal level, and those experiences can inform our understanding of democracy. Understanding the experiences of states has become even more important in an era when greater responsibility for citizens’ welfare has been transferred to the states from the federal government. In this course, we will examine variations in political institutions and cultures across the United States. We will also examine how parties and politicians function at the state and local level. Particular attention will be paid to the government and politics of Colorado. In addition, students will learn basic statistical skills to analyze data about policies and political cultures of the various states.
Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing.
PLSC 3760 Comparative Race Politics(5 qtr. hrs)
This course will explore the construction and evolution of systems of racial hierarchy from a comparative socio-political perspective. Using the construction of whiteness as a wedge into different kinds of racial politics, we will study four countries in four continents—the United States, Australia, South Africa, and Brazil. By exploring how whiteness is constructed in each of these countries, we will learn about how different kinds of so-called racial “others” get included, excluded, persecuted, and/or integrated into the power hierarchies of each nation—and how they have, in turn, transformed it. The class will be reading and writing intensive and will use a combination of qualitative and quantitative comparative approaches to the topic. Students should be prepared to engage actively in a demanding, seminar-style course.Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing.

sociology (soci)

SOCI 2140 Urban Sociology (5 qtr. hrs.)

The sociological study of the city focuses on the interrelationships between people, social institutions and space. The process of urban development is examined. Comparison of competing theoretical perspectives.
SOCI 2190 American Communities (5 qtr. hrs.)
Basic social institutions, trends in urbanization and their relationship to changes in political, family, religious and economic structures; population problems.
SOCI 2320 Race and Ethnicity (5 qtr. hrs.)
Relationshiop of racial and ethnic minority groups to systems of social stratification; emphasis on United States. Prerequisite: SOCS 1810 or 1850
SOCI 2420: Social Inequality (5 qtr.hrs.)
Dimensions of social class and its effect upon economic, political, and social institutions and style of life.
SOCI 2500: Schooling and Society (5 qtr.hrs.)
The objective of this course is to examine the relationship between schooling and the larger social inequalities (e.g. racism, poverty, and gender) that profoundly shape education. The major focus in this seminar will be on U. S. K-12 public education. Prerequisite: SOCS 1810 or equivalent.
SOCI 2701: Urban Poverty (5 qtr.hrs.)
In this course, we will explore the spectrum of issues related to social class and urban poverty in the United States. Students will learn to make sociological connections between urbanicity, race and class (and other social identities of gender, age, ability) without relying stereotypical, popular culture ideas. We will also discuss historical and contemporary public policy issues related to poverty. All of this will be accomplished through the use of classic and contemporary writing about the sociology of poverty.
SOCI 2701: Latina/os in American Society(5 qtr.hrs.)
In the next several decades, Latina/os will be the largest minority group in the U.S. Rapid demographic changes among this population raises important questions such as, "How will the growing Latina/o presence affect relations between them and the larger population?" Equally important, "How will these changes affect Latina/os themselves? This course will use a sociological lens to explore the incorporation of Latinas and Latinos into U.S. society. Specifically, the course will address Latinas' and Latinos' migration trajectories and historical experiences in the U.S.; assimilation, incorporation and racial/ethnic identity formation; the family, schools and labor markets; and political empowerment. Empirically, the course will address the major social institutions that define and are being defined by the growing and dynamic presence of Latinas and Latinos in contemporary U.S. society.