Minors in Anthropology

Minor in Anthropology

The Minor in Anthropology is designed for any undergraduate at Cornell who wants to engage with sociocultural anthropology, archaeological anthropology or biological anthropology but cannot commit to a full academic major. No specific advisor is required; all departmental faculty are available to discuss students' plans for completing the Minor. Students can apply for the Minor at any time before the March 31st prior to their graduation; to be certified for the Minor, a student must submit a completed Minor Form and transcript to the Anthropology Director of Undergraduate Studies by this date.

Requirements:

  • Completion of five anthropology courses, worth 3 credits or more.

  • One of the five courses must be taken at the 1000- or 2000- level (FWS do not count).

  • Of the four additional courses, one must be at the 3000 level, and one must be a seminar at the 4000 level.

  • No S/U classes will be accepted; all classes must be taken for a letter grade.

  • Students must achieve a C- or better in all five courses taken to fulfill the minor.

One of the courses for the minor may be taken as transfer credit and one may be taken through study abroad. A minimum of three of the five required courses must be taken at Cornell.

To apply, complete and submit the Anthropology Minor Course Plan

Watch this "Anthropology Minor for Pre-Health Students" video to learn more about how Anthropology can help prepare students for a career in Medicine

Minor in Public Service Studies

The Department offers a Minor in Public Service Studies to undergraduate students in any college at Cornell. The Public Service Studies Minor provides students with intellectual frameworks for developing and sustaining commitments to community engagement and global citizenship. Students gain critical thinking tools for reflecting about and promoting social change.

No specific advisor is required; all departmental faculty are available to discuss students’ plans for completing the Minor. Students can apply for the Minor at any time before the March 31st prior to their graduation; to be certified for the Minor, a student must submit a completed Minor Form and transcript to the Director of Undergraduate Studies by this date.

Specific criteria for the minor are:

  • 15 credits plus at least 160 hours of engaged/service learning experience that is set within a pre-agreed framework for reporting, reflection, and assessment.
  • ANTHR 1900: Global Engagements: Living & Working in a Diverse World  (4 credits)**
  • Capstone course for Public Service Studies (1 credit)
  • One Anthropology course at the 2000 level or above drawn from Anthropology’s Activism and Social Justice Pathway (3-4 credits)
  • Remaining credit requirements toward the minor may be satisfied with electives drawn from the interdisciplinary list of approved courses. (6-7 credits). These courses feature public service/community engagement components and provide skills, concepts, and knowledge critical to understanding public service, engagement, and social justice. Students may also use one area studies course relevant to their engaged/service learning experience to contribute to the elective credit requirement.
  • No S/U classes will be accepted; all classes must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Students must achieve a C- or better in all courses taken to fulfill the minor.
  • One of the courses for the minor may be taken as transfer credit and one may be taken through study abroad. A minimum of three of the five required courses must be taken at Cornell.

**  In addition to ANTHR 1900, students participating in study abroad or engaged learning experiences are encouraged to also take:

Fieldwork: Engaged/Service Learning Experiences

Engaged/Service fieldwork must be undertaken in consultation with a supervising faculty member and a fieldwork supervisor from the off-campus organization. The Public Service Center is one valuable resource for linking students to service learning opportunities. Engaged Cornell can also help to connect students to potential experiences in the Ithaca area and around the globe.

Student fieldwork is expected to reflect a coherent and sustained commitment to a community partner. It may not be assembled piecemeal from multiple unrelated experiences. Students may count hours of service experience obtained in the course of regular coursework as long as they are part of the same sustained service experience that will be the basis for the fieldwork component of the minor.

Students will work with both the faculty and fieldwork supervisor in advance to specify the appropriate means of reporting, reflection, and assessment that qualify the experience for academic credit. Students will complete a fieldwork contract that stipulates both expectations and outcomes for any service/engaged learning experiences that take place outside of structured classroom settings.

In most cases, assessment will be on a Pass/Fail basis. Assessment will the shared responsibility of the faculty and fieldwork supervisors. At the end of the fieldwork, the fieldwork supervisor will complete an evaluation form  in order to provide detailed feedback that can contribute to assessment.

Faculty supervisors may be from the Anthropology Department or any other unit on campus, with approval of the Anthropology DUS. Supervisors should in most cases be identified, and fieldwork contracts completed, before 25% of the fieldwork hours to be claimed for credit have been completed.

A minimum of 160 hours of engaged/service learning is required for the minor. Students are responsible for keeping track of and documenting the hours in consultation with the faculty supervisor and community partner. Service/engaged opportunities pursued as part of coursework may count toward the 160 hour requirement, as long as they are part of a sustained commitment to a community partner and as approved by the supervising faculty. Students may count up to 8 engaged/service hours per day.

For additional information, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies Sofia Villenas.

More about Public Service Studies

The Public Service Studies minor is a collaboration between the Department of Anthropology and the Public Service Center 

The minor in Public Service Studies provides students with commitments to community engagement and the opportunity to ground their off-campus experiences in a curriculum that helps them to think critically about citizenship and the complexities of intercultural collaboration. Whether students’ service commitments take them into Ithaca, their neighborhoods at home, or destinations across the globe, the minor in Public Service Studies will give them the tools to reflect upon community action, advocacy and activism, as well as their own role in promoting social change. 

Cornell has unparalleled resources dedicated to service and engaged learning thanks to the Public Service Center  and Engaged Cornell. Cultivating students with commitments to global engagement is fundamental to the University’s mission.

The minor in Public Service Studies is designed to provide students the intellectual frameworks for developing and sustaining commitments to community engagement. Students will develop skills in anthropological fieldwork that provide tools for both critical reflection on one’s own social location and examination of the historical and social forces that generate social movements. The minor can not only help prepare students for careers with NGOs, governmental agencies, and grassroots organizations dedicated to social change, but it can help foster life-long commitments to public service regardless of career choices. Whatever occupation students pursue, an understanding of how to think about and promote social change will be a vital skill. 

The Department of Anthropology has a robust and growing curriculum in intercultural engagement as well as a formal pathway through the major centered on Activism and Social Justice. Anthropology faculty work both in the US and abroad on issues related to social action, humanitarianism, activism, human rights, and social justice. Moreover, anthropological training is committed to preparing students for “fieldwork”, collaborations across lines of social, cultural, or other form of difference that enhance mutual understanding. 

The Public Service Center possesses deep experience in linking students to community organizations. The PSS minor provides a structured curricular program and concept-based training. 

Public Service Studies encapsulates a wide range of valuable pedagogical, ethical, and methodological perspectives. Many of these perspectives emerge directly from the North American context of service learning while others are rooted in international traditions of field learning and research. The PSS minor seeks to create space for students to shape the minor toward their needs and aspirations.

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