Graduate Courses


620 Urban Research Writing

626 Computer Methods in Urban Policy Analysis

725 Urban Research Methods

Criminal Justice

726 Urban Criminal Justice System

753 Drugs and Criminal Justice

754 Domestic Violence and Criminal Justice

Public Sector Management

640 Public Administration

727 Public Management

744 Human Resource Management

747 Human Resources and Law

Social and Economic Policy

721 Perspectives on the Labor Movement

730 The Urban Economy

741 Labor Unions and Industrial Relations

749 Urban Education

762 Jobs and Occupations in Urban Society

765 Urban Poverty 

Public Policy and Politics

701 Urban Politics

702 Urban Protest Movements

703 Protest Movements in Film

724 Introduction to Public Policy

731 Evaluating Urban Policies

740 Delivery of Public Services

742 Public Budgeting

756 The Law and Urban Society

Health and Welfare Policy

714 Social Welfare Policy  

734 Women, Health, and Society

736 Urban Epidemics: TB to AIDS

737 US Health System

738 Emerging Diseases and Public Policy

739 Health Policymaking

Community Planning and Development

710 Urban Environment Policy

722 Processes of Urbanization

735 NYC Land Use Planning Process

745 Community Organization

746 Urban Transportation Policy

750 Social Theory and Contemporary Urban Issues

Urban Culture & Identity

704 Religion, Politics, and Urban Society

713 Urban Cultural Diversity

715 Urban Religious Movements

720 Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration

752 Women in Urban Society

763 Race, Ethnicity, and Public Policy

Course Descriptions

620. Urban Research Writing. 3 hr.; 3 cr. This course will assist students in developing the skills necessary for graduate level writing in Urban Affairs. The focus will be on developing writing skills in three specific areas: (i) writing in response to texts; (ii) writing across texts (comparing and contrasting); and (iii) writing a research paper on a topic in urban studies. In each instance original drafts will be revised for clarity of content. The course will review the steps in writing a research paper including choosing a topic, developing a cogent thesis, using the library and internet for research, note taking, and drafting and revising the finished paper.

626. Computer Methods in Urban Policy Analysis. 3 hr.; 3 cr. This course introduces the student to a variety of methods for performing urban policy analyses using microcomputers, including the use of spreadsheets, database systems, graphics programs, mapping systems, and statistical packages. Students will be introduced to essential file management functions and will learn to use these computer-based tools to analyze, interpret, and display demographic, economic, and geographic data. Students will carry out and present projects using their own data or data provided by the instructor.

640. Public Administration. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course offers a comprehensive survey of the field of public administration, from the philosophical underpinnings of government activities to the structure and function of present-day state and local government programs and agencies.

701. Urban Politics. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course examines the historical development of local government structures, political parties, machine politics and reform movements.  The current forms of government in US cities, especially New York City, and their relationship to states and the federal government will be analyzed. Theories of power in the urban setting, and the role of advocacy groups, ethnic organizations, business, labor, and other interest groups will be discussed

702. Urban Protest Movements. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course analyzes social change movements impacting urban institutions or policies, especially the mobilization of groups without ready access to power through normal political channels. Student will analyze one movement and use its experience to test the prevailing theories concerning protest movements.

703. Protest Movements in Film. 3 hr.; 3 cr. This course examines the dynamics of  urban-centered protest movements in the U.S., such as the labor movement,  the African-American, feminist, and gay and lesbian civil rights movements,  and the anti-Vietnam war, and pro-life and pro-choice movements through a combination of reading books about such movements and watching film footage featuring the activities of movements.

704. Religion, Politics, and Urban Society. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course weighs recent examples of  both left- and right-leaning endeavors by religious groups, in the United States and abroad, to impact political decisions, testing them against theories that attempt to understand such attempts. Guest speakers whose political actions are rooted in their religious faith will present their views to the class.

710. Urban Environment Policy. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course examines the theory and practice of American urban environmental policy in the second half of the twentieth century.  We focus mainly on the natural, social and political forces that have shaped New York City’s urban environment, but will also look at comparative case studies of other American and European cities.  This course will of interest to graduate students in urban planning, sociology, and environmental policy and science.  

713. Urban Cultural Diversity. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course explores the rich and diverse subcultures and communities that dot the urban landscape.  In recent years new patterns of cultural belonging and new forms of identity have displaced earlier forms of community organization and neighborhood life.  This course traces the emergence of urban subcultures from “Hippies to HipHop”.  It will expose students to a number of studies by professional ethnographers and prepare them to undertake an original field study on a topic of their choice.

