What is Metropolitan Studies?
The Metropolitan Studies Program (MSP) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate major focused on the study of cities and metropolitan regions in historical and contemporary perspective. Students use New York City and other global metropolitan centers as their laboratories for understanding processes of urban and regional development, the major institutions of urban life, urban social movements, urban cultural dynamics and the socio-environmental consequences of worldwide urbanization. The MSP draws upon the expertise of a wide range of urban scholars within the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and in complementary departments at NYU. In addition, faculty active in the city's government, community, and non-profit agencies provide a unique resource for understanding the city. The major provides particularly valuable preparation for students interested in law, health, teaching, journalism, social work, architecture, city and regional planning, public policy, public administration, nonprofit administration, and community organization.
The Metropolitan Studies Program exploits one of NYU's major assets — its New York City location — in a variety of ways. In many courses, students learn through assignments involving independent fieldwork, observation, and analysis in both Manhattan and the greater metropolitan area. All majors participate in an 8-point internship program enabling them to work in government or nonprofit agencies while participating in a seminar in order to link this practical experience with theoretical and historical issues. The internship allows students to get involved in the community, gain experience in a professional setting, and explore career options. There is an honors program for qualified students that culminates in a senior thesis written under supervision of a faculty member. The Metropolitan Studies Program also offers a joint 5 Year B.A./M.P.A. with the Wagner School of Public Policy.
Activities and Awards
Community service is encouraged both through the internship and as a valuable addition to classroom learning. The Program's office maintains an extensive database for student use on urban-related nonprofit and government agencies. Fieldwork in New York City also gets students involved in the community as researchers, observers, and participants. The Metropolitan Studies Program Prize is awarded to a student for dedicated service to the Program in Metropolitan Studies and to the community at large.
The major provides excellent training for students who wish to pursue further professional or graduate studies as well as for those seeking careers in the public, nonprofit, or private sectors. It provides particularly valuable preparation for students interested in law, the health professions, teaching, journalism, social work, architecture, city and regional planning, public policy, public administration, nonprofit administration, and community organization.