Notre Dame launches International Development Studies minor

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Kellogg Institute

Interest in international development issues runs high among University of Notre Dame undergraduates, many of whom have studied or served in the developing world. Now they have a new way to connect their experiences overseas with their own academic development—a Kellogg Institute for International Studies minor that integrates coursework and fieldwork.

The Institute’s Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity has announced the launch of a minor in International Development Studies (IDS) to provide students with a foundation for analyzing the dynamics of development across the globe.

In addition to a gateway course, electives in a variety of disciplines, and a capstone seminar, a significant component of the interdisciplinary IDS minor is a field-based research project in the developing world. Through their research, students will have the opportunity to contribute to the Ford Program’s mission of seeking solutions to real-world challenges by examining the causes and consequences of extreme poverty.

“The new minor in international development studies is timely, necessary, and unique,” says Rahul Oka, an assistant professor of anthropology who will teach the gateway class this fall.

“Through both classroom instruction and fieldwork, our graduates will understand both the human face of development and the global realities. Our students will emerge poised to utilize and apply these teachings and experiences in their future careers and pathways.”

The IDS minor will prepare students to pursue graduate studies in (or related to) development studies and paid or volunteer work in international development. Students from all colleges and departments are encouraged to apply by March 15 for entrance into the minor; classes will begin in the fall semester. An information session on the minor will be held Feb. 16 (Tuesday) at 6:30 p.m. in Hesburgh Center C-103.

The IDS minor adds another component to the Ford Program’s efforts to enhance and expand teaching and learning opportunities for Notre Dame faculty and students in the field of human development studies. It is the second minor established at the Kellogg Institute, whose Latin American Studies minor is more than a decade old.

A part of the Kellogg Institute, the Ford Program advances knowledge on international development, working with local communities in the developing world to apply research results to the design and implementation of innovative solutions that expand opportunities for those trapped in poverty.

More information is available at

Contact: Tony Pohlen, assistant director, Ford Program, 574-631-7022,