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Urban Studies

Students and CTA

The  UChicago  Summer Urban Studies  Program  brings together the theory  and  practice of urban studies while  providing a close look at crime, policing, and mass incarceration. In this comprehensive and personal  approach, students have the opportunity to study with  leading experts in the field, gain hands-on internship  experience, and meet face-to-face with change-makers through a series of observational learning seminars in Chicago neighborhoods.  

This course explores perspectives on the street-level practice of policing and efforts at police reform; minority youth experiences of policing; advances in the social science of adolescence, trauma, and victimization; street gangs and criminal activity, community-based anti-violence action and “community policing,” and efforts to promote criminal desistance at the individual level and decarceration at the systemic level. Complementing excursions and internships, students will engage with in-class informants with wide-ranging vantage points on these topics including police officers, community organization leaders, former gang members, scholars, and policy-makers and administrators. Our learning approaches will include discussion and lecture; ethnographic, journalistic, and policy-oriented readings; and documentary films and other media, with much of our focus trained on Chicago. The course was designed by, and will be co-taught by, two sociologists in the Public Policy Studies program at the University of Chicago, Sorcha Brophy (Tuesdays) and Chad Broughton (Thursdays), who will each offer one class per week over the six-week summer session.

The Urban Studies: Police and Citizen course listing can be found here.

View the Urban Studies 2018 Draft Syllabus here.

Sample Week:

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 - 10:00am Internship   Internship   Site Visit
10:00 - 11am Class Class
11:00am - 12:30pm
12:30 - 1:30pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
1:30 - 3:00pm Internship Methods Workshop Internship Methods Workshop Field Work
3:00 - 5:00pm Field Work Field Work
5:00 - 7:00pm Dinner Dinner

Come to UChicago this summer where the city will become your laboratory. Let your hands get dirty and watch your mind grow! 


  • Eligibility: Current student at another college or university; recent high school graduate; or returning student.
  • University housing available.
  • International students welcome.


  • Fulfils a requirement of Chicago StudiesApplications accepted beginning early December.
  • Admissions: the Priority application deadline is February 2. Students who apply by the Priority application deadline will have their $50 application fee waived. Any applications received after the Priority deadline will be admitted using rolling admission and will require a $50 application fee. Current University of Chicago students do not have to pay an application fee. Applications will be accepted until all spots are filled, except for Chicago in Beijing (CIB) applicants, the application deadline is March 15, 2018.
  • International students who will require a visa to attend, applications will be considered no later than April 2 in order to allow enough time to complete the visa application process.
  • Students who wish to live on campus, must apply before May 1, 2018. Late applications will be accepted as space permits. Students who do not require on-campus housing may apply up to one week before classes start. Exceptions for Chicago in Beijing (CIB) applicants, the application deadline is March 15, 2018; and Urban Studies applicants, the application deadline is May 30, 2018.