Undergraduate students can pursue two minors offered by the Government Department, as well as other related minors. Explore the information and links below for more details.

Minor in Crime, Prisons, Education and Justice

Students in the Crime, Prisons, Education, and Justice minor will participate in one of the most pressing civil rights challenges of the 21st century: ending mass incarceration and the carceral state.

For more details on the minor, including requirements, application procedures and affiliated faculty, visit the Crimes, Prisons, Education and Justice page.

Minor in Public Policy

Citizens interested in addressing societal problems and even experts with deep, technical knowledge of particular issues often find that politics and governance interfere with and complicate proposals for change.  The process through which policy problems are defined, whether issues find a place on the political agenda, and the particular alternatives that gain prominence may owe less to their efforts and preferences than to political developments and the institutional context. Once policies are enacted, the political process starts anew as implementation unfolds.  Policies may develop very differently “on the ground” than intended, as policy design and delivery can alter their meaning or actual outcomes and produce unintended consequences.  Political factors also influence the sustainability of policies and how, once in place, they themselves influence the political process.

The public policy minor enables students to comprehend such paradoxes by developing their understanding of the political dimensions of public policy and how they shape its conception, formulation, implementation, chances of success, intended and unintended consequences, and evaluation.  Students will have the opportunity to take courses that deal with public policy in the United States, Africa, China, Europe, India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, and with attention to domestic policy (including health, education, energy, criminal justice, natural resources, immigration, social welfare policy, and urban policy) and foreign policy (including foreign aid and national security). The minor is housed in the Government Department but policy courses offered by other departments, if their content pertains to the purposes of the minor, will also be approved for elective credit.

For more details on the minor, including requirements, application procedures and affiliated faculty, visit the Public Policy Minor page.

Other related minors:

European Studies Minor

Students in any college may register for an undergraduate minor in European Studies. The minor provides a coherent structure for students with an interest in interdisciplinary study in the field of European studies which will complement their major in a traditional department. Completed registration forms should be submitted to the Cornell Institute for European Studies in 120 Uris Hall. A copy of the transcript should be included.

Students choosing to minor in European Studies should visit the Einaudi Center website, or contact Jason Hecht, CIES Associate Director & European Studies Minor Coordinator.

Minor in Inequality Studies

The Minor in Inequality Studies exposes students to inequality through a breadth of approaches, methods, and topics while allowing them to tailor the program to their particular interests. The Minor in Inequality Studies is appropriate for students interested in public and private sectors, policy, and civil society, as well as for those who wish to pursue graduate and professional degrees in various fields. See profiles of alumni for representative career paths.

An interdisciplinary minor, Inequality Studies is open to students in all Cornell undergraduate colleges and can be completed in conjunction with almost any major.

Students choosing to minor in Inequality Studies should visit the Inequality Studies website, or the office at 363 Urish Hall.

Minor in International Relations

Cornell offers dozens of courses in many departments and several colleges that provide a strong grounding in the International Relations field; these include courses in government, economics, history, rural sociology, modern languages and linguistics, international comparative labor relations, and others.

The purpose of the International Relations Minor is to provide a structure for undergraduate students who will go on to careers in international law, economics, agriculture, foreign trade, international banking, government service, international organizations, or other cultural or scholarly activities.

Students choosing to minor in International Relations should visit the Einaudi Center website, or the International Relations Minor Coordinator in 152 Uris Hall.

Law and Society Minor

The law and society minor, offered as an activity of the Program on Ethics and Public Life, provides an opportunity for focused study of the interaction between law and society from an interdisciplinary perspective predominantly rooted in the social sciences and humanities: anthropology, comparative literature, economics, government, history, philosophy, psychology, science and technology studies, and sociology. A large selection of courses and on-campus events is available for completing the minor. The benefits of a student's participation depend on the particular courses and events selected, and the effort and interest invested.

Students choosing to minor in Law and Society should visit the Ethics & Public Life website, or the Program Administrator in 218 Goldwin Smith Hall.

Migration Studies Minor

The Migrations Studies minor a university-wide, interdisciplinary undergraduate minor focused on the historical and contemporary contexts and factors that drive international migration and shape migrant experiences around the globe. You’ll have the opportunity to investigate the complex global issue of migration from multiple perspectives and disciplinary lenses and participate in migration-themed events and opportunities at the Einaudi Center and across campus. 

Students choosing to minor in Migration Studies should visit the Einaudi Center website, or the Migration Studies Minor Coordinator in 152 Uris Hall.