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Minor in Poverty Studies

Undergraduate students from all NYU schools may complete an interdisciplinary minor in poverty studies through the Silver School of Social Work (SSSW); the College of Arts and Science (CAS); Tisch School of the Arts (TSOA); and The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (Steinhardt). This minor presents the opportunity to study poverty through academic courses as well as through service learning. Students will develop a perspective on the complex problem of poverty and its consequences as it affects children, families, the elderly, homeless, victims of domestic violence, the disabled, and others both domestically and internationally. Through volunteer work performed in the SSSW service learning program, students will gain first-hand knowledge of the conditions faced by these populations and the impact of political and economic factors on the day-to-day realities of service provision.


The 16-credit minor consists of four courses, to be selected in consultation with the program director, and a (required) 2-credit service-learning course. Specific course sequencing is not compulsory, but existing pre-requisite restrictions for electives will apply.

Students are required to take Introduction to Social work and Social Welfare and either Ending Poverty OR Global Poverty. They are also required to take Food Insecurity Service Learning and a second Service Learning of your choice (2 credits each). Students will also take one of the listed courses at CAS, TSOA, Stern, or Steinhardt. Students may double count courses taken in pursuit of this minor to satisfy requirements for core curriculum, majors, and additional minors.

SSSW Required Courses

UNDSW-US 1: Introduction to Social Work & Social Welfare
MSWEL-GS 2133: Ending Poverty: Models for Social Change and Social Action
UNDSW-US 68-72: Service Learning course or Global Poverty Food Insecurity and choice of one more service learning course + 4th class your choice from those listed.

SSSW Electives (choose one)

UNDSW-US 53: Services to Children and Families
UNDSW-US 62: Social Work and Family Violence
UNDSW-US 65: Homelessness
UNDSW-US 66: Global Perspectives in International Social Policy

External Schools (choose one)

CAS Electives
SOC-UA 137: Wealth, Power, Status: Inequality in Society
HIST-UA 9452: Immigration
POL-UA 138: Theories of Justice
POL-UA 380: Minority Representation in American Politics
POL-UA 382: The Politics of Poverty and Welfare
SCA-UA 718: Poverty and Income Distribution

TSOA Electives
OART-UT 1017: Working With Groups In Community Settings
OART-UT 1561: Through the Documentary Lens: Civil Rights

Steinhardt Electives
TCHL-UE 41: American Dilemmas: Race, Inequality, and the Unfulfilled
PUHE-UE 70: Health and Society: Introduction to Public Health
SCA-UA 807: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the New Immigration
APSY-UE 1279: Child Development and Social Policy in a Global Society

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Contact Us

Undergraduate Social Work Program
1 Washington Square North
(212) 998-5944