Urban Studies at 50

Piloted in the fall of 1969 by a committee of the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU), the Stanford Program on Urban Studies began in an age of experimentation with student-initiated curriculum. At the time, the program consisted of three courses run by a single student administrator. In 1985, the program was authorized to grant Bachelor of Arts degrees; by 2020, the program listed or cross-listed some forty courses and was home to approximately thirty undergraduate majors and minors.

Timed to follow closely on the program’s 50th anniversary, this oral history project uses documentary sources and interviews with affiliated faculty, program leaders, and students to understand how and why the Program on Urban Studies was started, and how it has changed over time. The project aims to produce more than just an institutional history; it hopes to illuminate larger themes in the history of student activism, and in the politics of urban knowledge.


Browse Urban Studies at 50 Interviews.