Minor in Urban Studies

The goal of the minor in Urban Studies is to expose students to urban-related topics and provide an outlet for the overall interest in urban studies that we have witnessed across the University. The minor will equip students to understand urban challenges—across multiple subject areas—and the potential policy solutions to respond to them. The minor will also provide an understanding of issues related to urbanization both historical and contemporary. The Urban Studies minor leverages the existing breadth of expertise at the University across colleges, schools, and departments to form a cohort of classes that provide foundational knowledge for students who wish to pursue professional or academic careers related to cities or urban populations. The minor thus provides a marketable, as well as academically challenging, complement to any BU undergraduate major. 


A total of six (4-credit) courses are required, all completed with a grade of C or higher. Of the six courses, at least ONE must pertain to Physical Infrastructure and Urban Environment topics (below) and at least ONE must pertain to Social, Economic, and Political topics. Moreover, the six total courses must come from at least THREE different departments. 

All rules pertaining to CAS majors will apply. 

In addition to meeting the course requirements, students are strongly encouraged to attend one lunch discussion each semester hosted by the Initiative on Cities. These sessions will be specially scheduled and open only to those in the minor, with the goal of creating a cohort and fostering relationships among interested students and between students and the Initiative. Students will also be invited to all IOC events, conferences, and seminars.

A list of courses that can be taken as a part of this minor can be found on the Political Science department website.

Physical Infrastructure and Urban Environment Courses

  • CAS AH 328 Modern Japanese Architecture
  • CAS AH 364 Art and Architecture in Madrid: 1561–Today (Madrid Study Abroad)
  • CAS AH 381 London Architecture and Urbanism (London Study Abroad)
  • CAS AH 383 Paris Architecture and Urbanism (Paris Study Abroad)
  • CAS AH 387 Boston Architecture and Urbanism
  • CAS AH 398 20th-Century Architecture
  • CAS AH 531 Tokyo: City and Concept
  • CAS AH 544 Boston Architecture Workshop
  • CAS AH 584 Greater Boston: Architecture and Planning
  • CAS AH 587 Green Design
  • CAS AM 371 Art and Architecture in Boston
  • CAS AR 150 Archaeology of Cities
  • CAS AR 438 Seminar: Pompeii
  • CAS BI 306 Biology of Global Change
  • CAS BI 523 Marine Urban Ecology
  • CAS CS 591 Data Mechanics for Pervasive System and Urban Applications
  • CAS EE 348 Monitoring and Management of Coastal Wetlands, Lagoons, and Estuaries (Venice Study Abroad)
  • CAS EE 349 Global Climate Change: Science, Economics, and Policy (Venice Study Abroad)
  • CAS EE 400 Environment and Development: A Political Ecology Approach
  • CAS EE 475 Urban Ecology

Social, Economic, and Political Courses 

  • CAS AA 207 Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
  • CAS AA 310 History of the Civil Rights Movement
  • CAS AH 384 Metropolis: Art and Politics in Istanbul, London, Paris, and New York
  • CAS AH 527 Istanbul: From Imperial Capital to Global City
  • CAS AM 202 What’s Boston?
  • CAS AN 210 Medical Anthropology
  • CAS AN 220 Urban Anthropology
  • CAS AN 307 Turkey and the Middle East
  • CAS AN 308 Food, Culture & Society
  • CAS AN 309 Boston: An Ethnographic Approach
  • CAS AN 344 Modern Japanese Society: Family, School, and Workplace (Area)
  • CAS AR 353 Urbanism in Ancient Mesoamerica
  • CAS EC 325 The Economics of Poverty and Discrimination in the United States
  • CAS EC 363 Race and the Development of the American Economy
  • CAS EC 364 Economic Policy: A British Perspective (London Study Abroad)
  • CAS FY 103 First-Year Experience Topics: Identity, Inclusion, and Social Action (1 cr)
  • CAS HI 190 History of Boston
  • CAS HI 226 Cities and Cultures
  • CAS HI 246 London: Imperial City to World City
  • CAS HI 251 Culture Capital: The History of Popular Culture in London (London Study Abroad)
  • CAS HI 253 London at War (London Study Abroad)
  • CAS HI 260 The Venetian Republic
  • CAS HI 261 The Venetian Republic: 697–1797
  • CAS HI 268 Postcolonial Paris
  • CAS HI 316 American Urban History
  • CAS HI 365 Shanghai: The Key to Modern China (Shanghai Study Abroad)
  • CAS HI 390 Mecca to Dubai: Cities in the Middle East
  • CAS HI 440 Refugee Hollywood
  • CAS HI 568 The Modern Metropolis: Approaches to Urban History
  • CAS LS 576 Topics in Spanish American Literature: Buenos Aires Through its Tales (Buenos Aires Study Abroad)
  • CAS PO 141 Introduction to Public Policy
  • CAS PO 313 The Politics and Policy of HBO’s The Wire
  • CAS PO 517 Urban Politics and Policy
  • CAS PO 519 Inequality and American Politics
  • CAS SO 211 Confronting Racial, Cultural, Gender, and Social Identities in Urban Classrooms
  • CAS SO 232 Sociology and Inequality
  • CAS SO 242 Globalization and World Poverty
  • CAS SO 244 Urban Sociology
  • CAS SO 306 Boston’s People and Neighborhoods
  • CAS SO 335 Sociology of Race, Class, and Gender
  • CAS SO 347 Los Angeles: Case Study of a Global City (Los Angeles Study Abroad)
  • CAS SO 490 Global Health: Politics, Institutions, and Ideology
  • SED ED 410 Social Context of Education (2 cr)
  • SED ED 412 Civic Context of Education (2 cr)