Urban Sociology

The urban concentration focuses on the sociological analysis of cities, their social and spatial organization, and the populations that inhabit them. Topics of inquiry include, but are not limited to:  the distinct characteristics of urban settings; residential patterns and their effects on individuals, families, and communities; socioeconomic, behavioral, and racial/ethnic trends and their consequences; the dynamics of urban neighborhoods and communities; mechanisms of social control; the growth and decline of cities; urban labor markets; and the impacts of globalization. Special emphasis is given to the analysis of urban policy.

Faculty members affiliated with the concentration employ and support the use of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies as a means of analyzing and understanding urban issues.   The concentration offers a foundational course Urban Sociology, as well as an interdisciplinary course the 21st Century City, and a number of topical electives. Students affiliated with the concentration take the foundational course, two electives, and the urban field statement to satisfy concentration requirements.

Affiliated Sociology faculty

Foundation Course

Sample electives

Affiliated Interdisciplinary Programs and Centers

Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy

The Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, founded in 1999, is a “think and do tank”—a place where faculty, staff, and students pool their expertise, resources, and commitment to address a wide range of issues facing cities, towns, and suburbs with particular emphasis on the Greater Boston region.


The Institute of Urban Health Research

The IUHR’s seven faculty, three graduate fellows and nine research staff are focusing research on health issues that disproportionately impact urban communities, such as substance abuse, HIV/AIDS prevention and policy, interventions for children diagnosed with asthma, cardiovascular disease behavioral interventions, nutrition behavioral interventions with school age children, traditional Chinese health practices, racial and ethnic differences in service delivery patterns, and brain mechanisms involved in opiate tolerance. The goal of the IUHR is to improve the health of urban populations through the generation of knowledge that informs health policies, disease prevention programs and health services. Founded in 2002.