About this Program

This minor is designed to help students understand the historical, physical, economic, social, and political development of U.S. cities and suburbs, where more than 80 percent of Americans live. Cities have been at the center of change in America from the Revolution to industrialization, suburban growth and growing racial division after World War II, and the resurgence of many central cities in this century. Knowledge of this urban context is an excellent complement to many majors.

The minor aims to help students understand urban development, analyze ways to address urban problems, enhance their skills for working and living in urban America, and equip them to participate in shaping the future of their communities. A single course or discipline is not sufficient for these tasks, but a minor like this can provide an integrated focus by drawing on courses from multiple departments, primarily in the social sciences and humanities, along with an internship in an urban setting.


The following faculty comprise the Steering Committee.  All are available for advising.

  • Grigoris Argeros

    Grigoris Argeros (Sociology, Ph.D. Fordham) concentrates on race/ethnicity, immigration, and population dynamics. His articles and chapters have appeared in several outlets, including the Journal of Urban Affairs.
  • Ashley Johnson Bavery 
    Ashley Johnson Bavery (History, Ph.D. Northwestern) studies immigration and ethnicity. Her new book is Bootlegged Immigrants: Politics and Policy on America's Northern Border.
  • Barbara Patrick
    Barbara Patrick (Political Science, Ph.D. Mississippi State) has published multiple articles on public policy and government management.  In addition to courses in public  administration and American Government, she co-teaches the Political Science Department's Civil Rights Travel Course.
  • Heather Khan Welsh
    Heather Khan Welsh (Urban and Regional Planning, Ph.D. Florida State) developed and teaches the gateway class in the minor, The American City (URP 115). She combines her research and consulting with public service on the Ypsilanti Board of Zoning Appeals. 
  • Mary-Elizabeth Murphy
    Mary-Elizabeth Murphy (History, Ph.D. Maryland) specializes in African American history, U.S. women's history, and U.S. social and political history. She is the author of Jim Crow Capital: Women and Black Freedom Struggles in Washington, D.C., 1920-1945. 
  • Amanda Stype
    Amanda Stype (Economics, Ph.D. Michigan State) focuses on government finance, health economics, and aging.  Her research has appeared in several scholarly publications, including the National Tax Journal. 

Contact Us

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