Urban Course Catalog

Table of Contents

Architecture/Urban Planning/Design/Development

CAS AH 201 – UNDERSTANDING ARCHITECTURE: THEORETICAL APPROACHES TO THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

Introduces a range of approaches to the analysis of architecture. Learn how scholars and architects have interpreted meaning in architecture through the rubrics of art, structure, language, nonverbal communication, experience, and culture. MORE

MET UA 503 – HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Course will survey factors affecting the supply and price of urban housing.  Students will examine federal, state, and municipal housing programs through the lens of equity and community development goals.  MORE

MET UA 619 – URBAN TRANSPORTATION POLICY AND PLANNING

Course provides an introduction to important concepts and policy issues in transportation, principally at an urban and metropolitan level. The course will explore various methods planning practitioners can use to analyze transportation problems and propose solutions. MORE

MET UA 654 – GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR PLANNERS

Course provides an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), specifically with a focus on applications in urban planning. The role of spatial analysis in local, state and regional planning has increased with the infusion of GIS software such as ESRI ArcGIS. MORE

MET UA 515 – HISTORY, THEORY, AND PLANNING PRACTICE

History, concepts, and methods of contemporary urban and regional planning practice. Governmental, nonprofit, and private settings of professional planning; plans, research, and policy development; uses and implementation of planning. Political analysis of planning issues, such as comprehensiveness, public interest, advocacy, negotiation, and future orientation. Case materials drawn from redevelopment, growth management, land use conflicts, and service delivery. MORE

MET UA 703 – URBAN RESEARCH METHODS

Examines research techniques useful for urban policy research. Emphasis on survey research techniques, including sampling, survey organization, questionnaire development, and interviewing.  Field data collection and analysis are also explored. MORE

MET UA 523 – SKILLS AND TECHNIQUES IN PLANNING

Students introduced to specific skills and techniques to help them achieve community and urban planning goals. The course covers a range of communications skills, including oral, written, visual, and using social media in planning to help planners develop concise, understandable plans and documents. Grant research, writing, and administration will be discussed. Segments on community outreach and engagement and how to build equity and cultural competency will be explored. MORE

CAS HI 227 – LIVING IN THE CITY

Gateway to international urban history. Case studies of selected cities — from ancient Uruk to modern Shanghai — through the scrutiny of histories and documents. Discussion of important
themes for our urban future: justice, health, worship, entertainment, human rights, city planning, beauty. MORE

MET UA 715 – PLANNING AND LAND USE LAW

In this course, we will explore the use of those tools for planning and development and read and understand the important U.S. Supreme Court and state court decisions that have shaped and continue to influence planning and land use throughout the country. We will see the connection between land use controls and court decisions and how each has evolved to meet changing conditions and goals. We will also review the structure of the U.S. legal system and create a framework for understanding constitutional requirements on land use issues. MORE 

Arts/ Culture/ Architecture

CAS AN 308  – FOOD, CULTURE AND SOCIETY

Study of foodways, culinary social history, and diet and food ecology with special attention to Asian societies and Boston’s food culture. Examines the use of food and cuisine as a focus for identity, national development, and social change.  MORE

MET AR 766  – ARTS AND THE COMMUNITY

An analysis of issues that involve the engagement of cultural institutions with their immediate community. Includes examination of local arts centers, local arts councils, arts service organizations, agency/government relations, urban issues, multiculturalism, and festivals. MORE

MET MG 545 – INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN MANAGEMENT, CULTURE AND INSTITUTIONS

This course is intended primarily for international students to introduce them to American institutions — business, educational, and political in particular — within the context of American history, popular culture, and society. MORE

CAS AA 313 – THE POLITICS AND POLICY OF HBO’S THE WIRE

HBO’s television series The Wire is used to explore politics and policy. A number of interdisciplinary topics are covered, including the war on drugs, urban elections, bureaucracy, rational choice theory, and the decline of American cities. Also offered as CAS PO 313. MORE

KHC HC 501 – INNOVATION, CULTURE AND SOCIETY I

This course examines the impact of innovation through case studies drawn from a variety of spheres, such as aesthetic, scientific, technological, educational, political, commercial, and urban. Students turn their own Keystone Projects into case studies, an exercise that asks them to consider the broader societal implications of their research. MORE

Economics/Finance/Management/Leadership

MET UA 509 – URBAN PUBLIC FINANCE AND BUDGETING

Economic, social, and political aspects of state and local government finances will be explored, along with public finance theory, budgetary processes, and planning techniques in capital budgeting.  MORE

