Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor


The Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor (PSIM) contributes to Notre Dame's mission to "develop in students a disciplined sensibility to the poverty and injustice that burden the lives of so many" by focusing on the Catholic social teaching principle of the preferential option for the poor. Poverty Studies asks students to examine poverty, social injustice, and oppression through research in multiple disciplines and through experiential learning in which students encounter people experiencing and addressing poverty firsthand. Poverty Studies seeks to form students in anti-racist, trauma-informed, and evidence-based action to confront and reduce poverty in local and global communities, now and lifelong. Through Poverty Studies, students combine passion, curiosity, knowledge, and skills to discern how they can help create a more equitable world in whatever profession they choose.

Interdisciplinary Nature

Housed in the Center for Social Concerns, Poverty Studies is truly interdisciplinary. Its affiliated faculty hail from the Colleges--Arts & Letters (arts, humanities, and social sciences), Business, Engineering, Science--as well as the Keough School for Global Affairs and academic institutes such as the Center for Social Concerns. No single academic discipline can solve poverty. We need people from different backgrounds with different academic preparation working together for the common good.

As an interdisciplinary minor, Poverty Studies enables students to collaborate with peers who hold different pieces of the puzzle on how to effectively address poverty. Students might find themselves in class with a biology major seeking to become a doctor in underserved areas, an engineering student concerned about clean water, a business student wanting to specialize in sustainability for non-profits or microfinance, a psychology major interested in ways that gender intersects with financial resources and culture, and an English major eager to use stories to support the voices of people experiencing poverty. What they share is a deep concern about similar issues and a willingness to expand and apply their knowledge in a collective effort to reduce poverty.

Local and Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is a hallmark of Poverty Studies at Notre Dame. We need to leave the comfort of our classrooms to confront poverty in local, national, and international communities with people who invite us to learn from them in place through carefully guided encounters. Poverty Studies has strong partnerships with community organizations in South Bend, and we encourage students to address poverty here in their current home where they can build durable relationships.

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Upcoming Events

September 2022

Virtues and Vocations: "Character, Higher Education, and Democracy"
Monday, September 26, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

October 2022

Registration Open: 2023 CST Conference
Saturday, October 1, 2022 - 12:00am to 11:45pm
Virtues and Vocations: "Beauty at Work"
Monday, October 10, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Labor Café
Friday, October 28, 2022 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

November 2022

Virtues and Vocations: "Kindness, Compassion, & Medicine"
Monday, November 7, 2022 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Annual Bernie Clark, C.S.C., Lecture featuring Clint Smith
Wednesday, November 9, 2022 - 5:00pm
Catholic Social Tradition Minor - Information Brunch
Sunday, November 13, 2022 - 11:30am to 1:00pm
Arts of Dignity | An Evening with Ericka Huggins
Thursday, November 17, 2022 - 5:30pm
MVP Fridays | How do we find the truth?
Friday, November 18, 2022 - 4:00pm
Proposal Deadline: 2023 CST Conference
Wednesday, November 30, 2022 - 12:00am to 11:45pm

December 2022

Labor Café
Friday, December 2, 2022 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

February 2023


March 2023

Signs of the Times
Friday, March 3, 2023 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
2023 CST Conference: Justice Sown in Peace
Thursday, March 23, 2023 - 12:00am to Saturday, March 25, 2023 - 11:45pm