Liberal Learning Goals
Urban Studies embraces the overall goals of liberal education. A quintessentially interdisciplinary program, it encourages comprehensive, synthetic approaches to complex problems. Three writing-intensive research seminars and a rigorous quantitative methodology course provide students with skills in critical thinking, evidence-based problem solving, statistical literacy, and collaboration. Through individual research or fieldwork projects, students learn to calculate, interpret, and communicate numerical and spatial data. Seminar papers help students imagine real world applications of theories, communicate ideas effectively, and provide an opportunity to engage directly with their community. In these ways, the Program trains socially responsible citizens while preparing students for a range of professions.
The Urban Studies Program has a close relationship with the City of Providence. Faculty members serve on local and state government commissions. They also lend their expertise to a wide range of community organizations. The Program offers seminars that apply ideas to conditions in Providence. As part of their fieldwork training, students work with local agencies and non-profit organizations. Summer internships are available for concentrators. Students are also encouraged to undertake research projects involving the study of Providence and nearby cities for their honors thesis projects.