• Chicago-Focused Courses

Academic Windows into the Life of a World-Class City

Chicago can be fruitfully explored from nearly any academic perspective or discipline. Each academic year, the University offers a wide range of classes that avail students of the opportunity to study aspects of “the City that Works,” including not only courses that take Chicago as their principal focus but also classes that make it a principal example in exploring one or more urban phenomena.

The Chicago Studies Quarter offers students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in interdisciplinary study of Chicago through three courses presented simultaneously and integrated with citywide experiential learning. Other, similar experiences (including more Quarter-based offerings) are currently being developed by the College in partnership with Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) and other on-campus partners.

In order to receive the Certificate and transcript designation, program participants must either:

Successfully complete one of the Chicago Studies Quarters; OR

Petition for, receive approval of, and then complete a thematically coherent series of at least 3 Chicago-focused classes.

In either case, students must articulate a rationale for how their selected academic experiences inform their overall curricular/co-curricular project, and receive a grade of at least "C-" in the classes that are to count toward the Certificate.

Petitions for unique series of Chicago-focused classes are evaluated by the Chicago Studies faculty directors with the support of their faculty advisory board (convened under the auspices of the Environmental and Urban Studies program in the College). Such classes may include:

that take Chicago as a principal or significant example (e.g. Urban Health; Inequality in Urban Spaces);
including (but not limited to) political participation/democratic praxis, social services provision and non-profit management, community economic development, public policy, journalism and civic representation, again with a focus on Chicago or its use as a significant example (e.g. The Business of Non-Profits: The Evolving Social Sector; Process and Policy in State and City Government);
that attempt to apply theoretical constructs to real-world issues in Chicago with the goal of reciprocal benefit to students and community partners (e.g. Urban Design Studio; Public Policy Research Practicum);
as their principal focus, whether from an historical, literary, artistic, scientific, or social scientific perspective (e.g. Chicago Neighborhoods; Black in the City; Chicago Theater).

For more information...

Advising for all academic aspects of the Chicago Studies Certificate, including appropriate course selection and approval of course sequence proposals, is provided by the faculty and staff of the Program on the Global Environment, home to the Environmental and Urban Studies major.

Listings of appropriate classes for the Certificate are available in several locations on the UChicago website, including the "Chicago Studies entry in the College Catalog, in the "Urban Environment" section of the PGE website, and by searching for Chicago Studies Cluster courses when registering for classes. See also the Chicago-focused course listing elsewhere on this site, by clicking COURSES in the main menu above.

For a listing of courses submitted by other Certificate Program enrollees, visit the CSCP Wiki.