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Cars on Main Street in neighborhood near Clark

Through an interdisciplinary concentration in urban development and social change, you will study the historical, social, economic, and political factors that have shaped U.S. cities and, in turn, how cities have affected the lives of their inhabitants. The concentration is open to all majors.

The Urbanization of America

Urbanization has been a powerful process shaping American life. More than three-quarters of the U.S. population is currently classified as urban, suggesting that in many ways, understanding contemporary America requires understanding cities — the broad patterns and notable variations in their growth, decline, and in some cases, revitalization.


As a student in the urban development and social change concentration, you’ll learn about broad patterns and notable variations in urban growth, decline, and, in some cases, revitalization; the factors that have shaped cities; and how cities have, in turn, affected the lives of their inhabitants. While focusing primarily (but not exclusively) on cities in the United States, you’ll also become familiar with the key concepts and tools used to explore and analyze urban phenomena.

While you can combine this concentration with any major, it’s an especially good complement to majors in community, youth, and education studies; economics; geography; global environmental studies; international development and social change; political science; and sociology.

Minimum number of courses to complete this concentration: 7

Capstone Experience

Proceeding from an introductory course through intermediate and advanced courses offered in several different departments, students apply what they learn to their capstone experience.

The capstone can be either a research project or an internship, conducted under the supervision of one of the concentration’s participating faculty, or as part of an urban-research or internship seminar.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the unparalleled opportunities for field research and applied learning that are offered by Clark’s location in the center of Worcester.

Option to Study Global Cities

Urban development and social change (UDSC) students study the key concepts and methodological tools used to explore and analyze urban phenomena primarily in the United States, but may also choose to take a course that examines urbanization in other parts of the world.

Visit the academic catalog to view requirements for this concentration

Student working with children

Careers and Internships

Explore careers and internships, including funding through the Lois and Robert Green Internship program for summer opportunities in Worcester.