To browse the full list of courses available by academic department, visit Courses of Instruction.


To browse the most up-to-date faculty listing, click here.

2020-2022 CATALOGUE

To browse the 2020-2022 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.

2020-2022 HWS Catalogue (REVISED)

2018-2020 CATALOGUE

To browse the 2018-2020 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.

2018-2020 HWS Catalogue (REVISED)

2016-2018 CATALOGUE

To browse the 2016-2018 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.

Catalgoue Archive


If you have questions or comments about the new online Catalogue, please send us your feedback.



Urban Studies at HWS is the study of urban space in multiple, interrelated contexts. It is a multidisciplinary subject that engages a wide range of subject areas but is anchored in the social sciences: Sociology, Economics, Anthropology, and Political Science. These fields provide the research tools and theoretical framework for understanding the lived urban experience. Students also gain insight into urban experience in all its dynamism and complexity through the study of the arts, literature, and history, as well as through study abroad and direct engagement with the City of Geneva.

The program is multidisciplinary and uses a variety of analytical methods to study the life and problems of cities. The primary subject areas for the major are Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science and Sociology. However, courses in American Studies, Art and Architecture, English, and Environmental Studies are also relevant to give perspectives on urbanization beyond those offered in the four basic departments. All courses counting toward the minor must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

NOTES: (1) Any member of the program faculty noted above can serve as an adviser for the minor, provided they agree to do so. (2) All individual programs approved by an adviser must also be approved by the program chair. (3) Some courses listed below have prerequisites (example: all second level Sociology courses and above require SOC 100 Introductory Sociology); students wishing to take such courses must fulfill the prerequisite as specified by the department offering the course. It is the student’s responsibility to discuss all such issues with her or his adviser before completing the minor form.

5 courses
Three core courses from two different disciplines and two elective courses from different disciplines selected from the list below, one of which must be an upper level (300 or higher) course.

Core Courses
ANTH 206 Early Cities
ECON 213 Urban Economics
HIST 215 American Urban History
HIST 264 Modern European City
POL 326 Urban Politics
SOC 251 Sociology of the City
SOC 253 Global Cities
URST 210 Gentrification

AFS 200 Ghettoscapes
AFS 325 The Apartheid City in East Africa
ANTH 205 Race, Class and Ethnicity
ANTH 271 Jobs, Power and Capitall
ANTH 297 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America
ANTH 326 Patterns and Processes in Ancient Mesoamerica Urbanism
ARCH 305 Environmental Design
ARCH 310 Early Modern Architecture
ARCH 311 History of Modern Architecture
ARCH 312 Theories of Modern Architecture and Urbanism
ARCH 313 History of Modern Landscape Architecture
ARCH 412 Social Construction of Space
ARCS 210 Berlin: Politics Memory and Space
ARTH 101 Ancient to Medieval Art
ARTH 102 Renaissance to Modern Art
ARTH 249 Islamic Art and Architecture
ECON 122 Economics of Caring
ECON 135 Latin American Economics
ECON 243 The Political Economy of Race
ECON 248 Poverty and Welfare
ECON 344 Economic Development
ENG 258 19th Century English Novel
ENG 340 19th Century Architectural Novel
ENV 101 Sustainable Communities
ENV 204 The Geography of Garbage
ENV 215 Environment and Development in East Asia
HIST 111 Topics in Introduction to American History
HIST 212 Historical Research Methods 
HIST 237 Europe Since the War
HIST 240 Immigration and Ethnicity in America
HIST 246 American Environmental History
HIST 256 Technology and Society in Europe
HIST 310 Rise of Industrial America
HIST 311 20th Century America: 1917-1941
HIST 352 Wealth, Power, and Prestige
MDSC 303 Social Documentary
MDSC 315 Intro to Social Documentary
POL 211 Visions of the City
POL 215 Racial and Ethnic Politics
POL 222 Political Parties
POL 244 Immigration and Diversity in Europe
POL 229 State and Local Government
POL 254 Globalization
SOC 221 Race and Ethnic Relations
SOC 223 Inequalities
SOC 245 Sociology of Work
SOC 271 Sociology of Environmental Issues S
SOC 290 Sociology of Community

URST 210 Gentrification A term coined in 1964, gentrification refers to the return of the creative/professional middle classes to central city locations, where their quest for homes of interesting architectural provenance, cheap real estate and low rents, and proximity to cultural amenities often results in increasing rents and neighborhood upscaling that displaces existing working class residents. Despite its inability to challenge ongoing suburbanization in absolute terms, gentrification has nonetheless occupied a disproportionate amount of attention form sociologists, urban studies scholars’ policymakers, as well as increasingly the mass media and the public interested in issues in urban decay and regeneration. This course will introduce students to the already voluminous literature on gentrification, focusing on earlier debates of the 'classical' era, such as production vs consumption explanations, to more recent theoretical developments that include planetary gentrification, commercial/retail gentrification, advanced or super gentrification, rural gentrification, etc. The course will make constant references to urban changes visible in downtown Geneva as well as more regional cities such as Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse. Students who have passed SOC 100, ANTH 110, POL 110, or ECON 160 with a minimum grade of C-, or permission of instructor, will be able to register for this course. (Kosta, offered occasionally)

URST 214 Urban Ethnography Rapid urbanization in the 19th century provided a crucial impetus to the development of sociology, as scholars wondered how 'the city' transformed traditional forms of identity and community. Urban ethnography 'the systematic observation of social life in the city' became one of the most important methods that defined the Chicago School of Sociology. This course will introduce students to the body of knowledge amassed over a century of urban ethnography, focusing on urban ethnographies both theoretically and methodologically. We will cover topics of sustained importance to ethnographers, such as poverty, crime and violence, race, social class, public space, work, immigration, consumption, housing and homelessness, and the informal economy. We will cover important debates within ethnography, including issues of ethics, representation, and the politics of doing an ethnography. Throughout the semester, we will ask what is specifically urban about any given ethnography, as well as what is specifically ethnographic about what's being studied in the readings we consider. Students might be expected to conduct their own ethnographies. The course will make references to urban changes visible in Geneva, as well as more regional cities such as Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo. Students who have passed SOC 100, SOC/URST 210, ANTH 110, or BIDS 207 with a minimum grade of C- (C minus), or have obtained permission of instructor, will be able to register for this course. (Kosta, offered occasionally)

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.