Welcome to Trinity College’s Center for Urban and Global Studies (CUGS).

More than half of the world’s people now live in cities. The urban world is increasingly critical to the organization of economic and social activities and the governance of global resources and challenges in a fully interdependent world. CUGS represents Trinity’s forward-thinking vision of educating students to be leaders in this new world.

The first center of its kind at a top liberal arts college in the United States, CUGS offers curricular opportunities and research programs where Trinity students, faculty, and the larger community work together to better understand and engage our new global urban society.

By integrating urban and global programs through leaning in both classrooms and cities—from Trinity’s host city of Hartford to cities throughout the world—the center plays a central role in the College’s educational mission.

I encourage you to learn more about the center and to consider the many ways our academic and engagement programs can enrich your Trinity experience.

The Center for Urban and Global Studies plays a critical role in advancing Trinity’s urban and global education on campus, in Hartford, and across the world. The Center serves as a driver, facilitator, convener, and hub for collaborative curricular initiatives, research projects, and engagement activities that enhance student learning and strengthen our connections and support to Hartford communities while broadening and elevating our global presence and academic reputation.

Trinity College values its location in its home city of Hartford. Trinity also recognizes and cherishes the importance of its global connections through its study-away programs in several world cities and a variety of other international ties. By effectively combining academic study and civic engagement in diverse local, national, and global settings, CUGS enhances Trinity’s distinct position and reputation as a leading urban liberal arts college with a wide global reach. This vision guides the three important goals for CUGS in its continued development:

  1. By leveraging the teaching and research expertise of many Trinity faculty members in Community Learning and Urban Studies, CUGS creates classroom and experiential learning with associated curricular programs and activities that improve students’ understanding of issues and challenges facing communities in Hartford and other cities across the country and around the world;
  2. Capitalizing on Trinity’s location in Connecticut’s capital city with its numerous government, business and community organizations, CUGS organizes opportunities for students and faculty to participate in collaborative research and civic engagement projects with these organizations that benefit all parties involved and lead to problem solving; and
  3. By serving as a primary point of contact for the community, CUGS provides support and other contributions and hosts events for community members that improve the quality of life for all constituencies and stakeholders in Hartford and in our neighborhood.

Officially inaugurated in October 2007 through a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the center has also been generously supported by donors to the Trinity College Mellon Challenge for Urban and Global Studies.

CUGS is the result of extensive discussion, planning, and self-studies among Trinity’s board of trustees, senior leadership, faculty committees, and students. It constitutes one of Trinity’s top strategic priorities and reflects a broad consensus for achieving an integrated urban-global studies mission. At the core of this mission lies Trinity’s unique links between academic programs on campus, experiential and service learning in the city of Hartford, and extended educational opportunities in the world.

Since its founding in 1823, Trinity has offered an excellent classical liberal arts education to generations of students in its historic classroom buildings, with relatively little engagement with the outside world. In recent decades the College has worked more closely with its neighbors in the city of Hartford, to the benefit of both.

As the world beyond Trinity rapidly becomes more urbanized and globalized, the College’s concept of a traditional liberal arts education has been challenged to encompass a more urban-global view. To realize Trinity’s new vision, the College created CUGS. Taking advantage of Trinity’s location, CUGS strengthens the long-standing relationship between the College and Hartford, and the wider world.


Today, Trinity augments its tradition of liberal arts excellence with an integrated urban-global initiative, creating an educational environment that extends classroom learning into Hartford, and to cities around the world, bringing both academic knowledge and practical experience back into the classroom.


Download the CUGS informational page by clicking here.

Vantage Point Lecture Series

The Urban Planet Newsletter

Launched in 2010, The Urban Planet is the biannual Newsletter of CUGS, published in the spring and fall of each year. Every issue of this newsletter reports on a variety of curricular and programming activities and community engagement efforts at CUGS and its partners on and off campus. Below, you will find the links to all of the issues published to date.  We encourage you to read these published issues to learn about what is going on here at the Center for Urban and Global Studies, Trinity College, Hartford, and beyond.








Center Staff

CUGS Advisory Committee

Campus Partners

Contact Us