10 Courses That Turn New York City into Your Classroom

Manhattan College’s course catalog encourages students to step outside of the classroom and put learning into action in the greatest city in the world.

1. MUSC 310: History of the Broadway Musical

There’s no better place to study musicals than on the Great White Way! In this class, you’ll examine the History of the Broadway Musical, from the beginning of operetta to current trends on stage today. You’ll have the chance to take backstage tours of theaters in Manhattan, see current Broadway productions and hear exclusive lectures in the city to learn how politics and culture have impacted Broadway, and how the musical genre has impacted our world as a whole.

2. GOVT 222: Power in the City

Power in the City examines the role of money, public works, citizenship and media from a political perspective using New York City’s landmarks as historical case studies. Each week, rain or shine, you’ll travel to important neighborhoods, buildings, parks or public works to explore the history of political power in the city. Past trips include visits to the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, Times Square and the 9/11 Memorial.

3. BIOL 231: Evolution

A favorite among biology and non-biology majors alike, Evolution examines the narrative of how we came to be, on a variety of scales. This class involves a trip to New York City’s famed American Natural History Museum, and a walk through one of the world’s largest mammal fossil collections. Following the evolutionary pathway through the museum is an easy, visual way to understand textbook concepts that can sometimes be difficult to learn in a lecture setting.

4. RELS 205: Urban America and Catholic Social Teaching

Urban America and Catholic Social Teaching is one of Manhattan College’s most established and transformative community-based learning courses. In addition to examining the political and socio-economic causes of urban poverty in the classroom, you will participate in hands-on fieldwork at a Bronx-based community organization. In the past, participants have tutored high school students, cared for the elderly and volunteered with local soup kitchens and low-income housing services.

5. MGMT 441: Small Business Management Seminar

Learn about what makes an entrepreneurial startup or small business successful by consulting with a real company! This course helps build upon fundamental management skills learned in the classroom with participation in a real world scenario. Along with a team of classmates, you will have the chance to provide analysis and assistance to the local small business community.

6. GOVT 457/458: Model United Nations

Offered as a class in the spring or an extracurricular activity in the fall, Model UN is a diplomatic simulation that helps you better understand the inner workings of the United Nations and the particular country that your team is assigned to represent. Manhattan College participates in two Model UN conferences each year: one in Washington, D.C., and the National Conference in New York City, where hundreds of students from across the globe converge on UN headquarters to debate and compromise.

7. URBN 302: Sustainable Cities

As more of the world’s population settles in cities, it’s important to understand the environmental impacts of this trend. Sustainable Cities uses a combination of classroom learning and site visits within New York to examine how environmental scientists measure conditions, past and current environmental issues affecting urban communities, and the potential for sustainable solutions.

8. KIN 304: Kinesiology and Public Health

Let’s get moving! Bettering public health through physical activity is at the core of this community-based learning class. The requirements are twofold — you’ll participate in a service-learning project within the New York City community and help lead a physical activity promotion campaign on campus. Past student projects include equestrian therapy, teaching tumbling and cheer to children with disabilities, working on an after school health promotion program, and coaching a sports team at an underfunded school.

9. SOC 331: Workers and the Workplace

Labor history is especially rich in New York City. In fact, the earliest documented labor movement in the U.S. happened in NYC in 1768. This class examines occupations and workplace dynamics in both industrial and non-industrial settings, and includes a full-day field trip. Past trip locations include Great Hall at Cooper Union, the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the Tenement Museum, and the World Trade Center — all just a subway ride away.

10. ART 360: New York City Architecture, Urbanism and Design

Whether you have an eye for art deco or are more interested in modern muses, this class presents an opportunity to learn about the history and influence behind some of New York City’s most iconic structures — from its residential rowhouses to its world-famous skyscrapers. This class takes place exclusively on-site at various Manhattan locations, and examines the philosophy, socio-economic and political forces that have shaped the city.

Bonus: Chi Epsilon trip to the GWB

Although this field trip isn’t offered through a course, it’s a perennial favorite among Jasper daredevils! Manhattan’s branch of Chi Epsilon, the civil engineering honor society, takes students to new heights on the George Washington Bridge. High above the Hudson River, you’re able to examine one of the world’s most impressive engineering feats up close. Plus — you’ll bypass all the traffic!