Chair: Leonard S. Rodberg
Graduate Advisor: William A. Muraskin
Department Office: Powdermaker Hall 250, 997-5130
Department Website: http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Academics/Degrees/DSS/UrbanStudies
The MA program in urban affairs
is designed to prepare the student for professional work and career
advancement in the areas of urban and public administration, social
policy, and community organization and development. Graduates of the
program work in government agencies, community-based and nonprofit organizations,
health care and education institutions, and enterprises such as real
estate firms concerned with urban issues. Studying with faculty who
have extensive knowledge and experience in contemporary urban affairs,
students gain training and expertise in the design and administration
of programs addressing issues of social and urban policy.
Rodberg, Leonard S., Chair, Professor, PhD
1957, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: health policy, employment
policy, urban data analysis
Muraskin, William A., Graduate
Advisor, Professor, PhD 1970, University of California
at Berkeley: social/urban history, health policy, international health
Checker, Melissa, Assistant Professor, PhD 2002, New York University: social
movements, urban anthropology, environmental anthropology, race, class,
Davis, Dana, Associate Professor, PhD 2001, City University of New York:
urban anthropology, gender, race, public policy, participatory action
research, black studies, feminist theory
Hanlon, Martin D., Associate Professor, PhD 1979, Columbia University: health
policy, public management, public policy evaluation, workforce issues
Hum, Tarry, Associate
Professor, PhD 1996,
UCLA: immigrant communities, economic development
Ioannides, Christos, Associate
Professor, PhD 1977, University of Pennsylvania: Greek-American
community, Greek-American relations
Khandelwal, Madhulika S., Associate Professor, PhD 1992, Carnegie-Mellon University:
Asian-American issues, immigrant communities
Lawson, Ronald L., Professor, PhD
1970, University of Queensland, Australia: housing, tenant activism,
protest and religious movements, urban sociology
Maskovsky, Jeff, Associate Professor, PhD 2000, Temple University: Urban
ethnography, social movements, difference and inequality
Sardell, Alice, Professor, PhD
1980, New York University: health policy, community health planning,
urban and community politics
Seley, John E., Professor, PhD
1973, University of Pennsylvania: urban and regional planning, public
policy, geography, computer mapping
Smith, Marcia, Associate Professor, DSW 1990, Columbia University: health
services and education, social welfare policy, immigration, social work
Steinberg, Stephen, Professor, PhD
1971, University of California at Berkeley: racial and ethnic minorities,
public policy, urban sociology
Program for the Master
of Arts Degree
Requirements for Matriculation
Applicants must demonstrate
aptitude for completing a graduate program in urban affairs either through
previous academic performance or through performance in relevant life
situations. Applicants’ experience in urban policy or administration
or in community service jobs or activities will be evaluated along with
the academic record in the admissions decision. Inquiries should be
addressed to: Graduate Admissions Committee, Department of Urban Studies.
Requirements for the
Master of Arts Degree
Thirty credits are required
for the MA degree, including four required courses (12 credits). Students
not employed in an urban-related field are encouraged to take 3 to 6
credits of fieldwork. Where appropriate, 3 to 12 graduate credits may
be taken in other departments, subject to the approval of the graduate advisor.
Students must submit
and obtain approval for at least two research papers prepared in connection
with two of their courses. These papers will be used to evaluate the
student’s ability to investigate and analyze urban issues and policies.
Students also have the option of preparing a thesis or capstone paper.
Completion of the course of study involves a comprehensive examination
in the area of the student’s course of study after at least 24 credits
have been completed.
The following 12 credits are
required of all graduate students in urban affairs:
URBST 620. Urban
Research Writing (3 cr.)
URBST 724. Introduction
to Public Policy (3 cr.)
URBST 725. Urban
Research Methods (3 cr.)
URBST 727. Public
Management (3 cr.)
URBST 745. Community
Organization (3 cr.)
