Take a MetroBridge Course
MetroBridge embeds real-world research projects for cities, towns, and community organizations into classes at Boston University, addressing pressing urban challenges and creating experiential learning opportunities. Students will have the opportunity to gain applied skills through impactful, project-based research.
Are you interested in cities or urban issues, or do you want hands-on, applied, experiential learning opportunities? If so, check out our MetroBridge course listings below!
Questions? Please email MetroBridge Program Manager David Gross at email@example.com.
Fall 2023 MetroBridge Courses
Courses/projects are subject to change.
CAS EC 203 D1 Empirical Economics 1
— City of Chelsea
Day/Time: Tuesdays,Thursdays 3:30 pm–4:45 pm
Project: Students will work to clean, summarize, and visualize water usage and billing data among Chelsea accounts. In some cases students may provide analysis related to pricing structures and revenues.
Course Description: First semester of a two-semester sequence of empirical techniques used in economic analysis. Statistical concepts are presented and applied to a variety of economics problems. Extensive use of the statistical software package STATA will be made. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Quantitative Reasoning I. (4 credits) View course description on the BU Bulletin
CAS SO 490 / GRS SO 890 Seminar: Global Health: Politics, Institutions, and Ideology
— Climate Ready Boston
Day/Time: Tuesdays 12:30 pm–3:15 pm
Project: Students will conduct research on how cities around the world use resilience hubs — privately owned spaces used for the public benefit during extreme heat events — looking at cities that face similar conditions to Boston, as well as those that face more extreme challenges.
Course Description: 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. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, Writing-Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy. (4 credits) View course description on the BU Bulletin
CAS SO 493 / GRS SO 893 Topics in Sociology: Gentrification Studies
— Cambridge Local First
Day/Time: Tuesdays 3:30 pm–6:15 pm
Project: Students will conduct research on commercial gentrification (small business displacement), with a focus on Central Square in Cambridge.
Course Description: Topics seminar that takes in-depth look at a social issue. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Fall 2023: Gentrification Studies Seminar: The Histories, Geographies, and Sociologies of Gentrification. The seminar explores gentrification from an interdisciplinary perspective, looking at its histories, geographies and sociologies globally. It considers definitions, theorizations, key concepts, and different types of gentrification; and how the process interacts with class, race/ethnicity, gender, sex, etc. (4 credits) View course description
CAS EE 500 Topics in Earth & Environment: Environmental Risk, Society, and Governance
— City of Cambridge
Day/Time: Wednesdays 2:30 pm–5:15 pm
Project: Students will have the opportunity to conduct research to inform Cambridge’s efforts to scope out and develop policy options to address and mitigate climate risks, specifically those associated with extreme heat.
Course Description: Topics vary. Repeatable for credit if topic is different. Topic for Fall 2023: Environmental Risk, Society, and Governance. Drawing on insights from across the social and environmental sciences, students consider the relationships between risk, governance, and society in a variety of national contexts and environmental policy domains from flooding to food safety. (4 credits) View course description
CAS PO 519 / CAS AA 519 Inequality & American Politics
— Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)
Day/Time: Thursdays 8:00 am–10:45 pm
Project: Students will work to research the ways in which town meeting and community meetings are successful and unsuccessful, including strategies employed by municipalities, activists, and/or interest groups. Students will focus their efforts on understanding housing issues and the ways in which towns can advance pro-housing changes to laws and zoning at town meetings.
Course Description: This course examines the role of income inequality in shaping American politics and policy. Combining research from history, political science, economics, and public policy scholars, we will consider a range of important topics, including inequality in public voice, money and politics, and attitudes towards redistribution. We will apply this knowledge as part of a final paper project in metropolitan Boston. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Writing-Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy. (4 credits) View course description on the BU Bulletin
GMS MA 622 Religion, Culture, and Public Health
— True Alliance Center and Agencia Alpha
Day/Time: Thursdays 3:30 pm–6:15 pm
Project: Students will learn how religious leaders, lay members, and congregations associated with two immigrant-supporting faith-based organizations (FBOs) perceive health, exploring questions such as what causes life, what makes people unhealthy and/or what helps people maintain or regain health; and how faith, religious community, and FBOs contribute to their well-being and access to care.
