Requirements and Application

The Poverty Studies Curriculum

As an interdisciplinary minor, Poverty Studies identifies courses across the University with a strong emphasis on poverty.  Faculty from all disciplines are invited to design courses for the minor and register them with the administration. Students are invited to design their own emphasis from the diverse list of offerings.

The Poverty Studies curriculum is both intentional and flexible to meet the learning goals of the minor. Its general requirements include:

  1. One introduction to poverty studies gateway course that analyzes the nature, causes, and consequences of poverty

  2. Two elective courses drawn from a wide range of subjects

  3. One experiential learning course focused on poverty

  4. One research-based capstone course that addresses solutions to critical problems of interest to the student

Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor students take four types of courses, for a total of 15 or 16 credit hours. Ideally, these courses would be taken in the order that they are listed.  However, because some students may learn about the minor through their experiential or elective courses, the only strict sequencing rule is that the gateway course must be taken before the capstone.

  1. Gateway Course: Introduction to Poverty Studies (3 credits)
  2. Experiential Courses (3 or 4 credits, depending on the option chosen)
  3. Electives (6 credits)

  4. Capstone Seminar or Special Studies Capstone (3 credits)

Special Studies Capstone

The Special Studies Capstone gives students the opportunity to complete special studies with one of the minor's affiliated faculty. The student will produce and present a product (manuscript, work or art, composition, poster board display of research results, etc.) to the members of the PSIM at a special colloquium held in the Spring Semester of each academic year.

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Double Counting Courses

The University's rules for double counting have changed with the new curriculum, effective starting with the Class of 2022.  You should consult your college academic advisors first and foremost if you are interested in double-counting. The authority to approve a double-count lies with the academic dean in your college or her designee, not with the director of Poverty Studies.  The dean/her designee may check with the Director of Poverty Studies to determine whether the course in question may serve as a PSIM elective.

Special Tracks

Some students will use the flexibility of this minor to stretch their knowledge and ways of knowing into many areas of interest. Others want to focus on particular issues. In partnership with campus and community experts, we can guide students through special areas of focus in the following tracks: labor, program assessment, public policy, social service, racial justice, environmental justice, and restorative justice. View suggested courses on the PSIM Tracks Inventory.

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Students are asked to complete the PSIM application (below) then meet with Connie Snyder Mick ( to discuss the minor and review the application. This application can be made at any time during the academic year. A PDF of the application questions can be found here.

Although students will be advised to take the Introduction to Poverty Studies gateway course in their second year of studies, they are eligible for the program anytime as long as they can feasibly complete the requirements.

psim application

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August 2021

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Thursday, August 19, 2021 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
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September 2021

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Monday, September 13, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm