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Urban Poverty Studies, Minor

Drawing on the long tradition of Saint Louis University's commitment to the city of St. Louis, the interdisciplinary minor in urban poverty studies is an examination of local, national and global forms of poverty, inequality and social injustice in urban environments.

Curriculum Overview

Through coursework and practical experience serving in the city of St. Louis, students from across academic disciplines will think critically about the most pressing problems faced by people living on the margins in contemporary cities. In addition, they will investigate the ways in which the minor can supplement their major field of study.

The 15-credit interdisciplinary minor is open to all undergraduates at the University, regardless of their college/school or major.

Courses listed below in each category are only a sample of the overall course options which fulfill requirements for the minor. No course may fulfill more than one urban poverty studies minor requirement.  

Introductory Courses6
Choose two courses (6 credits) on the nature of justice, urban social and political problems and social ethics with an Urban Poverty-Introduction attribute. They should be 1xxx level courses.
Examples are:
CORE 1600
Ultimate Questions: Theology
CORE 1700
Ultimate Questions: Philosophy
PHIL 1050
Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality
SOC 1500
The Urban Community: Race, Class, and Spatial Justice
Four Areas of Specialization6
Choose at least two courses in one of the following areas with Urban Poverty attributes.
Examples are:
Urban Poverty - Cycles of Exclusion
AAM 2000
Freedom Dreams: Intro to African American Studies
CCJ 3500
Race, Ethnicity, and the Criminal Justice System
CMM 4320
Communicating Across Racial Divisions
PHIL 4820
Philosophy and Race
PSY 4330
Psychology of Oppression
Urban Poverty - Immigration and Globalization
ASTD 3020
American Mosaic: Literature & Diversity
LAS 3000
Introduction to Latin American Studies
SOC 3180
THEO 3415
Christ and Color: Liberation Theology
Urban Poverty - Health Care
HSCI 2000
The U.S. Health Care System
NURS 3100
Healthcare Policy, Finance and Regulatory Environments
PUBH 2300
Contemporary Issues in Global Health
SOC 2360
Health Inequalities in the U.S.
Urban Poverty - Theory of Social Justice
ENGL 2250
Conflict, Social Justice and Literature
PHIL 4840
Catholic Social Thought
PSY 4330
Psychology of Oppression
THEO 2515
Social Justice
Additional Electives3
One additional course from any category with an Urban Poverty attribute.
Total Credits15

Non-Course Requirement: Community Service

At least four terms (or their equivalent) of approved community service, averaging at least 30 hours per term.


In unusual circumstances, students may (at the discretion of the director) substitute relevant courses not listed above by contracting with the instructor to write a substantive paper related to urban problems or community service. Contracts must be approved no later than the second week of classes.

Continuation Standards

Students must have a GPA of 2.00 in urban poverty studies minor coursework to be retained in the minor.