An integral part of the Center for Urban and Global Studies, the Cities Program is one of Trinity’s Gateway programs for a small number of selective first-year students. The mission of the Cities Program is to help students learn and understand all aspects of cities through a cluster of interdisciplinary courses and experiential curricular activities. The Cities Program lays the academic foundation for students to expand and deepen their interest in urban issues through continued course study on campus, research and engagement in Hartford, and Trinity’s study-away programs in international cities.


A selective, one-year non-major curriculum for approximately 15 talented and strongly motivated students in each entering class, the Cities Program examines cities and urban issues, past and present, in the United States and globally, from various humanities and social science perspectives. In the first semester, participating students take one course, Introduction to Urban Studies. In the second semester, students take one course – the American City – and work with their advisor to design a fourth “plus” credit.  The plus credit for the Cities Program will include something distinctly urban, whether that is manifested in a Hartford civic engagement, an urban internship, or an independent study extending from Cities courses. A fourth academic course that is urban-focused can also be the means for fulfilling this 4th component of the Cities Program.

The Cities Program, which admitted its first students in the spring of 1996, is designed to be compatible with every major offered at Trinity, including not just those in the humanities and social science disciplines that are central to the program, but also those in the arts and the natural sciences. The Cities Program has also become a launching pad for students to continue with an urban studies major or minor.