Urban Studies

Bachelor of Arts Degree Completion Program

Explore the dynamics of diverse forces that shape the urban setting in the context of human rights and social justice, and the power of action, community organizing, place-making, and social change.

This innovative program recognizes the unique needs and realities of our local and regional human and ecological communities. Students receive the needed training to become effective change-makers who can envision a socially, economically, racially, and ecologically just future, and who will participate in the diverse coalitions and alliances necessary to inspire and make that future a reality.

Unique, Culturally Expansive Program

The curriculum incorporates the study and practice of media; the arts; social, political, historic, cultural, ecological, legislative and economic analysis. Students are engaged in learning from and acting with the people and communities who make up our world. Urban Studies instructors have decades of experience as social justice change-makers, and contributors to, and shapers of the public, intellectual, cultural, regional and local discourse.

Preparing the Next Generation of Environmental Justice, Social Justice and Human Rights Activists and Community Organizers.

Our goal is to equip students with the practical skills and the deep understanding necessary to become effective leaders working towards social justice and equality, as well as a familiarity with the organizations and networks in the region that participate in these efforts.

The Urban Studies curriculum prepares our students for careers as effective practitioners and activists in the nonprofit sector, the public sector, social enterprise, education, and for graduate study in urban planning, history, American studies, ethnic studies, public policy, and the law.


Students have interned as youth organizers, community gardeners, event coordinators, fundraising assistants, communications and social media practitioners, and researchers in active campaigns at the intersection of social, racial, economic justice and ecological sustainability throughout the region.

Courses include:

  • Toolkit for Community Leaders
  • Writing for Social Change
  • Urban Ecology: The LA River
  • Cinematic Los Angeles
  • Social Justice and Environmental History of LA
  • The Immigration Debate in Historical Perspectives
  • Working Toward the Healthy City: Environmental People & Health
  • Immigration Experiences in the Global City
  • Sustainability, Justice, and the Solidarity Economy

Watch a conversation from the last Sustainable Supper on building a framework of sustainability.