The CCC Ph.D. Program prepares students for research in a variety of settings, while taking advantage of the University's location in New Orleans at a critical moment in the region's social, cultural, and infrastructural rebuilding.
The program immerses students in local conversations about pressing social, political and economic issues and train them to use interdisciplinary approaches to understand the causes of urban problems and their possible solutions. In addition, the curriculum and research training gives students an interdisciplinary conceptual and practical basis for the study the dynamics of urban, cultural, and community change in international and comparative terms and frameworks.
Students and faculty in the CCC Ph.D. Program collaborate actively with local communities and institutions as part to the campus-wide post-Katrina effort to integrate Tulane deeper into the social fabric of the city. The uniqueness of the program comes from the collaboration between faculty in the Schools of Liberal Arts, Social Work, Science and Engineering, Law, Public Health, and Architecture who share a commitment to critical research on cities, cultures, and communities.
This interdiscplinary nature of the program is one of its key distinguishing features. Unlike most disciplinary-specific doctoral programs and multidisciplinary urban studies programs, where the overwhelming majority of classes are taught separately by faculty with a particular disciplinary focus, interdisciplinarity is infused into the core structure of the CCC Ph.D. Program. Required courses are co-led and team-taught by multiple participating faculty from diverse academic units (e.g., social work, architecture, public health, anthropology, and sociology).
This critical pedagogical feature forces students to move beyond mere exposure to confront different and often opposed disciplinary frameworks, paradigmatic schema, and methodological orientations and engenders dialogue and synthesis with the students as active participants and interrogators. Unlike traditional doctoral programs, this unique feature of the CCC Ph.D. Program creates both cognitive disequilibrium and a simultaneous opportunity to synthesize these differences into a new perspective.