Master of Arts in Urban Studies
Transform Your World
Cities around the globe are facing complex issues in need of creative solutions. At Fordham, our solutions-oriented interdisciplinary program will prepare you to tackle the challenges confronting urban society in a range of areas:
- Economic development
- Inequality and social justice
- Public health
- Environment and sustainability
- Urban arts and creative industries
- Historic preservation and gentrification
- Technology and the development of “smart” cities.
With New York City as our main laboratory, you’ll design a unique course of study tailored to your own interests. You’ll engage in fieldwork with real-world implications and emerge with a nuanced understanding of the powerful forces that are shaping our cities, as well as the problem-solving skills required to improve the quality of life for their citizens.
- Flexible, interdisciplinary program shaped by student interests and career objectives
- Strong foundation in applied research methods and contemporary urban issues
- Research and study abroad opportunities with our international partner universities
- Opportunity for fieldwork with public agencies, community nonprofits, museums, architectural and engineering firms, economic development corporations, and more
- Curricular Practical Training is available to F-1 students
- Designed as a 16-month program (three to four semesters for full-time students)
- Curriculum requirements include three core courses, seven elective courses, fieldwork, and the completion of a master’s thesis for a total of 36 units.
- Master’s thesis topic is directly tied to research and fieldwork
- Classes held in the evening to accommodate fieldwork
- City and regional planning
- Real estate
- Historic preservation
- Public administration
- Environmental regulation
- Urban renewal and design
- Housing development agencies
- Business improvement districts
- Economic development corporations
- Nonprofit cultural and arts institutions
Learn more about how a master’s degree in urban studies can help you in your career.
Welcome Back, Students! Fall 2021
Four Dream Conversations in Urban History
The Global Urban History Project invites scholars to join us for four open-ended conversations about
- Theory, Of, For, and By Urban Historians
- Cities and Inequalities
- Cities, Empires, and their (Dis)contents
- Cities and the Anthropocene
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed academic conversation, likely forever. This last June, several dozen GUHP members from across the world gathered to envision new ways to fulfill the Project's mission as we go forward. Instead of thinking about location or formats of new events, we decided that online some form of hybrid events were actually to GUHP's advantage, since they allowed relatively simple and chap ways to bring the membership together over long distances.
What are our "Dream Conversations"?
Four subjects came up repeatedly in both sessions and met with unanimous interest: thoery, Empire, inequality, and the Anthropocene. Instead of organzing conferences on every contonent as we had orginally envisioned, we propose to hold simultaneous, thorough, and ongoing conversations about all four topics that will last over the next year and beyond. These conversations will also give shape to the highly successful Mentorship Program that developed last year to meet th need for ongoing professional development of global urban historians during the pandemic.
Read the full article at globalurbanhistory.org.
Fall 2021 Events
9/21 Tuesday – 5 p.m.
Ground Zero: Master Plans
Two design competitions determined the direction of the master plan at Ground Zero and the concept and position of the 9/11 memorial and museum. Less clear in their functions, locations, and funding were other cultural institutions awarded a potential place on the site. Yet, as this program will discuss, the cultural component was a key idea to both the rebuilding at Ground Zero and the recovery of lower Manhattan.
Moderator for the panel is Gary Hack, an architect, planner, and academic who consulted for Studio Libeskind from the winning urban design competition through the preparation of the master plan and urban design guidelines.
9/22 Wednesday – 6 p.m.
Columbia GSAPP Building Character: The Racial Politics of Modern Architectural Style
A lecture by Charles L. Davis II with a response by Professor Reinhold Martin, Director of the History and Theory Sequence in the M.Arch program at Columbia GSAPP.
Charles L. Davis II is an assistant professor of architectural history and criticism the University at Buffalo. Building Character: The Racial Politics of Modern Architectural Style (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), traces the historical integrations of race and style theory in paradigms of “architectural organicism,” or movements that modeled design on the generative principles of nature.
9/23 Thursday – 5:30 p.m.
“Unearthing Buried Narratives: Reconstructing the Experiences of Enslaved People Through Jesuit Records”
Recalling the Catholic enslaved experience reveals new patterns about enslavement within the Catholic Church and the instrumental ways enslaved people formed community, resisted their enslavement, and shaped their faith. Prize-winning scholar Kelly L. Schmidt, Ph.D., invites the audience to engage with records about enslaved people in Jesuit archives, cross-referencing them and reading against the grain to discover the limitations resulting from enslaved people being prevented from keeping records about their own lives.
9/24 Friday – 3 p.m.
