Public Policy and Urban Affairs

For more information, contact the Associate Provost. Dr. Michele Intermont

Centered in the social science division, the concentration in public policy and urban affairs represents an interdisciplinary approach to the study of social problems and public policy in contemporary industrial societies. It encourages students to focus on and get involved in the significant policy-related problems confronting their generation, prepares students to think from the perspective of policy makers, and promotes public service. The concentration is open to all students, but naturally complements study in anthropology- sociology, economics, and political science.

Combining concern for both local and national policy, this concentration seeks to take advantage of the College’s urban setting as well as opportunities for internships and study around the country. At the local level, in part through the Center for Civic Engagement and various service learning classes, we support study, research, and internships in metropolitan Kalamazoo. The College’s Study Away programs, together with its career development and SIP, provide openings for work and research in national centers. (Limits apply to the number of participants in the Study Away programs.) Off-campus experiences will serve both to develop practical experience and to promote insights based on comparisons between different approaches to social problems.

The Concentration in Public Policy and Urban Affairs

Number of Units

Six units are required.

Required Courses

Four core courses, one from each of the following areas:

  • Economics:
    • BUSN/ECON 275
    • ECON 235, 265, or 280
  • Political Science:
    • POLS 105, 225, 229, 230, or 310
  • Anthropology-Sociology:
    • ANSO/SEMN 262
    • ANSO 270
    • ANSO 435
  • Philosophy
    • PHIL 105, 108, 210, or 211


Students must complete two additional courses – one must be outside their major.

Students may use a second course from the above list of core courses or any of the following:

  • ANSO 220 The Family
  • ANSO 236 Race and Racism
  • ANSO 310 Research for Social Change
  • ANSO 322 Prisoners and Detainees
  • ANSO 435 Informal Cities
  • ARTX 211 Architecture Urbanism Identity
  • CGHL 210 Contemporary Issues in Public Health: An Introduction
  • POLS 220 Voting, Campaigns, & Elections
  • RELG 222 Urban Religion

Experiential Requirement

Students must also engage in either a sustained volunteer experience, off-campus internship, or research project providing first-hand experience with a contemporary social problem.