UWT Offers a New Urban Studies Course

As the Spaghetti Factory leaves UWT with more academic space, the UWT Urban Studies program creates a new course. According to Business Examiner, (the South Sound business information resource), last year the Tacoma campus was home to around 4,300 students, and this fall UWT will have almost 5,000 students enrolled.

In preparation for this rapid growth, UWT will soon have an entire building dedicated to Urban Studies and Computer Science. Urban Studies Undergraduate Recruiter, Sara Cutting, said the new course is called TURB 103. Urban Studies in Practice. For those majoring in Urban Studies TURB 101, 102, and 103, will be mandatory.

Perhaps as a new student or premajor student, you may be wondering, what is Urban Studies? It is essentially an interdisciplinary art that educates students about cities as historical and social phenomena. Urban Studies degrees often work well with Sociology or Political Science majors / minors.

TURB 103 instructor, Dr. Ali Modarres defines Urban Studies saying. “It is essentially learning what makes a city tick. We inherit cities, we try to improve upon them, make them better for future generations.”

Modarres said students in TURB 103 can expect a relaxed, introductory course that will allow them to become acquainted with the faculty and see what Urban Studies is all about.

Even though this course is required for Urban Studies majors, it’s also open to any pre-major student. It offers what Cutting likes to call a “buffet style” approach to Urban Studies. She calls it a buffet style because students have the opportunity to learn anything in the course that interests them. They can go to afternoon lunches put on by their professors, where they can mingle and learn with other Urban Studies students, or they can attend presentations, and meetings. This makes it a flexible course that can fit with almost anyone’s schedule. This is all apart of the TURB 103 course. Students eat with professors, go to these presentations either at UWT or another school such as UPS or PLU, and bring that information back to class to enhance their learning.

“This course introduces students to the field of Urban Studies as it is practiced at the University of Washington Tacoma campus. Through a variety of faculty research presentations, guest lectures, public forums, debates, workshops, and other events, students learn to navigate the vast intellectual terrain of Urban Studies,” Cutting describes the course.

There are many possible careers one can achieve with an Urban Studies degree. According to the UWT Urban Studies webpage, a Bachelor’s in Urban Studies can land you a promising job in city development planning, community organization, journalism, housing, or public administration.

“We work on a regional and sometimes even international level,” Modarres said. He went on to say that Urban Studies can involve researching, working with city planners, or nonprofit organizations.

“It’s a community,” he said. Urban Studies students can expect to build strong relationships with their instructors and in the work communities they engage in. Modarres wanted to encourage any student that is interested to come talk to him or any Urban Studies instructor for more information on TURB 103 or Urban Studies as a major.

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