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Geography and Urban Studies

5000. Special Topics Seminars   (3 s.h.)

A faculty member offers special seminars in research specialty. Recent topics have included current perspectives on development, the information and technology needs of low resource community organizations, and information systems design and management.

5014. Urban Social Geography   (3 s.h.)

Acquaints students with social and cultural understandings of urban space in the U.S. city.  Students are asked to use photography to explore how geography grounds itself on the landscape.   

5015. Land Use Planning   (3 s.h.)

An examination of the forces that influence land use planning in and around American metropolitan regions. Considers economic perspectives (land values), public interest perspectives (zoning subdivision, housing and building codes, redevelopment and renewal programs, etc.) and social perspectives of land use. Also examines separately housing, commercial locations, and industrial development.

5018. Economic Development Planning for Cities   (3 s.h.)

Causes of economic decline in American cities, history of governmental policies to promote urban economic development, and major tools available to local economic planners, with special emphasis on the political issues of who controls the programs and who reaps the benefits.

5044. Urban Housing   (3 s.h.)

On overview of the economic, social, physical, and political forces that have molded the present urban housing stock. Examination of the implications of present urban housing stock. Examination of the implications of present trends for the future and the development of rational housing policies, emphasizing the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

5061. Cartographic Production   (3 s.h.)

Advanced approaches to design and production of thematic maps.

5062. Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems   (3 s.h.)

Introduction to the use of Geographic Information Systems to analyze spatial data sets that are available from sources like the U.S. Census, environmental monitoring networks, and satellite remote sensing.

5065. Geographic Data Systems   (3 s.h.)

Assumes basic familiarity with Geographic Information Systems. Focuses on applying G.I.S. techniques to the study of such processes as urban sprawl, socioeconomic change, and ecological functioning of urban regions.

5071. Medical Geography   (3 s.h.)

An analysis of the factors responsible for the geographic patterns of disease, mortality, and health care services: the role of the environment in evaluating mortality and disease patterns.

5075. Regional Development in the Third World   (3 s.h.)

A Geographical approach to changing economic conditions in the post World War II world with emphasis on the development project and globalization.  Topics to be covered include spatial/regional planning in rural and urban areas, environmental problems and resource depletion, violence and conflict resolution and strategies for poverty reduction.

5096. Problems of Environmental Quality   (3 s.h.)

Local urban environmental problems are considered by members of the class in research teams, with a view toward seeking possible solutions to them.

5097. Urban Development: Race, Class and Gender   (3 s.h.)

Research seminar that examines the spatial dimensions of metropolitan inequality, focusing on how inequality is perpetuated along class, race, and gender lines. Topics include urban growth politics, zoning and land use planning, domestic architecture, racial segregation, poverty, and homelessness. Students will design a research proposal based on course materials.

8006. Geographic Thought   (3 s.h.)

Review of current concepts and methods used in geographic and urban interdisciplinary research.  The major goal is to have students trace the pedigree of their research interests and develop a bibliography of essential readings.

8011. Modern Urban Analysis   (3 s.h.)

An introduction to the social-scientific literature in urban studies. Emphasis will be on developing an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective. Topics include urbanization, urban form, the political economy of cities, and current models in urban policy and planning.

8021. Geography of Urban Services   (3 s.h.)

Analysis of concepts basic to understanding spatial service patterns. Emphasis is on use of models in service area delineation.

8032. Community Program Evaluation   (3 s.h.)

This course examines various methods and issues involved in conceptualizing, planning, conducting, and utilizing program evaluation.  A primary emphasis of the course is on  the challenges encountered in conducting evaluations in applied settings, and in planning evaluations that are useful to community-based programs.

8033. Seminar in Economic Models   (3 s.h.)

This course uses basic economic theory to understand the dynamics of the growth and decline of cities and regions in a national and global framework. Topics covered include land use theory, transportation and housing, public services, suburbanization, segregation and inequality, public policy, and regional development.

8043. Seminar on Homelessness in America   (3 s.h.)

Explores various issues relating to homelessness, with a focus on public policy and research. A dominant theme is how public policy decisions have contributed to this problem. Topics are the experience of being homeless, the epidemiology of homelessness, structural and individual theories of homelessness, the history of homelessness in the U.S., substance abuse and mental illness among the homeless, homeless women and children, homelessness in Philadelphia, and public policies needed to address the problem.

8045. Poverty and Employment   (3 s.h.)

Examines the relationships among the globalization of the economy, economic restructuring, metropolitan labor markets, and poverty focusing on contemporary U.S. cities. The course will evaluate theoretical and public policy debates about employment and poverty. Particular attention will be paid to how class, gender, and racial inequities are reproduced in the urban economy.

8047. Comparative Urban History   (3 s.h.)

Review of methodological tools for comparative readings and research on the history of cities, across cultural and chronological boundaries.

8050. Environmental Seminar  (3 s.h.)

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the ecological consequences of contemporary economic development. The focus is on countries at the low end of the developmental scale in the countries of Latin America, Africa and South Asia. The course illustrates through case studies how changes in the relations of production give rise to increasing degradation of resources.

8055. Seminar in Environmental Studies   (3 s.h.)

Consideration of geography of critical environmental problems.

8065. Cartographic Design   (3 s.h.)

Practical work with photographic and related processes to produce a map printed in color.

8097. Research Methods in Geography/Urban Studies   (3 s.h.)

Overview of the social science research process, from the formulation of researchable questions, through the design of the investigation, collection and analysis of data, to the presentation of findings. Includes the regulations governing research on human subjects.

8113. Community Based Research   (3 s.h.)

Applied, empirical research experience on issues affecting urban communities in the Philadelphia area. Students conduct research projects in collaboration with local community organizations working for community change. Course includes the study of contemporary urban issues and training in research methods, applied research techniques, report writing, and negotiating client-driven research.

9082. Individual Study   (1-3 s.h.)

9083. Readings in Geography   (1 s.h.)

Open to graduate students with permission of adviser and instructor.

9085. Internship in Geography & Urban Studies   (1-6 s.h.)

On-the-job training for graduate students with local consulting firms, planning commissions, community organizations, and various state, local, and federal government agencies in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

9086. Internship Paper   (1-6 s.h.)

Students completing their internship requirement for the M.A. degree are required to complete a summary paper that is based on their experience in the field. This course is a guided writing course in which students meet with their internship adviser to develop and complete the paper.

9087. Mapping Practicum   (3 s.h.)

Students are assigned cartographic projects and encouraged to plan, design, and execute them for faculty and those from outside firms and planning agencies.

9996. Master's Research   (1-3 s.h.)

Required of all candidates for the master's degree with the thesis option. To be taken after the student's prospectus has been approved by advisory committee.