SSW MP 759 – COMMUNITIES AND ORGANIZATIONS: ANALYSIS AND INTERVENTION

This course familiarizes the student with basic concepts and strategies related to large system, or macro, practice. The primary focus is on community and agency analysis, along with methods of achieving change within those settings. Students acquire a basic framework for problem solving and an understanding of the opportunities and limits in the role of change agent. MORE

Education

SED AP 526 – FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

This seminar examines the role of civil society in improving schools, family/school/community relationships, and advancing community relationships, and advancing community development, particularly in urban contexts, and collaborate in group projects on social entrepreneurship, service learning, full- service community schools, strategic alliances with businesses. MORE

SED AP 754 – EDUCATIONAL EQUITY AND THE LAW

Student and teacher rights and equal opportunity in K-12 education. MORE

SED ED 410 – SOCIAL CONTEXT OF EDUCATION

How culture, race, language, poverty, social change, urban pressures, and rural isolation affect the work of schools and other educational institutions. MORE

SED ED 412 – CIVIC CONTEXT OF EDUCATION

Political and professional decision making in education in a democracy, emergent issues in educational policy, and the ethics of educational practice, based upon reading, discussion, planning exercises, and extensive writing by students. MORE

SED ED 600 – SCHOOLING IN THE UNITED STATES

An overview of the social and policy context of elementary and secondary schooling in the United States, and of current reform initiatives, through readings, guest speakers, discussions, and field experiences in urban schools. MORE

SED ME 530 – EQUITABLE PEDAGOGIES IN STEM EDUCATION

Focuses on the examination of the teaching and learning of mathematics and science in urban schools. Considers how race, gender, class, language and culture affect students’ opportunities to learn mathematics and science. Issues common to urban and rural districts are studied. Successful methodologies and projects for teaching mathematics and science to diverse populations are explored. MORE

SSW HB 727 – CHILD PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

This course uses a developmental psychopathological model to explore complex psychological disturbances in children, adolescents, and families with a focus on the urban family experience. It addresses multiple research and theoretical perspectives that promote a way of understanding child and adolescent behaviors that change over time in the context of their genetic make-up, biological processes, interpersonal relationships, culture, and available community resources and support. The course promotes the importance of assessing in children and families both the historical and present risks for disturbed behavioral development and the historical and present protective factors that promote healthy and resilient behavioral development. MORE

Environment/Sustainability/Ecology

CAS BI 523 – URBAN ECOLOGY

The biophysical environments and ecology of urban settlements. Key topics include the physical environment, patterns in human population growth and development, ecosystem structure and function, global change, urban environment pollution and management, and sustainable urban development. MORE

CAS GE 400 – ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT: A POLITICAL ECOLOGY APPROACH

Theory and practice of development with an explicit focus on environmental issues. Introduces history of development and the environment; explores select themes in development and environmental studies; and considers alternative development paradigms. MORE

CAS GE 420 – METHODS OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ANALYSIS

Introduction to the analysis of environmental policy, the implications of environmental problems for public decision making, the tools available to decision-makers, and their effectiveness, advantages, and disadvantages. MORE

CAS GE 519 – ENERGY, SOCIETY, AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Focus on applied political economy and the intersection of policy, energy systems, and environmental systems. Project based learning, with an emphasis on energy technology and obstacles to deployment. MORE

CAS GE 523 – URBAN MARINE ECOLOGY

Marine Urban Ecology is an emerging, interdisciplinary field that aims to understand how human and ecological processes can coexist in human-dominated systems. Topics, ecosystems, and organisms associated with urbanization in the Greater Boston area. MORE

MET UA 521 – ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY

Explore principles of environmental law for pollution control and environmental improvement.  Impact statements, resource conservation, and growth management will be reviewed, with an emphasis on air, water, land, and hazardous waste issues. MORE

MET UA 617 – ACTIONABLE SUSTAINABILITY

This field intensive course draws on the practices and theories of sustainability and climate change to understand what sustainability can mean in different contexts, and, more important, how nuanced, sustainable solutions can be achieved under varying conditions and in different systems. With an emphasis on the urban environment, the course will consist of projects in which students will identify, analyze, and develop practical proposals to real world issues. MORE

Health

CAS AN 210 – MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Examines the influence of culture on health care beliefs, practices, and institutions. Special topics include cross-cultural approaches to birth, aging, and death; drug use and abuse; health care in developing countries; and socialist models of health-care service. MORE

