Development Studies and Social Change Minor

University of Minnesota sign on black metal fence

The graduate minor in Development Studies and Social Change (DSSC) offers graduate students the opportunity to complete a structured program of study in an interdisciplinary and globally oriented field.

The purpose of the DSSC minor is to provide a set of high-quality core courses that emphasize theory, methods, and key issues in Development Studies and Social Change, and facilitate and enhance the current level of interdisciplinary research among graduate students and faculty. 

By focusing on the social basis of change in the Global South, the minor program engages a wide range of academic disciplines, including the social sciences, humanities, and biological sciences. The minor program focuses on three areas:

  1. The relationships between macroscopic processes of political, economic, and social change, and the microscopic conditions of lived experience in the developing world
  2. Interdisciplinary perspectives (encompassing the social sciences, the biological sciences, and the humanities) on this general thematic concern
  3. Preparation of doctoral students for field research in the Global South

At the University of Minnesota, this multi-disciplinary field of study is housed at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change. 



Students who pursue a DSSC minor share a common interest in making connections between aggregate-level social and historical processes of global change on the one hand, and the lived experiences of individuals and communities on the other.

In taking this unique approach to the study of the Global South, the minor in development studies and social change distinguishes itself from such related fields of inquiry as developmental economics and cultural anthropology.

Coursework How to Enroll

Graduate Student Resource Guide

Click here for a document developed by the Council of Graduate Students (COGS) in collaboration with the Graduate School and Office of Student Affairs. It was made aware that there was a disconnect between available resources and graduate student knowledge. As such, the purpose of this document is to provide graduate students with a regularly updated list of resources at the University of Minnesota to foster student success in academic, professional, and personal areas.