Special Courses

The Urban Studies Program curriculum offers students the opportunity to take various specialized courses that depart from the conventional approach of most college classes. In these courses, students will hear from guest lecturers with direct professional involvement in urban affairs and policy, have the opportunity to work alongside real-world professionals addressing important problems in today’s cities, and/or conduct original research on important urban problems. These special courses take advantage of LMU’s many linkages to metropolitan Los Angeles, the extraordinarily dynamic, multicultural, postmodern city in which the University is located. Some examples of the specialized classes in Urban Studies include:


Metropolitan Los Angeles (URBN 3065) - normally offered each spring semester

The central component of URBN 3065 is a lecture series featuring prominent guest speakers, including Southern California business, community, and government leaders. This interdisciplinary course provides students with the opportunity to investigate a variety of issues associated with modern urbanization as expressed in contemporary Los Angeles.


Environmental Planning and Policy (URBN 3998) - normally offered each fall semester

URBN 3998 is an introduction to the application of environmental and sustainable practices in the field of urban and regional planning and policy. Under the guidance of a practicing urban planner, students will become familiar with principal themes in environmental regulation, analyze the evolution of regulatory changes, and discuss recent and pending legislation. Principal topics covered include the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), evolution of environmental regulation in several areas, including Air Quality, Urban Sprawl, Waste Management and Water Policy, and the role national and state policies have in the development of the “green” economy.