CAS SO 490 – GLOBAL HEALTH: POLITICS, INSTITUTIONS AND IDEOLOGY

What is global health? Who are the main actors in global health debates? This seminar explores the politics of global health, providing students with sociological tools, concepts, and knowledge to help make sense of conflict in contemporary global health debates. MORE

SAR HS 366 – COMMUNITY NUTRITION

This course will cover the dramatic effect of the socioeconomic status, cultural and psychological factors on food choices. Students will learn how to target populations, deliver effective nutrition interventions in the community, and perform a community-based needs assessment. Students will also obtain a working knowledge of federal, state, and local assistance programs. Principles related to nutrition education, program planning, and outcome evaluations will be discussed. A community intervention project will be assigned. MORE

SPH PH 510 – INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HEALTH

Students will gain an understanding of public health as a broad, collective enterprise that seeks to extend the benefits of current biomedical, environmental, social, and behavioral knowledge in ways that maximize its impact on the health status of a population.  MORE

SPH PH 719 – HEALTH SYSTEMS, LAW, AND POLICY

This is a course about who gets what health services, when and how. Policies and laws governing what services are available and on what terms strongly influence health status at both the individual and population levels. MORE

SPH MC 725 – WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS: A PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH

Using the life course perspective, this course examines how infants, children, women and families develop in the context of biologic and social determinants of health, as they play out over a lifetime and across generations. Throughout the course, special attention is given to the impact of poverty, poor access to health care, and racial inequalities on the health of families, as well as to the strengths that individuals and communities bring to the creation of solutions.  MORE

SPH MC 786 – IMMIGRANT FAMILY HEALTH: PUBLIC HEALTH ACROSS BORDERS

This course focuses on low-income immigrants in the U.S. and applies a family and community health perspective to the study of their health and well-being. It begins with an overview of how political, economic, cultural factors at the global and local levels shape the migration patters and health of immigrants and refugees. We then examine specific immigrant groups and health issues, with attention to interventions that engage community members in taking action. Students will gain critical skills in contextual analysis, community based participatory research, and project design. MORE

SPH LW 840 – HEALTH LAW, BIOETHICS, AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Health law, bioethics, and human rights are converging in challenging ways, especially at the national level (in both legislation and constitutional adjudication), and the international law level. MORE

SPH PH 851 – NEEDS ASSESSMENT

This course examines the processes by which local and regional health status and services can be assessed and analyzed. Students will learn approaches to: quantitatively and qualitatively defining public health problems; setting a community agenda by prioritizing distinct public health problems; engage the community in assessing local capacity to address those problems; visualizing those problems with Geographic Information Systems; and presenting the results of their assessment to audiences of decision makers and the public. MORE

SPH PM 840 – ANALYSIS OF CURRENT HEALTH POLICY ISSUES

The purpose of this course is to arm students with the skills to debate, define, and defend health policy proposals. We will explore, in depth, several current health policy problems. The course will take an analytic case approach, identifying policy options and tools, then gathering information and applying data to evaluate outcomes, costs; winners and losers. Methods for finding and accessing information on the Internet are emphasized. MORE

SAR HS 432 – URBAN DESIGN AND GLOBAL HEALTH

This course will address the impacts and opportunities of cities for public health, the environment, and global equity. We will examine the historical, social, economic, and aesthetic reasons for urban design decisions, along with the impacts of those decisions on public health. Major topics will include transportation; nature in an urban setting; slums and healthy housing; the epidemiologic study of urban health; zoning and other land-use controls; sanitation; and the history and impacts of globalization. MORE

SPH GH 743 – IMPLEMENTING HEALTH PROGRAMS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: MAKING PROGRAMS WORK

In this course, students will work with a specifically identified health program that is currently being implemented and conduct systems analyses, undertake problem solving exercises, and propose solutions to real implementation challenges in the field. Ultimately they will be able to prioritize the interventions necessary to effectively run a complex health program in such diverse situations as urban slums and dispersed rural areas in developing countries and be prepared to plan the actions to effectively run those programs. MORE

Human Services/Service Learning

SSW WP 704 – SOCIAL POLICY AND PROGRAMS ON AGING

This course explores the development and scope of public policies directed toward older persons. It reviews the provisions and workings of current programs, with special attention to implications for social work practice. Program areas investigated include acute and long-term health care, housing and community-based services, and the formal service structure and its relationship to informal service provision. Finally, the course explores emerging policy innovations in aging, such as public and private insurance for chronic-care needs, life care programs, and proposals for more progressive public policies affecting older Americans. MORE