Course Description: This medical anthropology course will explore relationships between religion, culture, and health in the context of public health projects. We will examine historical developments, examples of faith-based public health organizations, and current research on “religious health assets,” both locally and internationally. Students will design and conduct qualitative research projects on the culture of a faith-based health organization. (3 credits) View course description on the BU Bulletin
MET UA 703 A2 Urban Research Methods
— City of Cambridge
Day/Time: Wednesdays 6:00 pm–8:45 pm
Project: Students will work to develop a comprehensive evaluation proposal for the City of Cambridge’s composting program, addressing the program’s process, outcome, and impact.
Course Description: Mixed-Methods Design for Urban Research is intended to develop skills in the evaluation and utilization of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches to scholarship in social-science research. The course will explore survey, experimental, observational, interview, ethnographic, and case-study research methods in depth, and students will learn how to collect, organize, and evaluate data in various forms. (4 credits) View course description on the BU Bulletin
SED AP 635 Public Policy for Researchers
— Town of Hull's Council on Aging
Day/Time: Thursdays 5:00 pm–7:45 pm
Project: Students will research how different municipalities have approached digital literacy for aging residents, including the types of programming they offer.
Course Description: The purpose of this course is to expose students to the basics of the public policy field in order to be able to conduct research, advocate for issues, and develop careers in policy-related fields. (2 credits) View course description on the BU Bulletin
Spring 2024 MetroBridge Courses
Courses/projects are subject to change.
Courses will be added to this list as soon as possible. Please check this page before and during the spring course registration period. Although we do our best to give notice by course registration, courses may be added through the start of classes and the add/drop deadline.
Select Previous MetroBridge Courses
Please note, the courses below are a selection of past MetroBridge courses. These courses may or may not be MetroBridge courses in the future. Please consult the listings above for the most up-to-date course information.
- CAS AN 220 – Urban Anthropology
- CFA AR 369 – Art, Community, and Social Engagement
City Planning & Urban Affairs
- MET UA 509 – Public Finance and Urban Infrastructure
- MET UA 510 – Selected Topics in Urban Affairs
- MET UA 703 – Urban Research Methods
- COM EM 757 – User-Producers 2.0: Developing Interactivity
- COM EM 777 – Masters Collaboratory Project
- CAS CS 501 – Computer Science Practicum
- CAS CS 504 – Data Mechanics
- MET CJ 640 – Management & Accountability Analytics
- HUB XC410 B1 – Spark! Data Science for Good. Topics in Civic Tech: Housing
Earth & Environment
- CAS EE 512 – Urban Climate
- CAS EE 538 – Research for Environmental Agencies 2
- CAS EC 328 – Urban and Regional Economics
Education & Human Development
- SED AP 635 – Public Policy for Researchers
- SAR HS 348 – Global Mental Health
- SAR HS 349 – Cultural Humility, Racial Justice, and Health
- SSW WP 705 – Mental Health and Social Policy
- SPH PM 755 – Health Care Delivery Systems
- SPH HB 800 – Obesity in Society
- CAS HI 190 – History of Boston
Kilachand Honors College
- KHC HC 302 – Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Challenges
- KHC HC 401 – Epistemologies and the Process of Inquiry
Management/Strategy & Innovation
- QST SI 250 – Ideas to Impact
- QST MG 737 – Action Learning Capstone
- CAS PO 307 – Public Opinion in American Politics
- CAS PO 313 – The Politics and Policy of HBO’s The Wire
- CAS PO 519 – Inequality and American Politics
- CAS PO 524 – Local Policy Analysis Lab
- GRS PO 705 – Special Topics in American Politics
- CAS PS 326 – Experimental Psychology: Social
- CAS PS 560 – Cross-Cultural Psychology
- CAS LP 307 – Portuguese for Business and Professional Life
- CAS LS 309 – Spanish for Heritage and Native Speakers
- CAS SO 490 – Politics of Global Health
- CAS SO 702 – Sociological Research Methods