Master of Urban Studies (MUS)
The Master of Urban Studies (MUS) program is a 52-credit graduate program that gives students skills to study and interpret urban phenomena from a variety of viewpoints, also suitable for employment by public agencies, private firms, and non-profit organizations. Since the core curriculum of the MUS program mirrors that of the Urban Studies Ph.D. program, MUS students can make a relatively easy transition into the doctoral program, if they apply and are accepted. In any case, the MUS program is academically focused on researching the urban environment.
Students in this program delve into such things as problems associated with growing social and economic inequalities between different places and population groups within the metropolitan region; environmental problems related to the prevailing pattern of urbanization; and the lack of effective institutions of regional governance.
The program explores these issues from multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary points of view. Through participation in classes and seminars, and supervised research and teaching activities, M.U.S. graduates generally work in applied research and community-based advocacy settings.
- USP 613 Urban Economic and Spatial Structure (3)
- USP 614 History and Theory of Urban Studies (3)
- USP 617 Sociology and Politics of Urban Life (3)
- USP 630 Research Design (4)
- USP 634 Data Analysis (4)
- USP 683 Qualitative Analysis (4)
- USP 697 Urban Studies Seminar (4)
The first three courses listed introduce the student to the basic ideas, concepts, and theories about urban development and urban life. This helps students position their own interests within the larger field of urban studies. The following three courses introduce the student to the range of methods appropriate to the field and serve as a starting point from which the M.U.S. student is expected to take advanced courses in quantitative and qualitative methods. The Urban Studies Seminar, taken in the beginning of the second year, engages the student in hands-on social science research, producing a research design proposal appropriate for the student's interests and degree.
USP 613 Urban Economic and Spatial Structure (3)
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the economic and spatial aspects relevant to the field of urban studies. The course provides and overview of existing theories and empirical evidence relating to urban spatial and economic relationships. Examines the impact of federal, state, and local government policies, and changing economic conditions on these relationships.
USP 614 History and Theory of Urban Studies (3)
Leading thinkers and milestones in the analysis of urban development and urban life. Complementary theories and models of social sciences. Postmodern approaches. Visionary and critical responses to the possibilities of metropolitan life.
USP 617 Sociology and Politics of Urban Life (3)
A survey of important theories and empirical research about the social structure and political dynamics of urban areas. The impacts of globalization on urban social and political life, the changing nature of community and social relations within cities and suburbs, and evolving patterns of intergovernmental cooperation and conflict within metropolitan regions will be analyzed.
USP 630 Research Design (4)
Principles of research design, including philosophical bases of scientific research, problem identification, problem statement, development of research questions, development of research of hypotheses, and the relationship of research hypotheses to modes of data gathering and analysis. The laboratory section (USP630L) must be taken concurrently.
USP 634 Data Analysis (4)
Application of multivariate statistical analysis in an urban context. Emphasis on applications of various techniques within the general linear model. Recommended prerequisite: USP 632, The laboratory (USP 634L) must be taken concurrently. Recommended prerequisite: USP 430.
USP 683 Qualitative Analysis (3)
Study of a variety of qualitative methods of analyzing social science problems, with an emphasis on applications to urban studies. Students study the philosophy of academic inquiry, understanding and interpretation of social action. Specific techniques include content analysis, participant observation, field observation, ethnography , interviewing and focus groups, among others. Organization, coding and analysis of qualitative data. Recommended prerequisite: USP 630
USP 697 Urban Studies Seminar (4)
Research seminar is required for second-year students in the urban studies M.U.S. program. Students apply their substantive background and methodological training to develop all the components of a social science research paper: statement of focused research question, literature review, development of hypotheses, definition of appropriate methodology, design of data acquisition, and pilot testing of data acquisition strategy. Prerequisites: USP 630, USP 613, USP 614, USP 617
MUS Field Areas
Community Development deals with the dynamics of neighborhood and community formation and change and with public policies that address the needs of groups and places within contemporary society. Within the broad field of Community Development, students can address such topics as ethnic and neighborhood history, housing and economic development, the roles of public and nonprofit institutions in community building, mediation and conflict resolution, changing patterns and systems of communication, and the changing meanings of place.
Economic Development is concerned with the factors that lead to differential rates of economic development at various spatial scales: within and between nations, states, regions, cities, and neighborhoods. In analyzing these differences, issues such as the meaning of economic development, who gains and who loses from various changes, as well as analysis of policies to promote economic development, are addressed. The Center for Urban Studies and Institute for Portland Metropolitan Studies offer research opportunities in this field.
Gerontology addresses the social issues, problems, policies, and programs that affect the quality of life for our rapidly aging population. Students have the opportunity to work directly with faculty on publicly and privately funded research at the College's highly regarded Institute on Aging. Adult development and aging is approached from a multidisciplinary and collaborative perspective.
Aging-specific electives (five required if Gerontology is 1st field; four if 2nd field):
Social Demography provides training in the tools of demographic analysis, with particular attention to the methods of data collection, techniques of demographic analysis, and the interpretation of research findings. Social demography involves the use of the principles and methods of demography in decision making and planning in both public and private settings. Graduates in the field of social demography use demographic data to identify and analyze important population trends and their consequences while working in government agencies, research organizations, and corporations.
The Transportation field includes planning, policy, forecasting, measurement and evaluation of multimodal transportation infrastructure and systems. The multidisciplinary field covers all modes of passenger and freight transport and includes the holistic study of relationships and interactions of the transportation systems with land use, the region, the economy, the environment, institutions, the community, and people. Students can address topics such as impacts of transportation on land use and land values, the relationships between urban form and travel behavior, the costs and benefits of transport facilities, the operation of transportation facilities, equity impacts of transport and the effects of transportation plans and policies, among others. There are opportunities to work on research through the Center for Urban Studies and the Center for Transportation Studies.
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