SAR HP 405 – PRACTICUM AND SEMINAR ON BEHAVIOR AND HEALTH

This course explores the development and scope of public policies directed toward older persons. It reviews the provisions and workings of current programs, with special attention to implications for social work practice. Program areas investigated include acute and long-term health care, housing and community-based services, and the formal service structure and its relationship to informal service provision. Finally, the course explores emerging policy innovations in aging, such as public and private insurance for chronic-care needs, life care programs, and proposals for more progressive public policies affecting older Americans. MORE

SAR SH 650 – HEALTHCARE SEMINAR

The goal of this seminar is to provide students in medical field placements with knowledge regarding service delivery models, reimbursement issues, documentation requirements, assessment approaches, goal setting, interdisciplinary team approaches, prioritizing treatment concerns and discharge planning. Case study presentations and discussions will be generated from students’ field placement experiences. MORE

SAR SH 702 – PUBLIC SCHOOL PROGRAMMING IN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY

The goal of this seminar is to provide students in public school practicum placements with knowledge regarding school-related issues such as service delivery models, assessment approaches, curriculum frameworks, governing laws and regulations, and the consultation process. MORE

SED SE 250 – DISABILITY, EDUCATION, AND PUBLIC POLICY

Designed to develop an understanding of the impact of disability on individuals and their families, and the necessary educational and public policies necessary to support them. MORE

SED SE 504 – AN INTRODUCTION TO EARLY-CHILDHOOD DISABILITIES

Students acquire and demonstrate their knowledge of the etiology, history, service delivery models, and issues and trends relating to young children with disabilities. MORE

SED SE 693 – PRACTICUM IN DISABILITIES STUDIES

Through fieldwork experience and corresponding seminar, students develop an understanding of human services agencies serving individuals with disabilities and the nature and processes of service provision, roles and responsibilities, and collaboration. MORE

SSW SR 744 – SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH II

Students are introduced to the concepts and procedures that are fundamental to both descriptive and inferential statistics. Empirical research examining the effectiveness of social work practice, particularly in the urban environment, is explored. Utilizing existing national data sets, students generate their own research hypotheses and then formulate and carry out an analytic strategy to answer these questions effectively. Emphasis is also placed on gaining skills in presenting and communicating key findings to relevant audiences and stakeholders. MORE

SSW CP 807 – CLINICAL PRACTICE WITH OLDER ADULTS

This course reviews life cycle and other developmental theories informing clinical practice with aging populations. Discussion highlights the impact of poverty, racism, ageism, and changing economics on the bio-psycho-social phenomenology of aging in urban environments. Students learn methods for interviewing, assessing, diagnosing and intervening with older people, their families, and their networks are taught through case analysis and role play. MORE

SSW ET 753 – ETHICS AND THE SOCIAL WORK PROFESSION

This course examines the issues of social work professionalism, the process of becoming a social work professional, the tensions inherent in the goals of social work, and the ways these interrelate to produce conflicts of values and ethics in social work practice. The course focuses on acquiring and practicing the skills of ethical decision-making, including values clarification, application of ethical theory, utilization of codes of ethics, and models of ethical analysis. Issues of self-care, impairment, licensure, malpractice, whistle-blowing and other professional challenges are explored. MORE

Inequality/Poverty/Welfare

CAS EC 325 – THE ECONOMICS OF POVERTY AND DISCRIMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES

Examines who is poor in the United States and how the evidence of poverty has changed over time. Various economic theories for the causes of poverty and discrimination are presented for examination and discussion. MORE

CAS SO 242 – GLOBALIZATION AND WORLD POVERTY

Globalization and world poverty; how and why over 80% of the world remains poor and inequality increases despite economic modernization and democratization. Addresses urbanization, immigration, religion, politics, development politics, foreign aid, women, drugs, environment, food security. Special attention to Latin American, African, and Asian experiences. MORE

MET UA 704 – URBAN ECONOMIC ISSUES AND ANALYSIS

Course explores basic economic concepts and techniques of analysis necessary for urban public policy development.  Analysis of the economic bases of urban problems and corresponding policy solutions will be investigated. MORE

CAS SO 455 – TOPICS IN SOCIAL ISSUES

Topics seminar that takes in-depth look at a social issue. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Fall 2018: Urban Inequality. Presents theoretical approaches to investigate multiple features of urban inequality in: ghettos, gentrified neighborhoods, ethnic clusters, gated communities, among others. Examines how urban space is used both to segregate and seclude. MORE

SSW WP 701 – SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY II: CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL POLICY ANALYSIS