714. Social Welfare Policy. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course examines our society’s efforts to address social-economic problems relating to poverty.  After an historical overview of the development of welfare programs in this country, the course focuses on measures taken to combat poverty in the contemporary context.  Issues such as the relation between welfare and work, out-of-wedlock childbearing, privatization, and immigrant access to public benefits are addressed.  While the course primarily emphasizes basic income maintenance, it also provides a survey social welfare policies and programs that comprise our current social safety net. 

715. Urban Religious Movements. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. Religious movements centered in urban areas are radically altering the face of religion, both globally and in the United States. This course examines the dynamics and consequences of such movements, including the role of religious movements in acting as bridges to immigrants entering the U.S.

720. Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course combines historical and sociological approaches in a broad survey of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, tracing their disparate origins and trajectories to the present. Differences between African Americans, with their roots in slavery, and immigrant minorities are emphasized. The course also examines recent trends in immigration, including patterns of incorporation into American society and enduring transnational links to countries of origin.

721. Perspectives on the Labor Movement. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course examines theories of industrial relations systems; the philosophy and political perspectives of labor unions; and the current discussion concerning the state and future of the labor movement. Issues examined will include the meaning of work, its changing nature, and the consequent implications for industrial relations and the trade unions.

722. Processes of Urbanization. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. Provides an overview of 1) the historical growth and economic position of cities as centers of industry or commercial and bureaucratic control, 2) internal differentiation within cities, 3) the experience of urban life at different socioeconomic levels.

724. Introduction to Public Policy. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course is an introduction to policy making in public and nonprofit organizations. Students learn the major elements of the policy making process: defining problems, developing alternative policies, evaluating alternatives, policy implementation, and evaluating policy outcomes. The focus is on policy making at the local and state level. Substantive policy areas covered in the course include: welfare, urban economic development, environmental and land use policy, housing policy, and health policy. The course is intended to provide the theoretical and analytical basis for a series of proposed courses in each of these areas.

725. Urban Research Methods. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. A survey of the methods employed in urban research, with an emphasis on demographic analysis, survey research, and observation. Students are taught how to interpret published research and how to plan and organize their own research and prepare reports.

726. Urban Criminal Justice System. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course will deal with he modern criminal justice system as it was developed through time in cities. Special attention will be given to the urban problems that led to the creation and evolution of the professional police, criminal courts, and penal institutions. Emphasis will be placed upon the specifically urban influences (demographic, geographic, political, economic, and social) that originally shaped and continue to mold the criminal justice system.

727. Public Management. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course is devoted to the study of management in local and state government and the nonprofit sector. Defining the unique characteristics of public management is one of the goals of the course. Another is to provide an understanding of what government and nonprofit managers actually do. Finally, the course is intended to develop skills that are essential to effective public management. The course relies heavily on the case method approach, which is intended to simulate the world of actual managers and the processes of management decision making.

730. The Urban Economy. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course examines the multiple dynamic industry sectors that comprise an urban economy, along with trends in economic growth and related consequences for employment conditions and patterns of inequality. We will study emergent sectors based on immigrant entrepreneurship as well as declining sections such as industrial manufacturing. By focusing on New York City, the class examines the economic restructurings of this current period of globalization and how these changes in the urban economy create opportunities for immigrants, along with hardships for native-born minorities..

731. Evaluating Urban Policies. 2 hr. plus conf, 3 cr. Methods of evaluating proposed and existing policies and programs for urban improvement. Criteria for evaluation in terms of impacts on political power, distributional inequality, and economic well-being. Case studies of both public investments and community-directed programs, including those in which students are participants, will be emphasized. No formal prerequisites; Urban Studies 725 recommended.

734. Women, Health, and Society. 2 hr. plus conf, 3 cr. This course examines the broad range of health issues confronting women.  Using basic information on the health status of women in the US, the focus is on how this health status is influenced by gender, race, and class.  Careful attention is paid to political and economic factors influencing the health of women in our society and to the impact of health policy and social policy on health status.  Models of care including the Western medical model as well as some of the new and emerging models are explored.  Finally, we examine the latest thinking on specific health issues women face including reproductive health, mental health, peri- to post-menopause, sexually transmitted diseases, and aging.    

735. NYC Land Use Planning Process. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. All cities exercise some form of control over the use of the land within their borders. As a scarce resource, it is considered a proper function of government to exercise zoning and other authority over the types of uses to which specific parcels of land are put. This course examines the ways in which New York City has historically exercised the zoning authority and has created a variety of institutions to intervene in the zoning process. It examines the role of real estate interests, the general public, and the City government agencies specifically charged with planning functions.

