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Race, Ethnicity, and Urban Life

Photo: Micaela Suminski

Race and ethnicity are central organizing categories shaping virtually every aspect of city life. This concentration focuses on the role that race and ethnicity play in the formation, development, and change of cities.

Through a range of courses from across the University, students engage with how race and ethnicity shape where people live; relationships with law enforcement; neighborhood change; access to institutions; local politics; social movements; identity formation; and health care access; and health outcomes, among other themes. Students who elect this concentration will come away with the analytical tools to assess the causes and consequences of racial and ethnic inequality in cities, and to make informed judgments about which policies bring about racial and ethnic justice.


The advisor for this concentration is Prof. Tomás Jiménez. (email) (read more about Prof. Jiménez)


I’m currently undeclared; How do I declare Urban Studies with the new concentration? Follow the steps on the Urban Studies “How to Declare” web page, and when you are ready to meet with an advisor, contact Prof. Jiménez at

I’m currently a declared Urban Studies major or minor in another concentration; can I switch to the new concentration? Contact your current Urban Studies advisor to discuss the possibility of changing concentrations. Changing concentrations is allowed, as long as you have room in your schedule to add the necessary courses. Urban Studies concentrations are only declared to the program, not on Axess, so you only need program approval to change.

What is the difference between the new concentration and the existing Urban Society and Social Change (USSC) concentration? The USSC concentration includes many courses on racial and ethnic stratification, but it takes a broader approach to issues facing cities, and also includes courses on tools such as urban planning, urban design, and social entrepreneurship designed to address those issues.

What is the difference between the new concentration and a major in CSRE? The new concentration is just that – a concentration within the Urban Studies major, not an entire major. It is not intended to provide the same depth in understanding issues of race and ethnicity as a major in CSRE. The intention of the concentration is to situate a focused understanding of race and ethnicity within a broader knowledge of cities, and to emphasize the connections between identities and the spaces in which identities are formed.

Can I complete a primary major in CSRE, and a secondary major in Urban Studies (or vice versa)? Yes! A primary / secondary major means that you fulfill requirements for both majors, and you are permitted to overlap courses between them. The secondary major appears on your transcript, but not on your diploma. Note that in a double major, or a major and minor, no overlap of courses is permitted. Consult your major advisor or your AAD for more advice on primary / secondary majors.

I have taken / would like to take a course that is relevant to the concentration, but I don’t see it on the list below. Can I petition to have it count? Yes, you may petition to have a course count toward this concentration, using the same process as in other Urban Studies concentrations (submitting this form to your major advisor).

Why don’t I see the new concentration in the search filter on the Urban Studies courses page? It will take some time to update the search function on the Urban Studies courses page. For now, please consult the list of courses below, or discuss your options with the concentration advisor, Prof. Tomás Jiménez.

Required Course

The required course for this concentration is 

CSRE 196C, Introduction to Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity

Additional Courses

Courses in the concentration (including the required course and additional courses) must total at least 20 units. Please consult with your advisor to select a program of courses that suits your intellectual and personal goals.

If a course has not already been approved for a concentration, you may petition to count it by submitting this form to your advisor.

Additional courses for the concentration are as follows.

AFRICAAM 44: Post-Civil Rights Black America
AFRICAAM 80Q: Race and Gender in Silicon Valley
AFRICAAM 105: Black Matters: Introduction to Black Studies
AFRICAAM 180S: The Black Music 1980s: Turntables, Beat Machines and DJ Scholarship
AFRICAAM 204: Race, Colonialism and Climate Justice in the Caribbean
ANTHRO 31Q: The Big Shift
ANTHRO 107: Black Political Struggle Across the Americas
ANTHRO 111C: Muwekma: Landscape Archaeology and the Narratives of California Natives
ANTHRO 123C: “Third World Problems?” Environmental Anthropology and the Intersectionality of Justice
ARTHIST 291: Riot! Visualizing Civil Unrest in the 20th and 21st Centuries
ASNAMST 27SI: Revolution and the Pilipinx Diaspora: Exploring Global Activism in Local Communities
ASNAMST 100: Intro to Asian American Studies
ASNAMST 110: The Development of the Southeast Asian American Communities: A Comparative Analysis
ASNAMST 261: Introduction to Asian American History
CHILATST 125S: Chicano/Latino Politics
CHILATST 173: Mexican Migration to the United States
CHILATST 177A: Well-Being in Immigrant Children & Youth: A Service Learning Course
CHILATST 180E: Introduction to Chicanx/Latinx Studies
CSRE 22: Lockdown America: Race and Incarceration in the Land of the Free
CSRE 23: Race and the War on Drugs: Long Roots and Other Futures
CSRE 30Q: The Big Shift
CSRE 95I: Space, Public Discourse and Revolutionary Practices
CSRE 108X: The Changing Face of America
CSRE 147A: Race and Ethnicity Around the World
CSRE 148R: Los Angeles: A Cultural History
CSRE 157P: Solidarity and Racial Justice
CSRE 220: Public Policy Institute
EDUC 103B: Race, Ethnicity, and Linguistic Diversity in Classrooms: Sociocultural Theory and Practices
EDUC 108: The Changing Face of America
EDUC 148: Inglés Personal: Coaching Everyday Community English
EDUC 149: Theory and Issues in the Study of Bilingualism
EDUC 392: Education for Liberation: A History of African American Education, 1800 to the Present
HISTORY 255D: Racial Identity in the American Imagination
HISTORY 274C: The History of Mexicans and Mexican Americans
PEDS 150: Social and Environmental Determinants of Health
POLISCI 121L: Racial-Ethnic Politics in US
POLISCI 141A: Immigration and Multiculturalism
SOC 3: America: Unequal
SOC 45Q: Understanding Race and Ethnicity in American Society
SOC 179A: Crime and Punishment in America
SOC 189: Race and Immigration
URBANST 125: Shades of Green: Redesigning and Rethinking the Environmental Justice Movements
URBANST 140F: Casablanca – Algiers – Tunis: Cities on the Edge
URBANST 141: Gentrification
URBANST 141A: Gentrification and Schools: Urban Structure and the Remaking of Cities
URBANST 149: Monitoring the Crisis
URBANST 155EP: Topics in Writing & Rhetoric: Introduction to Environmental Justice: Race, Class, Gender and Place
URBANST 156A: The Changing American City
URBANST 164: Sustainable Cities
URBANST 169: Race and Ethnicity in Urban California