The Urban Studies minor is intended for any undergraduate student seeking to develop a multi-disciplinary but focused exploration of cities, urban life and artifacts, and the design and organization of urban space and experience. It is designed to complement the pursuit of any major(s) throughout the Liberal Arts, Science and Engineering, Architecture, Public Health, and Business and offers an excellent academic supplement to pre-professional training for many areas of law, social work, and medicine.


Six courses (minimum of 18 credits) are required for the minor in Urban Studies which includes URST 2010 / ARCH 2710 (“The City I”) and URST 2020 / ARCH 2720 (“The City II”) plus four additional electives from among approved urban courses (see list below). Students must ensure that at least one elective course (3 credits) is at the 3000 level or higher and that elective courses are drawn from at least two departments, programs, or schools. City I and City II can be taken in any order as offered in the Fall and Spring semesters.

  • * Any course in which a student earns less than C- does not count toward fulfillment of the minor program. Students must achieve a C average across all required coursework.
  • * Students are allowed to overlap 1 minor course with a major course requirement in the School of Liberal Arts or School of Architecture.

Urban Studies (URST) Course Descriptions

URST 2010 / ARCH 2710 – The City I

(3 credits, fulfills Comparative Cultures and International perspectives) City I is the first semester of a two-semester-long survey introduction to the multi-disciplinary field of Urban Studies. Three broad substantive themes are explored: (1) History and Morphology of Cities and City Systems; (2) Urban Ecology & Demographics; and (3) Urban Design/ Aesthetics/ Land Use /Planning. Attention is given to historically, geographically, and culturally diverse cases in order to provide a comparative framework and backdrop to contemporary practices.

URST 2020 / ARCH 2720 – The City II

(3 credits, fulfills Comparative Cultures and International perspectives) City II is the second semester of a two-semester-long survey introduction to the multi-disciplinary field of Urban Studies. Four broad substantive themes are examined: (1) Urban Political Economy; (2) the Social Psychology of Cities; (3) Urban Culture and Expressive Arts; and (4) Urbanism & Urban Issues. The course employs a modular focus and historical-comparative framework, but primary emphasis will be on the contemporary era.

Urban Studies Elective Courses

The list of approved Urban Studies elective courses is subject to change each semester. A shortlist of courses that are routinely offered can be found in the Schedule of Classes. A list of electives for the current semester can be found here. Students may also want to check with the Urban Studies Directors and/or Affiliated Faculty for up-to-date offerings. Please be aware when selecting Urban Studies electives that some listed courses may have prerequisites. Prospective students should consult the University Catalog and/or relevant department.

For additional information about the Urban Studies minor, please see the University Catalog.

Program Director

Laura McKinney (Sociology)

Affiliated Faculty

Roseanne Adderly (History, Africana Studies)
Iñaki Alday Sanz (Architecture)
Edson Cabalfín (Architecture, Social Innovation Social Entrepreneurship)
Richard Campanella (Architecture)
Denise Frazier (New Orleans Center for the Gulf South)
Kevin Gotham (Sociology)
Margarita Jover (Architecture)
Jesse Keenan (Sustainable Real Estate)
Jana Lipman (History, Latin American Studies)
Susann Lusnia (Classical Studies)
Nora Lustig (Economics)
Vicki Mayer (Communication)
Adeline Masquelier (Anthropology, Africana Studies)
Laura McKinney (Sociology, Environmental Studies)
Christopher Oliver (Sociology, Environmental Studies)
Carol McMichael Reese (Architecture, Latin American Studies)
Thomas F. Reese (Art History, Latin American Studies)
Matt Sakakeeny (Music)
Kenneth Schwartz (Architecture)
Sofia Shwayri (Urban Studies)
Rebecca Snedeker (New Orleans Center for the Gulf South)
Allison Truitt (Anthropology, Environmental Studies)