Detailed course offerings (Time Schedule) are available for
To see the detailed Instructor Class Description, click on the underlined instructor name following the course description.
T URB 101 Exploring Cities: An Introduction to Urban Studies (5) I&S
Introduction to the multi-disciplinary field of Urban Studies. Exposes the complexity of everyday life in metropolitan areas. Explores how the various disciplines of sociology, anthropology, geography, economies, and political science have studied and made sense of cities. Special attention given to issues of class, race, and gender.
T URB 110 Introduction to Digital Urban Data Analysis (5) Kelley
Provides a methodological foundation to digital research and data analysis technologies to build a unique set of urban analytical tools.
Instructor Course Description: Matthew Kelley
T URB 201 Urban Change and Development (5) I&S Pendras
Examines relationships that shape the development of cities under conditions of globalization. Overview of key terms and concepts, examples of changing urban social and economic conditions, and analysis of connections among global processes, urban experiences, and the production of urban space in the United States.
T URB 205 Images of the City (3) I&S
Examines how the city is portrayed through various media and how those portrayals affect society's perception of urban places. Discusses imagery from films, literature, television, newspapers, and magazines. Considers images linked to such elements as crime, ethnic enclaves, downtown areas, and suburbia.
T URB 210 Urban Society and Culture (5) I&S
An examination of the social structures of cities. Discusses issues related to class, race, ethnicity, and gender. Considers the impact of societal differences on urban form, residential patterns, and labor markets.
T URB 211 Digital Cities (5) I&S
Examines the impact that information technology has had on the spatial form and socio-economic processes of contemporary metropolitan areas. Covers the information economy; the digital divide; and placemaking applications of mobile technology.
Instructor Course Description: Matthew Kelley
T URB 220 Introduction to Urban Planning (5) I&S
Introduction to the planning process. Presents and discusses the major planning sub-fields. Topics include housing, transportation, recreation, environmental planning, and preservation planning. Examines techniques associated with growth controls and land use management. Introductory course for students with planning emphasis.
T URB 225 Statistics for Urban Analysis (5) QSR
Introduces basic methods of statistical analysis, and applies them to topics common to the field of urban planning and community development. Develops a critical perspective on how such methods relate to public discourse and urban policy-making.
T URB 230 Cities and the Constitution (5) I&S
Examines Constitutional rights to freedom of expression in public institutions and public places of cities. Considers rights to freedom of expression as they exist in a variety of forums - streets and parks, to schools, shopping malls, university sporting events, and property surrounding prisons. Analyzes interactions among rights and community interests.
T URB 301 The Urban Condition (5) I&S
An overview of the city as a place of residence, commerce, and industry. Consideration is given to urban form and function. Social, economic, and political factors affecting urban life and development are discussed. Issues related to social justice and equity are emphasized.
Instructor Course Description: Linda Ishem
T URB 312 Race and Poverty in Urban America (5) I&S
Examines current research, policy, and debate surrounding race and poverty in urban America. Includes affirmative action, the changing family, cultural identity, the inner-city crisis, interracial relationships, residential segregation, and the working and non-working poor.
T URB 314 Gender and the Urban Landscape (5) I&S
Examines linkages between cultural, physical, and symbolic urban landscapes and gender ideologies, structures, and practices. Major themes from gender and urban studies include domestic/public divisions, sexuality and city spaces, consumption, and urban design. Emphasizes integration of theoretical positions and ideas into students' work.
T URB 315 Homes, Housing and Homelessness (3) I&S
Provides a hands-on introduction (field trips and research projects) to issues of housing and homelessness, focusing on the South Puget Sound region. Includes the political economy of public housing, the rise and expansion of suburbia, the cultural significance of gated communities, and the persistence of homelessness.
T URB 316 Cities and Citizenship (5) I&S
Addresses inequality in urban spaces through the concept of citizenship and ideas about rights to the city. While the course is traditional in its concern with urban poverty, race, ethnicity, and immigration, it offers a vocabulary of citizenship and rights to investigate urban inequalities and how various populations experience them.
T URB 318 Organizing Communities (3) I&S Gatewood
Examines social, economic and political problems from an organizer's perspective. Examines problems and issues associated with organizing, and introduces the basic tools required to design successful organizing efforts. Particular attention given to communities facing issue-oriented organizing.
Instructor Course Description: Elton Gatewood
T URB 321 The History of Planning Theory and Practice (5) I&S
An examination of planning theory and practice with an emphasis on twentieth-century theorists and advocates. Examines the impacts of planning theories and movements on planning practice and urban form in Europe and America. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of 2.0 in T URB 220.
T URB 322 Land-Use Planning (5) I&S
Examines the land-use planning process at the local level with a focus on the contemporary United States. Review of theories of land use change, arguments for and against planning intervention, and the role of the land use planner in the local land development arena.
T URB 325 Urban Transportation: Problems and Prospects (3) I&S
Provides an overview of urban transportation, it challenges and prospects. Examines historical and contemporary issues such as the relationship of mobility to the urban form, environmental concerns, climate change impacts, and the challenges of sustainable urban transportation.
