The urban studies major provides a broadly interdisciplinary understanding of how urban dynamics shape both global interdependence and local spaces. The major stresses the way in which cities and communities are critical to the organization of economic, social, and cultural activities that shape and transform human experiences. Students can take full advantage of the College’s strong and diverse academic resources in the urban field through courses at the Trinity campus and local partner schools, community learning in Hartford, study-away opportunities in international cities, as well as internships in a variety of urban settings.
To complete the major, students will take a total of at least 12 courses and:
- All courses that count toward the major must earn a grade of C- or better.
- Courses that count toward the major cannot be taken pass/fail.
- No more than one 100-level course or first-year seminar other than URST 101 can be counted toward the major.
- Community Learning Requirement: At least one of the courses must be a Community Learning course or the community learning research colloquium.
- Comparative and Global Perspective Requirement: At least one of the elective courses must be either (A) a study-away course or (B) an approved domestic internship that will expand the student’s capacity for awareness of global urbanism.
- At least one of the courses in each cluster must be at the 300 level. If an appropriate 300-level course is not available, students may substitute a research-based independent study with comparable rigor.
- By permission of the faculty coordinator, up to two courses from a student’s study-away experience may be counted toward the major.
- By permission of the faculty coordinator, up to three courses from the Cities Program may be counted toward the major.
- No more than three courses are allowed to double-count between urban studies and another major.
- Students must complete an integrating exercise that synthesizes earlier urban studies work in the major through URST 401. Qualified students (GPA over 3.50 in the major) may choose to get honors in the major which will require them to complete a one-semester thesis through URST 497, or a two-semester thesis through URST 498 (fall) and URST 499 (spring) with a grade of A- or better.
Planning & Policy
This thematic cluster or track includes courses in urban studies, public policy, environmental science, engineering or other fields which are built around practical, applied or professional skill development. For example, the following courses would fit with this track:
- URST 321 Geographies of Transport
- ENGR 341 Architectural Drawing
- ENGR 342 Architectural Design
- ENVS 286 Theory and Application of Geographic Information Systems
- PBPL 264 Urban Policy and Politics in America
- PBPL 351 Diversity in the City
This track encompasses the general liberal arts areas of concentration, through courses in urban studies but also urban courses in many fields such as political science, history, anthropology, sociology, art history, Hispanic studies, American studies, educational studies, economics, English or international studies, among other possibilities. Students work with their adviser to make the thematic cluster a clear concentration within the social sciences and humanities. Some example courses would be:
- URST 210 Sustainable Urban Development
- URST 215 Latin American Cities
- URST 302 Global Cities
- ANTH 253 Urban Anthropology
- ECON 209 Urban Economics
- POLS 355 Urban Politics
- Four core courses
- URST 101. Introduction to Urban Studies or another 200-level comparative urban course
- URST 201. From Hartford to World Cities
- URST 401. Senior Seminar
- A Community Learning course or the community learning research colloquium
- Four other courses in urban studies
- A sequence of four courses in a thematic cluster. At least one course in the thematic cluster must be at the 300 level, and no courses at the 100 level can be counted toward the cluster. This sequence, developed in consultation with the student’s adviser, provides a concentration within the interdisciplinary realm of urban studies beyond the content of the core courses.
- Four other courses in urban studies (which may include a Thesis)
Capstone Senior Project/Thesis:
Students must complete an integrating exercise through URST 401 that synthesizes earlier urban studies work in the major, unless they choose to get honors in the major which will require them to complete a one-semester thesis through URST 497, or a two-semester thesis through URST 498 (fall) and URST 499 (spring).
Community Learning: What is community learning? At Trinity, we define it as a type of experiential learning, an academic course in which the faculty member works in partnership with a person or group from the local community to involve students in an experience they could not get in the classroom alone. Our community learning program involves almost all of our academic departments, more than 80 community organizations, and about half of our students.
The Jeffrey E. Kelter ’76 Urban Studies Endowment Fund at the Center for Urban and Global Studies (CUGS) supports student investigations of a broad range of key urban issues confronting humankind in the 21st century. Of special interest are projects related to real estate and urban planning.
Grossman Global Studies Fund: The Kenneth S. Grossman ’78 Global Studies Fund, established in honor of Professor Eugene E. Leach, supports student investigations of global issues that confront humankind in the 21st century. Examples of such issues include human rights, peacekeeping, the preservation of the ecosphere, migrations and diasporas, international health standards, and the consequences of revolutionary advances in information technology and bioengineering.
Tanaka Research Fund: In 2002 Trinity was awarded a generous grant by the Tanaka Memorial Foundation establishing an endowed fund to allow students to pursue formal research projects abroad, with a special focus on Asia, during the months of July and August. Typically, one grant, ranging from $3,000 to $4,000 in total, is awarded each year for the proposal deemed most feasible and relevant to the wider academic interests of the applicant.
Davis Projects for Peace: Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative for all students at the Davis United World College Scholars Program schools to design their own grassroots projects for peace that they themselves will implement anywhere in the world during the summer months. Through a competition on more than 90 campuses, 100 projects will be selected for funding at $10,000 each.
River Cities in China: For over ten years, the Center for Urban and Global Studies has taken students to cities in China (and, on several occasions, Southeast Asia) for an intensive summer course that investigates critical historical, socioeconomic, and environmental questions confronting the river cities of the region. Studying these dynamic cities offers urban studies students a fascinating way to glimpse and access the various facets of sustainable urban development. The program carries 1.5 course credits and .5 in Chinese language credit through the initial classroom learning and field visits in Hartford and subsequent traveling instruction by Trinity professors and local experts.
Technos Japan Tour: One faculty or staff member and two students are invited for a two-week trip to Japan to participate in Technos International Week held in Tokyo every year in June. Technos International Week is an event organized by Technos International College of Japan. Its goal is to promote international exchange and understanding between the international guests and the members of the host institution, as well as to offer the guest group the opportunity to experience and appreciate Japanese life and culture.
Honors: To receive honors in Urban Studies a student must complete a one-semester or a two-semester thesis with a grade of A- or better and earn a GPA of at least 3.5 in courses counted toward the major.