Core Courses

INT/POL/SOC U357: Growth and Decline of Cities and Suburbs

This course introduces students to the field of urban studies. It is focused around three central issues: how cities and suburbs evolve, what makes a city or suburb a good place to live, and how cities and suburbs are(or are not)planned. Students will review the ways in which urban scholars and practitioners study cities and suburbs and their research methodologies. They will explore the roles of individuals, communities, the private sector, and government in planning and shaping the city. Field trips will allow students to analyze issues raised in the class in Boston and surrounding communities.

INT/POL/SOC U358: Current Issues in Cities and Suburbs (prerequisite INT/POL/SOC U357)

This course provides students an opportunity to analyze key urban issues: urban sprawl, poverty, education, transportation, economic development, and housing through an intensive analysis of the Boston metropolitan area. The course will be co-taught by university faculty and practitioners in government, community, and non-profit organizations throughout the metropolitan area. Students will analyze Boston data, go on outings to see development in progress, talk with urban practitioners about what they do, and conduct research on an urban issue of their choice.

Three courses in urban-related topics, selected from the list below

There are many options to choose from in many different departments. Students can also craft independent studies with cooperating professors to meet this requirement. These courses can also count toward major degree requirements.


Complete three courses from the following list:

  • AFAM 2312 Black History of Boston 4 SH

  • AFAM 2399 Black Community and Social Change 4 SH

  • AFAM 3485 Education Issues in the Black Community 4 SH

  • ANTH 2305 Global Markets and Local Culture 4 SH

  • ARCH 2330 Nineteenth-Century Architecture and Urbanism 4 SH

  • ARCH 2340 Twentieth-Century Architecture and Urbanism 4 SH

  • ECON 3420 Urban Economic Issues 4 SH

  • ECON 3461 Government and Business 4 SH

  • HIST 2232 History of Boston 4 SH

  • HIST 2344 U.S. Urban History 4 SH

  • LPSC 3305 Law and the City 4 SH

  • POLS 2345 Urban Policies and Politics 4 SH

  • POLS 3307 Public Policy and Administration 4 SH

  • SOCL 1220 Sociology of Boston 4 SH

  • SOCL 1247 Urban Social Problems 4 SH

  • SOCL 3418 Greater Boston Urban Policy Seminar 4 SH

  • SOCL 3455 Seminar in Urban Sociology 4 SH

  • Why Urban Studies?

    Northeastern's Urban Studies minor provides students interested in cities the opportunity to take advantage of he resources of an urban university situated in a major metropolitan area. The minor equips students to understand the dynamics of urban growth and development and includes the study of urban social and political institutions. It also enables students to understand urban processes and develop policies to keep cities vibrant.

    An urban studies minor complements many social science majors as well as architecture, business, and engineering. The minor also provides a solid background for graduate study and professional careers in urban planning and policy, social work, and related fields.

  • Contact Information

    School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs
    Northeastern University
    335 Holmes Hall
    Boston, MA 02115

    617.373.2891 (phone)
    617.373.4691 (fax)