MCNY Curator Walking Tour – Public Art in Lower Manhattan
Join MCNY curator Lilly Tuttle on a walk through Lower Manhattan and hear the hidden history of how one of the oldest areas in New York underwent a radical transformation in the 1960s and 70s as the city shed its industrial, maritime past and remade both the east and west side waterfronts for a new era. Explore the architecture, urban planning, and public art that gave this district a modern look, and generated iconic spaces like the original World Trade Center and Tribeca.
9/30 Thursday – 7 p.m.
MCNY Moonlight & Movies | Smithereens
Summer is not over! Join us for a final outdoor screening of Smithereens (1982, 89 mins), Susan Seidelman's classic homage to NYC's Downtown punk scene in the 1980s. With a soundtrack by The Feelies, Smithereens follows the (mis)adventures of New Jersey runaway and punk rocker Wren (Susan Berman), and features appearances from punk icons including Richard Hell. Featuring an in-person introduction by director Susan Seidelman.
Susan Seidelman is a director, producer and screenwriter who came to prominence in the 1980s with Smithereens, the first American independent film screened in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival. She is the director of Desperately Seeking Susan (Madonna, Rosanna Arquette), She-Devil (Meryl Streep, Roseanne Barr), Cookie (Peter Falk), amongst others. Her TV work includes directing the pilot and early episodes of Sex And The City. Seidelman received an Academy Award nomination for her short film The Dutch Master. Seidelman’s work continues to mix comedy with drama, blending genres and pop-cultural references with a focus on strong female protagonists, often set against the backdrop of NYC.
10/01 Friday – 11 a.m.
NYBG Plant-Based Foods: From Seed to Take-Out
Vegan, vegetarian, and other plant-based diets are championed by many as a powerful approach to health, environmental sustainability, and a more humane and ethical food system. Critics, on the other hand, are concerned with highly processed, popular plant-based products; the disconnect between plant-based diets and cultural food traditions; and the implications of removing animals from agricultural systems.
This webinar, moderated by Fordham University Associate Professor Garrett Broad, brings together nutrition scientists and experts from the growing plant-based food industry for a discussion that traces plant-based foods from fields to restaurants, bodegas, and take-out containers in the Bronx and beyond.
10/01 Friday – 3 p.m.
MCNY Curator Walking Tour - Radicals of the Lower East Side
The area of Manhattan known as the Lower East Side was one of the original geopolitical centers of working class politics and culture. Often considered home of the unwashed, unruly, and un-American, waves of immigrants who lived in the Lower East Side mobilized for labor rights and decent housing, forged vibrant cultural lives, and pursued visions of socialism, anarchism, and other forms of radicalism. This walking tour will examine some of those diverse histories—from anarchist Emma Goldman to punk anarchist destination ABC No Rio—and how they continue to impact the neighborhood today. Led by MCNY Curator and Lower East Side resident Sarah Seidman.
10/09 Saturday – 10 a.m.
UHA Getting Published: Journal Edition
Join the Urban History Association for a workshop that will explore the basics of preparing an article-length manuscript for journals in urban history. The session panel includes editors from the major urban history journals, who will discuss article preparation, submission guidelines, the review process, and the particular types of articles their journals, respectively, publish. There will be ample time for questions and comments from the audience.
- Sonia Hirt, Dean, College of Environment and Design, University of Georgia: Editor, Journal of Planning History
- Rosemary Wakeman, Professor of History, Fordham University; North American Editor, Urban History
- John Gold, Professor of Historical Geography, Oxford Brookes University (UK) and Maggie Gold, Senior Lecturer, London Metropolitan University; Editors, Planning Perspectives
- David Goldfield, Robert Lee Bailey Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Editor, Journal of Urban History
Urban Studies Week 2021
the fordham university urban studies program presents:
The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same.
An Urban Studies Week Walking Tour exploring the history of the South Bronx, its built environment, geography and social history.
This event happened on Wednesday, April 28
The Heinrich Heine Memorial
in Joyce Kilmer Park
Grand Concourse & 161st St.
Starting at the lower end of the exquisitely urban boulevard known as the Grand Concourse, we walk through the Bronx’s metamorphosis into our present society and home. We witness its diverse population transforming over time. We take note of historical buildings still standing and observe their history led by two Bronx history buffs (both Fordham Urban Studies Alumni and NYC natives), Adam Stoler and Nestor Danyluk.
We see remnants of old and birth and rebirth of new: populations, institutions, businesses, restaurants. Peeling away the visible layers, revealing what underlies the vibrancy, and echoes the greatness and pain of the city. In preparation for the tour, we strongly recommend reading Constance Rosenblum’s Boulevard of Dreams: Heady Times, Heartbreak, and Hope Along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.
Finally, what better way to experience “live” than taste? Stay with us, for the walking tour includes a treat from the Urban Studies Program—the joy of breaking bread together, tasting what the Bronx is made up of today.