T URB 326 Climate Change within the Urban Context (3) I&S
Provides an understanding of the nexus of urbanization and climate change. Covers international standards, the urban carbon footprint, and mitigation strategies such as urban forests, urban agriculture, green buildings, and sustainable transportation. Also considers climate justice and climate change adaptation.
T URB 330 City Worlds (5) I&S
Examines world urbanization and the shifting geographies associated with economic restructuring and globalization. Ethnicity, gender, urban form, local governance strategies, and resistance to those strategies are considered. Includes examples from cities in both the developed and developing world.
T URB 335 Community Development (3-5) Ishem
Examines theories, polices, and practice of community change and development in American cities. Explores ways to assess community conditions, the contributions of various community institutions, impacts of regional, national, and global political economies, community-oriented development strategies, and methods to evaluate community development initiatives
T URB 340 Urban Social Change (5)
Examines issues that directly affect the strength and vulnerabilities of urban communities and organizations and institution within those communities. Uses case studies to consider how creative participatory approaches can and do influence change.
T URB 345 Urban Government and Organizations (5) I&S
Examines the structure and workings of urban government and non-governmental agencies and organizations. Considers the responsibilities and challenges of governmental and non-governmental organizations along with their impact on the physical and social development of the city.
T URB 350 Introduction to Urban Research (5) I&S Ishem
Introduction to research methods pertinent to the study of urban issues, society and culture. Emphasizes the logic of the scientific method, understanding the interrelated stages of the research process, understanding and critiquing quantitative and qualitative research literature, and learning strategies for gathering and analyzing data. Prerequisite: a minimum grade of 2.0 in T URB 301.
T URB 360 The African American Urban Experience (5) I&S Ishem
Places African Americans at the center of the American urban condition from the colonial era to the 21st century. Interdisciplinary study of U.S. urban history, contemporary social, cultural and policy research, and comparative perspectives on race and ethnicity, to illuminate the growth and evolution of African-American urban communities.
T URB 370 Creating the Urban Narrative (5) I&S
dissects the axiom "History is written by the winners," by examining how narratives are created and reinvented. Reviews diverse tools and methods: storytelling, journalism, blogs, photography, film, literature, performance, graffiti, etc. Documents a city/urban region through on-the-ground research.
T URB 379 Urban Field Experience (5-15, max. 15)
Urban field course based in a metropolitan area. Examines urban problems, issues, and developments through site visits, presentations by local experts, and student research and reports. Includes visits to U.S. and foreign cities. Topics vary, depending on city visited.
T URB 399 International Urban Studies (3-15, max. 15)
Urban Studies courses taken through UW Tacoma foreign study program for which there are no direct UW Tacoma course equivalents.
T URB 410 Environmental Equity (5) I&S
Explores relationships between environmental issues and people of color and low-income communities from both local and global perspectives. Emphasizes issues of race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and policy and politics in environmental equity. Offered: jointly with T HLTH 410.
T URB 430 Pacific Rim Cities (5) I&S
Examines links between urbanization and globalization on the Pacific Rim and connections between events and social/economic processes in places that seem distinct (e.g., China, Canada, Mexico, Philippines). Case studies and discussion topics include questions of class formation, political change, migration patterns, and gender/family dynamics.
T URB 450 Planning for Sustainability (5) I&S Dierwechter
Examines the growing impact of global sustainability on local spatial planning systems, especially in the US, UK, Europe and South Africa. Specific topics include the philosophies, theories, goals, techniques, and institutional politics of sustainability planning.
Instructor Course Description: Yonn Dierwechter
T URB 460 Urban Issues in the Developing World (5) I&S
Examines challenges associated with urban development and societal change in developing countries. Examines topics such as mega cities, squatter housing, and informal labor. Adopts a geographical perspective and focuses on local governance issues.
T URB 479 Planning and Development in the Puget Sound Region (3-12, max. 12) I&S
Examines the problems and prospects associated with rapid growth in the Seattle-Tacoma urban region. Includes site visits and discussions with public officials, planners and developers. Topics/sites vary and include such issues as growth management, sprawl, transportation, sustainable development, land use, and environmental protection.
T URB 492 Urban Studies Seminar (5, max. 15)
Interdisciplinary approach to the study of urban issues and problems. Designed for an in-depth analysis of selected issues. Focuses on one aspect of the city (e.g., gentrification, housing, segregation, sprawl). Serves as capstone course in the Urban Studies Program. Prerequisite: T URB 301; either T URB 350 or T GIS 311; one 400-level T URB course.
T URB 494 Urban Research (1-15, max. 15)
Individual research project carried out under the supervision/direction of an Urban Studies faculty member.
T URB 496 Community Service Project (3-15, max. 15)
In conjunction with faculty adviser, students develop and implement a community service-learning project. Involves activities such as assistance to disadvantaged populations, community outreach programs, policy analysis, or related work intended to improve the quality of life in the community. Includes academic study designed to integrate practical applications with learning and theory. Credit/ no credit only.
T URB 498 Urban Studies Internship (3-15, max. 15)
Provides opportunities to gain experience and apply concepts taught in the Urban Studies classroom. Involves learning skills and applying knowledge by working directly with public, non-profit, and private sector organizations concerned with urban issues. Credit/no credit only.