736. Urban Epidemics: TB to AIDS. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course will deal with infectious diseases in American cities over time. Severe epidemics of contagious disease are a creation of civilization, requiring as they do the large population that crowded cities provide. The course will deal with a number of devastating diseases (among them tuberculosis, cholera, syphilis, hepatitis, polio, and AIDS) and their effect on city life. The social construction of disease and the changing cultural meanings of different diseases will be dealt with.

737. US Health System. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course describes and analyzes health care delivery and financing in the US using concepts and data from sociology, economics, history, philosophy and political science.   It begins with the history of American medical practice and education, tracing the ways in which scientific ideas, technological innovation and the politics of professional competition shaped the current US health care system.   Next, the patterns of illness in the US population are described in relation to the distribution of health care resources and other social and economic resources.  Issues of health services access, quality, financing and cost are discussed, including the ethics of resource distribution. The US health care system is then compared to the systems in Canada, Japan and several European countries.   The recent history of health care reform in the US is analyzed and students engage in a debate over current and future policy options.         

738. Emerging Diseases and Public Policy. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course deals with the problem of “Emerging Diseases” and the policy implications that they entail. Emerging diseases are broadly defined to include 1) new diseases that have not been seen before (e.g., HIV, SARS, Lyme); 2) diseases that are spreading into geographic  areas from which they have been absent  (e.g., Dengue Fever and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever), and 3) older diseases that were in significant  decline but have now reversed direction (e.g. tuberculosis itself, and also in its  antibiotic resistant form) and pose a major threat to the public’s health. The course emphasizes  the social causation of infectious disease (i.e., the political, economic, social and cultural practices that inadvertently favor the emergence of disease) and the social construction of disease (i.e., how diseases and their victims are perceived, and how that helps or hinders measured aimed at controlling them). The course entails reading both theoretical and descriptive material and emphasizes learning a body of factual material.

739. Health Policymaking. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course examines the process of health policymaking at the city, state, and federal levels of government, from agenda-building through policy formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation of health policies.  The relationships among government executives, legislators, bureaucrats, advocates, and other participants will be analyzed.

740. Delivery of Public Services. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course examines the theory and practice of public service delivery by urban government within the context of budgetary constraints, calls for the "re-engineering" of government, privatization of public services, and politicization of issues relating to public services. Although New York City is the focus of the course, practices here are compared with the delivery of public services in other political jurisdictions in the United States and other countries.

741. Labor Unions and Industrial Relations. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course examines labor-management relations in the contemporary U.S., considering both the internal dynamics of management, and the structure, governance, and goals of labor unions. Particular emphasis will be given to comparing and contrasting labor relations in unionized and non-unionized workplaces, and in different sectors of the economy (manufacturing, services, and government). Topics to be covered include: the development of management's industrial relations policies, the impact of the changing international economy on labor, the dynamics of collective bargaining, decision-making processes within unions, and problems of union democracy

742. Public Budgeting. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. Budgets are used to plan and control the major activities of modern organizations. This course examines contemporary government budgeting practices within the context of urban politics, public administration, and collective bargaining. The emphasis is on the budgeting process in New York City's government, beginning with the role of the fiscal crisis of 1974-75 in reforming City government budgeting. This course explores the components and varieties of City budgets, the influence of political corruption, of changes in the private sector and their impact on the public sector, and the effect of federal and state policy on local budgeting. Guest speakers from the Mayor's Office of Operations, the New York City Council, and agencies with the City government will discuss present-day concerns and opportunities for budgeting improvement.

744. Human Resource Management. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course examines personnel management, including the legal issues associated with the day-to-day employment related decisions and actions of managers. The Human Resources function is divided into major areas of  Personnel, Labor Relations, Equal Employment Opportunity, and discipline.  Students will openly discuss topics associated in the context of problems that most typically arise in the work place. The framework for studying the topics will be reading Federal, State, and Local Laws, along with reviewing the government policies and Court decisions.

745. Community Organization. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. Analysis of the structure and organization of urban communities and how community resources can be mobilized to solve social and economic problems.

746. Urban Transportation Policy. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course provides an overview of urban transportation policy in the United States. Course topics include the historical relationships between transportation innovations and urban development; the evolution of federal transportation policy; the impact of the Interstate highway system on U.S. metropolitan areas; the decline and revival of mass transit in U.S. cities; policies for combating traffic congestion,  metropolitan sprawl and air pollution; the impact of current transportation policies on women, the elderly and the poor; and recent efforts to encourage the development of pedestrian-friendly cities.

