About the Program

Urban Studies is an interdisciplinary examination of the force which shape cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas.  Faculty are drawn from across the University, from multiple disciplines, to teach in the program As an intellectual field, Urban Studies examinees as well the strategies for dealing with many of the profound social challenges affecting urban/metropolitan regions, in America, in particular, but across the globe, in general. Focus is upon the industrialization and deindustrialization that shaped modern cities and the resulting intended and unintended consequences faced by urban populations.  In so doing, Urban Studies investigates the social, political, economic, demographic and spatial  transformation of cities using American cities as a lens, examining the consequences of urban transformation on  contemporary society and the diverse population which survive and thrive in such environments.  The conceptual and theoretical approach of Urban Studies is fundamentally interdisciplinary drawn from the work of anthropologists, historians, sociologists, public health professionals, political scientists, economists, environmentalists, urban planners, educators, among others.  While focus is upon contemporary cities, how key global cities evolved some 10,000 years ago chronicle the development of human civilization, revealing the best and the worst of the human condition.

So, why study Urban Studies?  We pursue academic preparation in the field of Urban Studies because the majority of humankind, throughout the world, now live in cities.  It is imperative that we are prepared to intellectually address and resolve many of the profound challenges which occur in cities, locally, nationally and internationally.

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The establishment of The Interdisciplinary Program in Urban Studies and its Center on Urban Research and Public Policy (CURPP) comes at a time of profound social, economic and political change in our country, indeed the world. Renewed national commitment is required if we are to address and solve the challenges facing America’s cities and dense populations around the globe.

―Carol Camp YeakeyMarshall S. Snow Professor of Arts & Sciences and Founding Director, Interdisciplinary Program in Urban Studies and Center on Urban Research & Public Policy

Student Research

Here, you will find substantial work by Urban Studies students. All graduating students in Urban Studies must complete a senior thesis or senior honors thesis, some of which have been published in subsequent research journals. As an internationally known research university, Washington University in St. Louis recognizes its responsibility to make substantial contributions to these efforts. The Center on Urban Research & Public Policy promises to fulfill this responsibility by becoming a national resource for education, research and public discussion on issues confronting America’s cities

learn more about our research