As Part of Cornell University Migration Initiatives, Einaudi Center Launches Migration Studies Minor

The world’s population is on the move, and not necessarily by choice.

There are more than 35.9 million refugees worldwide, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Cornell’s Einaudi Center for International Studies has responded to this global trend by launching a migration studies minor.

“Bringing this issue [of migration] to the forefront of how the Einaudi Center helps to lead global research and engagement on campus has been one of our primary goals over the past few years,” said Dr. Jason Hecht Ph.D. ’14, the center’s associate director for academic programming.

Prof. Debra Castillo, comparative literature, called the migration studies minor — which aims to create a structure in which undergraduates can study migration — “very timely.” However, few universities offer such a program, despite the current global context.

“We are proud to be on the cutting edge in this area, and look forward to growing the minor in partnership with the first cohorts of students who elect to take it as a course of study,” Hecht said.

To complete the minor, a student must register during or before their sixth semester, attend five migration-related campus events, take the introductory course — ILR 2810: Migration: Histories, Controversies, and Perspectives —  and four elective courses. Over 50 classes are offered for minor credit, from three of Cornell’s colleges and from over 15 departments.

Unlike many humanities and social science minors, the migration studies minor does not require students to focus on any particular region, ethnic group, country or religion — a feature that is intentional. Instead, the minor aims to “draw students outside of their major fields and to extend their knowledge beyond a single country,” according to the program website.

The minor is structured to encourage engagement beyond the classroom, including community-based research and collaboration with local partner organizations. Some of the classes that count for minor credit, for example, teach research methods and collaborate with the Cornell Farmworker Program.


Published: 21 January 2020

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