The urban studies minor provides students with an interdisciplinary consideration of the diverse social, cultural, economic, political, and spatial issues confronting contemporary American cities. Students earn most of the credits for the minor during an experiential semester in one of America’s largest and most diverse metropolitan areas — Chicago.

The Chicago Urban Semester
The Chicago Urban Semester integrates classroom learning, work experience, and independent study in a residential program in the city. Read more »

The Urban Studies Minor

Students in a wide range of programs, from art to economics to premed, have the opportunity to live, learn, and work in the city. Through an innovative mix of academic coursework, an internship, and an independent-study project, they explore the vital issues facing cities and the people who live and work in them, while digging deeper to relate these issues to their personal lives, education, and career aspirations.

The Chicago Urban Semester enhances students’ career opportunities, particularly through the internship, while equipping them to contribute meaningfully to public life and discourse.

A minimum of 19 credit hours is required for the minor in Urban. Specific requirements are listed below.

Chicago Urban Semester (Urban Studies Focus) 16 credits
GS 338 Core Course: Chicago: A City of Many Dimensions 4 credits
GS 348 The Seminar 4 credits
GS 386 The Internship 4 credits
GS 395 Independent Study Project 4 credits
Elective Courses 12 credits 
One course from the following options:
GEO 320 Urban Geography 3 credits
GEO 321 Urban and Regional Planning 3 credits
HIST 327 History of Chicago 3 credits
POLS 220 State and Local Politics in the United States 3 credits
POLS 320 Politics of Urban and Metropolitan Areas 3 credits
SOC 3258 Urban Sociology 3 credits
A student may substitute an appropriate topics course or departmental seminar in place of one of the elective courses listed above, provided the topic has an urban focus and is approved by the chair of the administrative committee prior to the student’s enrolling in the course.


Administrative Committee

Larry Baas
Professor of Political Science and International Relations
Tel: 219.464.5226
Email: Larry.Baas@valpo.edu

Ronald Janke
Professor of Geography
Tel: 219.464.5139
Email: Ronald.Janke@valpo.edu

Mike Longan (chair)
Professor of Geography
Tel: 219.464.6874
Email: Mike.Longan@valpo.edu

Lissa Yogan
Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology
Tel: 219.464.6998
Email: Lissa.Yogan@valpo.edu