The bachelor of arts degree in Urban Studies is interdisciplinary in scope and provides for the study of cities and the urban society from a variety of perspectives: historical, physical, environmental, social, economic and political.
The curriculum addresses urban problems and issues by incorporating courses from many of UW Tacoma's academic areas. The curriculum is flexible enough to allow students to emphasize particular areas of interest and to permit students to obtain a minor in a related field. This approach provides graduates with the skills and expertise to pursue and enter into a variety of career paths. Employment opportunities include work as city planners, administrative positions in city government/public management, careers with community development corporations, transportation, work with not-for-profit agencies, and private-sector jobs with consulting firms. The program is also excellent preparation for those interested in graduate study in such fields as public administration, law or urban planning/design.
The mission of UW Tacoma includes providing access to education in the south Puget Sound region, a commitment to innovative approaches to teaching and learning, with an emphasis on student competencies in critical thinking, effective oral and written communication, and working with diverse populations. The Urban Studies program provides a vehicle for the achievement of this portion of UW Tacoma's mission by creating an interdisciplinary and innovative curriculum that focuses on you, the learner.
Why Urban Studies?
Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary liberal arts approach to a study of the urban social, economic, historical, environmental and political processes/issues affecting societies. It examines both the "theoretical" nature of societies as well as the "practical" application of working to change or improve the society. A strong research component is included so the application of theory may be tested in a real world situation. This prepares strong graduates to enter the workforce or continue their education toward a master's degree.
Educationally, the Urban Studies program is a truly interdisciplinary program because it is inclusive of most academic offerings on the Tacoma campus. It offers students a great deal of flexibility by tailoring the program to emphasize a particular area of interest. Course topics include society and culture, urbanization, environment, planning, race and poverty, and economic development, all of which are enhanced by field experience, internships, and research projects. Beyond the required core courses and Urban Studies electives, the direction of study is dependent on the student. For example, if a student is interested in nonprofit management, environmental studies, business or health, he or she may take a series of courses that relate to that subject. Alternatively, a student may take a wide variety of courses in many disciplines to broaden the scope of the degree.
Advantages of our program
- Urban setting
- Small class sizes
- Flexible class offerings
- Close interaction with faculty and staff
- Diverse and growing student body
- Interdisciplinary and innovative course of study
- Study abroad opportunities