In addition to the core sequence,
students must take 18 elective credits. Students are encouraged to develop
a concentration in either urban administration and socialpolicy or community organization and development. The former prepares students
for work in local, state, or federal agencies concerned with urban policy.
The latter prepares students for professional work in community organizations,
including private agencies, poverty programs, and other community functions.
A student may also choose to develop a concentration in a specific policy
area such as health, housing, or welfare.
Fieldwork (3 to 6 credits)
Field placements will be given
in areas of urban activity of interest to the student. Fieldwork shall
include participation in courses related to the field placement and
in seminars where the experience will be discussed and analyzed. Students
will be placed in an outside organization or will participate in a group
project or workshop organized by the department. The department will
assist students in finding field placements. Students should enroll
in courses related to the field placement to receive maximum benefit
from the experience. Fieldwork will be under the direction of a faculty advisor, who shall hold regular conferences with students. Papers on
fieldwork are required. Fieldwork courses are URBST 780 and 781.
Thesis or Capstone Paper
Students may prepare a thesis
or capstone paper. A thesis generally involves primary research in which
students undertake an original field project. A capstone paper typically
consists of a critical review of an existing body of knowledge on a
topic related to social or urban policy. Students have the option of
enrolling in a 3-credit tutorial while working on the thesis/capstone
paper. Each student works with a faculty advisor, and the final product
is subject to the approval of both the faculty advisor and the graduate advisor.
Courses in Urban Studies
URBST 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 topic, developing
a cogent thesis, using the library and Internet for research note taking,
and drafting and revising the finished paper.
URBST 626. Computer Methods
in Urban Policy Analysis.
3 hr.; 3 cr. This course introduces the student to various 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.
URBST 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
URBST 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 U.S. 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
URBST 702. Urban Protest
Movements. 2 hrs.
plus conf.; 3 cr. The 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.
URBST 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
URBST 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.
URBST 710. Urban Environment
Policy. 2 hr. plus
conf.; 3 cr. This course will examine the theory and practice of American
urban environmental policy in the second half of the twentieth century.
We will 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 be of interest to graduate students in urban planning, sociology,
and environmental policy and science.
URBST 713. Urban Cultural
Diversity. 2 hr. plus
conf.; 3cr. 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
URBST 714. Social Welfare
Policy. 2 hr. plus
conf.; 3 cr. This course examines our society’s efforts to address
socioeconomic 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 of social welfare policies and programs that comprise
our current social safety net.
URBST 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.
URBST 719. Applications
of Social Psychology to Urban Problems.
2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr.††
URBST 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.
URBST 721. Perspectives
on the Labor Movement. 2
hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course will examine 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.
URBST 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.
URBST 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
URBST 725. Urban Research
Methods. 2 hr. plus
conf.; 3 cr. This course introduces students to the range of methodological
approaches used in urban-related research. These include macroscopic
analysis, demography, survey research, historical research, participant
observation, community studies, institutional analysis, policy analysis,
and evaluation research. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical
skills in reading, interpreting, and analyzing social science research,
whether this research is encountered in textbooks and lectures, in professional
journals, or in the popular media. Spring
URBST 726. The Urban
Criminal Justice System in the United States. 3
hr.; 3 cr. The course will deal with the modern criminal justice system
as it has 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 on the specifically urban influences (demographic, geographic,
political, economic, and social) that originally shaped and continue
to mold the criminal justice system.
URBST 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.
URBST 730. The Urban
Economy: Growth and Problems.
2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr.††
URBST 731. Evaluating
Urban Policies. 2
hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course will focus on strategies and methods
for evaluating policies and programs of government agencies and nonprofit
social service organizations. It covers the major elements of evaluation
research, including evaluation goal setting, outcome measures, research
design, policy significance, and the politics of evaluation. Students
will review and analyze evaluation research studies drawn from several
public policy areas including education, public assistance, health services,
criminal justice, housing, and employment training. No formal prerequisite;
URBST 725 recommended.††
URBST 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 United States, 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.
