A 15 credit Urban Studies Minor is available for students seeking the conceptual and analytical tools necessary to understand a wide range of environmental, economic, social, spatial, and political challenges that are critical to the welfare of the billions of people living in cities around world. The minor focuses on the three academic themes of urban geography, public policy, as well as political and social justice. The fourth emphasis is geographic methods. The urban environment has become increasingly more complex. Cities are the major engines of economic and technological growth for most advance societies. Cities have also become increasing interconnected through the global economy. Cities are the most important factor determining the welfare of societies as well as of individuals. In addition, students will have the opportunity to develop skills in geographic information systems (GIS), policy analysis and writing, as well as critical thinking about urban processes. All of these are highly valued by employers.
The growth in GIS jobs, in particular, is above average and the jobs are well paid. Opportunities range from corporations, non-profits, and government. While this one course, by itself, will not make a student into a GIS professional, it will prepare them for the large and increasing number of employers with need for people who understand and can do rudimentary GIS techniques.