Boston Studies

Colleges: College of Arts & Sciences | Metropolitan College

Boston University is proud to be "Boston's university." Utilizing Boston as a classroom, the Boston Studies series explores the city's rich resources in art, history, sociology, and ecology. Each course in this series combines classroom lectures with dynamic field experiences throughout the city.

College of Arts & Sciences

Boston Museums

CAS AH 211

An introduction to the fundamentals of visual analysis and the history of art, focusing on outstanding works in the collections of Boston and Cambridge museums. Current, temporary exhibitions are included. Also examines the curatorial decision-making process determining the choice of works and the conditions under which they are displayed. 4 cr. Tuition: $2400; additional fee: $100; total charge: $2500

Summer 1 (May 20-June 26)


Introduction to American Studies

CAS AM 200

Topic for Summer 2014: Touring New England. Intensive three week course. Investigates the multi-faceted themes of American society and culture through a survey of the history of New England tourism. The rise of New England tourism in the early nineteenth century led to a flourishing of literature, art, and mythology that shaped, and continues to shape, the way Americans understand their environment. Through an examination of novels, paintings, guidebooks, architecture, and other cultural artifacts, this course seeks to understand the role tourism plays in defining American experiences. 4 cr. Tuition: $2400

Summer 2 (July 28-August 14)


Archaeology of Boston

CAS AR 372

Today the city of Boston is a bustling metropolis, but human settlement in the area stretches back thousands of years. Learn about the daily lives of Boston's early residents through an exploration of artifacts and features that archaeologists have discovered at various sites throughout the city. Course participants walk Boston's streets guided by archaeologists who have helped unearth the city's past. Visits to local archaeological laboratories make it possible to interact with archaeological material from the Mill Pond, the North End, Faneuil Hall, Boston Common, and portions of Charlestown revealed during the "Big Dig." 4 cr. Tuition: $2400; additional fee: $100; total charge: $2500

Read a BU Bridge article about this class: Urban archaeology digs life in colonial Boston.

Summer 1 (May 21-June 25)


Metropolitan College

Special Topics

MET ES 141

Topic for Summer 2014: Investigation on Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay. Examines the flora and fauna of the Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay ecosystems on the beach, at the shore, in the Harbor Islands, and on the waters of Boston Harbor and Mass Bay. With 50 miles of protected water, four sheltered bays, seven river systems, dozens of islands, and a nine-foot average tide, Boston Harbor is one of the most diverse urban ecosystems in America. Students keep daily records of their experiences, record and analyze data for a research paper, and learn to use GIS Datalayers, species maps, and field work guides. Intensive four-week course. Students in this course will incur additional field-trip related expenses. 4 cr. Tuition: $2400

Summer 2 (July 11-August 8)

Read a BU Today article about this course: One Class, One Day: Understanding Boston Harbor.


History of Boston

MET HI 373

Provides an overview of the evolution and development of Boston, and examines Boston's unique cultures as manifested in religious, political, social, and aesthetic thought and events. 4 cr. Tuition: $2400

Summer 2 (June 30-August 6)


Special Topics in Sociology

MET SO 501

Topic for Summer 2014: A Social History of Boston's North End. A socio-cultural history of Boston's North End that surveys changes in the region from the colonial period to the present. Centers on the dynamics of culture change among North End's Italian immigrants. Examines the causes of immigration conflicts and competition with Irish immigrants; the importance of religious societies and festivals as an expression of anticlerical Catholicism; kinship and regional factors in residential distribution; the context, content, and influence of W.F. Whyte's Street Corner Society; myths and realities of the Boston Mafia; the impact of drugs and drug related youth violence in the 1980s; and the changes brought about through gentrification, demographic change, and economic stratification. Also examines the re-creation of the North End as an Italian style neighborhood through studies of tourism, the marketing of ethnic cuisine and lifestyle, and research on ethnic theme parks. Course includes 2 visits to the North End. 4 cr. Tuition: $2400; additional fee: $100; total charge: $2500

Summer 1 (May 20-June 26)


Boston Experience

MET UA 580

Topic for Summer 2014: The Role of Architecture in Creating a Sense of Place. An introduction to the formal study of architecture. Introduces the concept that the role of architecture is to develop and maintain a sense of place. Establishes why and how a 'sense of place' is important to humans for social and psychological reasons and is also important to societies for economic, political, and health and recreational reasons. The city of Boston serves as a living laboratory for this introductory study of architecture. Using this laboratory, students work on issues of historic preservation, upkeep, repair, restoration, improvement, modification, removal, adaptive renewal, and new construction as these processes relate to the importance of a sense of place. 4 cr. Tuition: $2400

Summer 1 (May 21-June 25)