URBST 735. NYC Land Use
2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course examines the ways in which New York
City has historically exercised its 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.
URBST 736. Urban Epidemics:
Tuberculosis to AIDS. 3
hr.; 3 cr. The 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. A number of devastating diseases will be considered,
among them tuberculosis, cholera, syphilis, hepatitis, polio, and AIDS,
along with their effect on city life. The social construction of disease
and the changing cultural meanings of different diseases will be dealt
with. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of stigma and discrimination
in how society reacts to those who have a disease.
737. U.S. Health System. 2
hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course describes and analyzes health care
delivery and financing in the United States 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 U.S. health care system.
Next, the patterns of illness in the U.S. 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 U.S. health care system is then compared to systems in Canada,
Japan, and several European countries. The recent history of health care
reform in the U.S. is analyzed and students engage in a debate over
current and future policy options.
URBST 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.
URBST 739. Health Policymaking. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course
examines the process of health policy making 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.
URBST 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 and the politicization of issues relating to public services.
New York City’s practices are compared with public service delivery
in other political jurisdictions in the United States and other countries.
URBST 741. Labor Unions
and Industrial Relations. 2
hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course will examine labor-management relations
in the contemporary United States, 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 nonunionized 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.
URBST 742. Public Budgeting. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course
examines contemporary government budgeting practices within the context
of urban politics, public administration, collective bargaining, and
federal and state impacts on local budgeting. The emphasis is on the
budgeting process in New York City, beginning with the role of the fiscal
crisis of 1974–75 in reforming city government budgeting.
URBST 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.
URBST 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.
URBST 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.
URBST 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.
URBST 749. Urban Education. 2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. May be repeated
for credit if topic changes.††
URBST 750. Contemporary
Urban Theory. 2 hr.
plus conf.; 3 cr. This course will explore 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.
URBST 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.††
URBST 753. Drugs and
Criminal Justice. 2
hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course will analyze how the U.S. criminal justice
system has affected the use of drugs and treatment for drug abuse.
It will examine how federal, state, and local police organizations
plan, implement, and coordinate policies and procedures for combating
the use of illegal drugs. It will focus in particular on the “War on
Drugs.” The New York State Penal Laws (Rockefeller Drug) laws will
be discussed in depth.
URBST 754. Domestic Violence
and Criminal Justice. 2
hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. This course will focus on the operation 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.
URBST 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.††
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.††
URBST 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.††
URBST 763. Race, Ethnicity,
and Public Policy. 3
hr.; 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
URBST 765. Urban Poverty. 2
hr. plus conf.; 3 cr.††
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).††
URBST 775. Changing Urban
Institutions. 2 hr.
plus conf.; 3 cr.††
URBST 780. Fieldwork
I. Hr. to be arranged;
minimum of 12 hr. a week required; 3 cr. Includes fieldwork assignment
and seminar sessions. Fall, Spring
URBST 781. Fieldwork
II. Hr. to be arranged;
minimum of 12 hr. a week is required; 3 cr. Includes fieldwork assignment
and seminar sessions. Must be a different assignment from
that of Fieldwork I. Fall, Spring
URBST 784. Research Paper
Tutorial. Hrs. to
be arranged; 1 cr. May be repeated up to 2 credits.
URBST 785. Tutorial. May be repeated up to total of 4 credits.
Advanced work involving specialized readings and research on a topic
chosen by the student and faculty sponsor. Includes regular conferences
with the sponsor and preparation of a paper. May be taken twice if the
topics are different.
URBST 785.1. 1 hr.; 1 cr.
URBST 785.2. 2 hr.; 2 cr.
URBST 785.3. 3 hr.; 3 cr.
URBST 790. Seminar in
Selected Topics in Urban Studies.
2 hr. plus conf.; 3 cr. The topic will vary from semester to semester.
URBST 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. Fall