747. Human Resources and Law. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course introduces the principles of employment law. Students are introduced to the principal theories, policies and literature concerning federal and state regulations in the private and public sectors, in the context of problems that typically arise in the work place. Students will be exposed to statutes and substantive case law using a case study approach. The statutes and case law examined encompass employment discrimination, New York State employment law statutes and regulations, sexual orientation, Fair Labor Standards Act, American with Disabilities Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act. Lastly, this course will also address issues such as termination-at-will, negligent hiring and retention, wrongful discharge, privacy and drug-free workplace.

749. Urban Education. 2 hr. plus conf, 3 cr. This course explores the structure and history of education in the United States, especially in urban areas. It examines such questions as racial, ethnic, and class segregation, financing, school restructuring, school choice, high-stakes accountability policies, the role of socioeconomic class, the education of multicultural populations, and teaching as a profession within the city. Students will gain an understanding of the cultural, ecnomic, sociological, historical, and political factors that impact teaching and learning in urban schools and the effort of educators and policymakers to improve teaching and learning within that environment.

750. Social Theory and Contemporary Urban Issues. 2 hr. plus conf, 3 cr. This course explores the principal theoretical perspectives, paradigms and schools of thought that can help understand such urban phenomena as gentrification, urban poverty, urban activism, neighborhood development, segregation, city politics, suburbanization, economic restructuring, and urban planning. Urban theory encompasses many interdisciplinary points of view, and we will explore the work of geographers, sociologists, economists, historians, political scientists and anthropologists. The goal of this course is to understand not only how cities have changed in recent decades, but also the theoretical basis for describing these changes.  Students will learn to appreciate the importance of theory for making sense of the social world around us and will learn how to think theoretically, a skill that they can bring to bear in their future analyses of urban issues.

752. Women in Urban Society. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. Effects of urban life on the status of women in the family and the political economy. Current changes and future prospects.


753. Drugs and Criminal Justice. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course will analyze how the US criminal justice system has impacted on the use of drugs and treatment for drug abuse. It will examination how the Federal, State and local police organizations plan, implement, and coordinate policies and procedures for combating the use of illegal drug.  It will focus in particular on the “War on Drugs.” The New York State Penal Laws ( Rockefeller Drug) laws will be discussed in depth.


754. Domestic Violence and Criminal Justice. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course will focus on the components of the criminal justice system in situations of domestic and family violence.  Theories dealing with the sources of domestic violence will be reviewed.  The focus will be on the operation of those parts of the criminal justice system having principal responsibility for arresting, prosecuting and adjudicating domestic and family violence cases – the police, prosecution, and courts. The role and effectiveness of contemporary public programs and community remedies for domestic violence will also be analyzed

756. The Law and Urban Society. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course examines the role of law in relation to a variety of urban issues. It begins with an overview of legal processes within the American constitutional system. It then proceeds to address the relationship of law to issues of welfare, housing, racial discrimination, education and urban crime.

760.1-760.6. Selected Topics in Urban Policy and Planning. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. An intensive analysis of policies and planning in one urban topic in one semester (e.g., health, housing, transportation, education, welfare). May be repeated for credit.

762. Jobs and Occupations in Urban Society. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. Changing job structures and the labor force are considered in relation to employment and unemployment, education, discrimination, government programs, labor unions, corporation policies, and economic and social change.

763. Race, Ethnicity, and Public Policy. 3 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. This course begins with an overview of the status of racial and ethnic minorities in contemporary American society. It then examines a number of critical policy issues such as enforcement of antidiscrimination laws, affirmative action, bilingual education, transracial adoptions, the creation of black-majority Congressional districts, and multicultural education.

765. Urban Poverty. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr.

770.1-770.5. Roots of the Urban Crisis. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. Selected topics in the development of urban institutions in American cities and their problems in meeting individual and social needs. May be repeated for credit (each institution will be dealt with in a separate course).

775. Changing Urban Institutions. 2 hr. plus conf; 3

780. Field Work I. Hr. to be arranged; minimum of 12 hr. a week required; 3 cr. Includes field work assignment and seminar sessions.

781. Field Work II. Hr. to be arranged; minimum of 12 hr. a week is required; 3 cr. Includes field work assignment and seminar sessions. Must be different assignment from that of Field Work I.

785. Tutorial. Hr. to be arranged; 3 cr.

790. Seminar in Selected Topics in Urban Studies. 2 hr. plus conf, 3 cr. The topic will vary from semester to semester.

791. Master's Thesis Seminar. 2 hr. plus conf; 3 cr. The required thesis will be the focus of this class. Students will learn to do research and organize and write an original research paper.

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