Program Mission and Goals

people sit at round tables with beverages in a cafe with lots of art

The Urban Studies Program enables students to explore and understand the urban experience in its richness and complexity. It provides an interdisciplinary learning experience grounded in the liberal arts and connected to concerns of the region and the world. Through integrative teaching and research, students develop and apply the skills needed to analyze the dynamic processes and structures of urban life as well the ways that cities contribute to global change. Students engage fully with Memphis and the diversity of the Mid-south region, combining course work with urban field experiences including internships, fellowships, and research with community partners.

Students will… 

  • Be able to think creatively and critically about strengths and challenges found in urban contexts.
  • Effectively utilize theory, methods, and evidence in the interdisciplinary field of urban studies to analyze issues that affect cities.
  • Gain an understanding of intersecting systems of inequality within and across urban communities.
  • Come to know Memphis and the Mid-south region in the context of comparative and historical perspectives on cities, as well as perspectives informed by the arts and natural sciences.
  • Develop the skills to be reflexive, responsible social actors and collaborative change agents in cities.
  • Be well prepared and aware of options for graduate study and careers in the field. 

Students, staff, and faculty will contribute to a vibrant, interdisciplinary, and inclusive community that supports its members and fosters our best work.

The program will serve as an academic hub on the campus for dialogue, scholarship, and community engagement focused on Memphis and cities around the world.