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ACM Chicago

Associated Colleges of the Midwest – Chicago Urban Studies Program

The ACM Urban Studies program provides students with a thoughtful and challenging introduction to the complexities of life and society in Chicago. Since its inception in 1969, the program has guided students to examine major sociological and political issues of the day through the personal perspectives of Chicago’s 50 community leaders, politicians, and activists, as well as through traditional scholarship on the subjects of public policy, community development, social justice, gender, race, and ethnicity in American urban societies.

Each fall and spring semester, students participating in the program will participate in four key academic components.

  • The Chicago Core Course is an interdisciplinary course examining the city of Chicago by exploring how socio-political, business, and arts issues intertwine.
  • The Seminar course focuses on issues such as social justice, race, and politics, incorporating guest speakers and experiences around the city into a framework of readings and class exercises designed to engage students in important local issues.
  • The Internship is a chance to gain hands-on experience, as students work in one of a broad spectrum of social welfare, not-for-profit, educational, activist, community, arts, or business organizations.
  • The Precept is an opportunity for students to actively engage in the life of a distinctive Chicago neighborhood – living and learning as citizens, meeting with local residents and organizations to learn about their neighborhood, and constructing an independent study project (ISP) that provides an opportunity to research a specific area of interest and to learn how their efforts impact the local and larger communities in which they live.

Students live in the amazing and vibrant city of Chicago in the neighborhoods of Hyde Park, Logan Square, or the Gold Coast (though neighborhoods may be subject to change based upon enrollment).  Housing is based on double occupancy in furnished apartments with cooking facilities; students with special housing needs should contact the ACM office early in the application process.  The costs for apartment rent, gas, electricity, and wireless internet are included in the program fee.