Courses of Study 2023-2024 
    Jun 15, 2024  
Courses of Study 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Migration Studies Minor

170 Uris Hall
(607) 255-4116
Faculty Advisor: Debra A. Castillo, Emerson Hinchliff Professor of Hispanic Studies, Department of Comparative Literature


Migration is a major feature of human history and one of the most significant forces shaping the world today. The Migration Studies minor is a university-wide, interdisciplinary undergraduate minor that prepares students to understand the historical and contemporary contexts and factors that drive international migration and shape migrant experiences around the globe.

This minor draws on the rich course offerings found across the humanities and social sciences at Cornell. The courses offered are designed to provide students with the analytical framework necessary to understand the conditions that shape migrants’ decisions to migrate and the social, cultural, and political processes that shape their departure, arrival, and integration into new host societies. The Migration Studies minor is designed to draw students outside of their major fields and to extend their knowledge beyond a single country.

There are more than 30 faculty associates of the minor, representing departments from six colleges on Cornell’s campus. The diversity of their research and teaching interests reflects the breadth and interdisciplinary nature of this course of study. To sustain populations in motion and thrive in a world on the move, students of all disciplines can learn about and engage with new approaches. 

Course Requirements

The minor is earned upon completion of five courses with a minimum of 15 credits. To complete the minor, students should:

  • Take a required introductory course, ILRLR 2810  (LSP 2810, SOC 2810): Migration: Histories, Controversies, and Perspectives (3 credits). This course introduces students to issues and debates related to international migration and will provide an interdisciplinary foundation to understand the factors that shape migration flows and migrant experiences.
  • Complete Four Elective Courses:  As an interdisciplinary minor, the Migration Studies minor admits over fifty elective courses across six colleges at Cornell. The list is representative, but by no means exhaustive. Other elective courses can be taken, but must be approved by the faculty coordinator. The four elective courses must meet the following criteria:
    • 3 courses taken at the advanced (3000–4000) level.
    • At least 1 course must include substantial focus on migration outside of the United States. 
    • Courses must be taken in at least 2 departments. ILR courses are considered one department.
    • All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
    • All courses must be completed with a letter grade of C or higher.
  • Attend five migration-related events. Students must attend at least five migration-related events on campus. Event attendance must be registered prior to the end of the semester in which the event takes place. 
  • Engage in an extra curricula experience. Students are also encouraged to engage beyond the classroom through a field experience, community-based practicum, or other engaged component, to intern, work, volunteer, research, or study abroad in situations that involve significant interaction with migrant populations. Students should check with their college for available opportunities.


To enroll in the Migration Studies Minor, complete and submit the Declaration of Intent form. This may be done as soon as the sophomore year or no later than the end of the sixth semester in order to qualify. There is no GPA requirement for admission to the minor, but students must be in good academic standing. 

Course List

Required Course

Elective Courses