This second-semester foundation course focuses principally on the study of urban poverty. Using a social problem/policy model, the course explores definitions, correlates, causes, and consequences of urban poverty. Particular emphasis is placed on analyzing current interventions and proposing means to improve policy intervention, including the contributions of social work. MORE

CAS SO 210 – CONFRONTING PERSISTENT INEQUALITIES IN AMERICAN SCHOOLS: EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES

Examines issues of race, culture, gender, and identity in urban elementary classrooms. Course taught at the Trotter School; transportation provided. Includes a field placement. MORE

 

Judicial/Government

CAS PO 141 – INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC POLICY

Analysis of several issue areas: civil rights, school desegregation, welfare and social policy, education and urban housing, energy and the environment. Characteristics of policy systems in each issue area are analyzed to identify factors which may affect the content and implementation of public policies.  MORE

CAS PO 517 – URBAN POLITICS AND POLICY

Explores the impact of American urban politics on the implementation of local policy. Topics include deindustrialization, white flight, neighborhood effects, housing policy, schools, regionalism, and factors that constrain policy-making capacities.  MORE

MET CJ 101 – PRINCIPLES OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the criminal justice system (law enforcement, the courts, and corrections) while developing students’ critical thinking skills. MORE

SSW MP 781 – COMMUNITY ORGANIZING

MP781 is designed to strengthen the ability of class members to foster progressive social change. It provides knowledge and skills in different models of community organizing, with a focus on collective action to promote social and economic justice, particularly in urban settings. Class members will develop skills in outreach and recruitment, leadership development, issue selection, strategy and tactics, campaign planning, coalitions, and building grassroots community organizations. The course relates community organizing to policy, planning, and management to underscore its relevance for all macro practitioners. MORE

CAS SO 225 – LAW AND SOCIETY

The development of law as an institution of social regulation. Analysis of law and order as pursued in enforcement agencies and courts. The education of lawyers and the ethics of legal practice. Student observations in local criminal courts. MORE

Race/Ethnicity/Gender

CAS AA 207 – SOCIOLOGY OF RACE AND ETHNICITY

Social definition of race and ethnicity. The adjustment of different ethnic groups and their impact upon U.S. social life. MORE

CAS SO 335 – SOCIOLOGY OF RACE, CLASS AND GENDER

Examines race, class, gender, and sexuality as intersecting axes of stratification, identity, and experience. Draws heavily from feminist theories in both sociology and history in order to analyze how these intersections can be applied to understanding social problems and structures. MORE

CAS SO 420 – WOMEN AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD

Studies women in nonindustrial countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, stressing empirical research, theory, and methodology. Comparisons between regions and with industrial countries. Focus on sex segregation, female labor force participation, migration, fertility, family roles, and women and political power. MORE

Boston Region

CAS HI 190 –  HISTORY OF BOSTON: COMMUNITY AND CONFLICT

Students work with centuries-old objects, manuscripts, letters, and diaries in reconstructing Boston’s past. The course covers witchcraft in America, immigration, and race in depth, with out-of-class visits to museums, churches, and neighborhoods in the city. MORE

CAS SO 309/709 –  BOSTON: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC APPROACH

This course takes an ethnographic approach to the city of Boston. Students will explore Boston as a set of ideas surrounding identity, ethnicity, race, class, religion, and politics. Topics for lecture and discussion include Boston’s peculiar patterns of geographical development, industrialization, and immigration. MORE

CAS SO 360 – BOSTON’S PEOPLE AND NEIGHBORHOODS

A comparison between nineteenth- and twentieth-century neighborhoods, connecting changes in everyday life to larger demographic, economic, physical, and political changes affecting the whole city and immediate suburbs. Includes tours of several Boston neighborhoods and archival research using neighborhood newspapers. MORE

MET HI 373 – HISTORY OF BOSTON

The foundations, development, and “fate” of Boston since the colonial period. Explores the architecture, geography, social structure, and economic development of the city, as well as political changes. MORE

MET UA 580 – BOSTON EXPERIENCE: THE ROLE OF ARCHITECTURE IN CREATING THE SENSE OF PLACE

The Boston Experience is a graduate and advanced undergraduate course designed in the seminar format. The course will provide an introduction to the study of architecture as an important foundation for students of urban affairs and city planning and as an important foundation for students in other disciplines such as civil engineering, historic preservation, and the applied social sciences (such as sociology). The course will also serve as a foundation of the basic concepts and a general overview of the field of architecture. This foundation will also provide a prerequisite for the two advanced studio planning courses currently offered at MET in the Department of Urban Affairs and City Planning (UA 613 and UA 510). MORE