The city is the center of it all. As an urban studies student at Calvin, you'll examine the infrastructure and intermechanisms of these cultural hubs from a uniquely Christian perspective.


An interdisciplinary minor, urban studies focuses on urban issues and locates them within a Christian worldview. The minor consists of a curriculum of six courses, one of which must be sociology 302, "Urban Sociology." Remaining course depends on your specific interests and career goals. Choose from these three course tracks:

  • urban social development: sociology, philosophy and history
  • the built environment: architecture, environmental studies and geography
  • urban policy: political science, economics and social work

Careers in Urban Studies

  • Counselor
  • Corrections Officer
  • Advocate
  • Programmer
  • Rehabilitator
  • Teacher

See job placement rates for Calvin grads.

Student involvement

Spend a semester studying in Chicago, Washington D.C. or Amsterdam; Explore downtown Grand Rapids; Assist a professor with sociological research through a summer fellowship.

Course Requirements 2013-14

Urban Studies minor

(18 semester hours)

  • SOC-302 Urban Sociology
  • One three course track from the following:
    • Track 1: Urban Social Development
      • SOC-250 Diversity and Inequality in the U.S.
      • PHIL-207Justice and the Common Good: Studies in Political Philosophy
      • HIST-356 Social and Cultural Hist of US
    • Track 2: The Built Environment
    • Track 3: Urban Policy (three from)
  • Two of the following elective courses:

One approved interim course will be allowed (these will be approved on an ad hoc basis by members of the minor?s governing committee).

Special topics courses and independent studies are allowed with the permission of the urban studies minor committee. Substitutions for specific classes may also be allowed with the permission of the committee.

Students may also receive credit for internships and off-campus programs (e.g.: Chicago Semester) for up to six credits. To receive such credit, a student must receive prior approval from the urban studies minor committee.

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Calvin College Course CatalogCurrent students please download your course catalog for complete degree requirements.


New students are automatically considered for general academic scholarships ranging from $1,000-15,000 based on a careful review of their application materials.

For a complete listing of departmental scholarships available to first-year students, use the Scholarship Search ».


David Billings

David Billings
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
HH 343
(616) 526-8611

Kristin Du Mez

Kristin Du Mez
Associate Professor
Department of History
HH 488
(616) 526-6809

Becky Haney

Becky Haney
Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
NH 188
(616) 526-6338

Henry Luttikhuizen

Henry Luttikhuizen
Professor of Art History
Department of Art and Art History
SC 105B
(616) 526-6327

Elisha Marr

Elisha Marr
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
SC 213
(616) 526-7019

Mark Mulder

Mark Mulder
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
SC 229
(616) 526-6755

Lissa Schwander

Lissa Schwander
Assistant Professor
Social Work Practicum Coordinator
Department of Social Work
SC 235
(616) 526-6243

James Skillen

James Skillen
Assistant Professor
Department of Geology Geography & Environmental Studies
NH B77
(616) 526-7546

Talk to us

Mark Mulder Mark Mulder
Program Director
Department of Sociology
SC 229
(616) 526-6755


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