This page lists the requirement minors and the diversity of pathways students might pursue based on their interest in Urban Studies.

Students who complete a minor in Urban Studies should have an understanding of cities as taking diverse forms across time and place, and as involving distinctive structures, infrastructures, imaginations, politics, and modes of social life.  While students will likely gravitate toward a particular disciplinary approach, those graduating with an Urban Studies mionr should have exposure to the historical development and transformation of cities, the social and political problems of urban life, and the history, planning, and design of the built environment.  

To satisfy the requirements of the minor, students are required to take five courses covering four distinct areas: (1) Introductory Survey; (2) Humanities, Social Sciences; (3) Non-U.S. Perspectives, and (4) Electives.  The first three requirements must be fulfilled at Bowdoin, while students may count one study aborad course toward their elective requirements.  

We encourage students to pursue advanced work in the minor, either through an advanced seminar or an independent study.  Only one course below the 2000-level may count for the minor.  

Required Courses

Introductory Survey (Choose from ONE of the following):

  • ENVS/HIST 2444: City, Anti-City, Utopia: Building Urban America
  • HIST 1321: Gotham: A History of Modern Cities
  • SOC 2202: Cities and Society 

Humanities Course or Social Science Course
To fulfill this requirement, students who take an introductory survey in the humanities must now complete a social science course Urban Studies Course.  Students who take a social science introductory survey must now take a humanities course. 


One non-U.S. Based coursed listed as Urban Studies


Electives Listed as Urban Studies



Potential Pathways through the Minor

The minor requirements offer a variety of possible pathways a student can pursue, based on their specific interests in urban studies. Pathways may vary depending on course offerings.

The numbers correspond to the four distinct areas required to complete the minor:

  1. Introductory Survey
  2. Humanities, Social Science 
  3. Non-U.S. Perspective
  4. Elective Requirements 

Urban Planning:

  1. City, Anti-City, Utopia
  2. Building Resilient Communities
  3. Global Cities/Global Slums of India
  4. City Since 1960
    Archaelogy of Building

World Cities:

  1. Cities and Society
  2. Cities of the Global South
  3. Berlin: Sin City, Divided City, City of the Future
  4. Gotham: A History of the Modern City
    Global Cities/Global Slums of India 

Politics of Urban Inequality

  1. Gotham: A History of the Modern City
  2. Urban Education
  3. Cities of the Global South
  4. The Wire: Race, Class, Gender
    Urban Politics

Comparative Urban History

  1. Cities and Society
  2. City and Landscape in Modern Europe
  3. Global Cities, Global Slums of Inida
  4. City as American History;
    Research in Modern U.S. Metropolitan History 

Architecture and the Built Environment

  1. Cities and Society
  2. City, Anti-City, Utopia
  3. Temples, Shrines, Holy Places of Ancient Rome
  4. Modern Architecture
    The Bauhaus

Cities of the Imagination

  1. City, Anti-City, Utopia
  2. Tales of World Cities
  3. Understanding Place
  4. Imagining London in the 18th Century
    Imaginary/Real Cities in Latin America