What is a poverty studies minor?

Poverty is among the oldest and most intractable problems faced by humankind. Well over half the world lives in severe poverty, including tens of millions in wealthy countries. The poverty studies minor brings students face-to-face with this reality. The minor combines courses from several different academic disciplines into a secondary program of study meant to complement a student’s major. Students from a broad range of majors, from humanities to the hard sciences, are encouraged to have informed, critical conversations about what it means to live in poverty, its causes, and how poverty might be addressed and alleviated through individual and institutional actions from a broad variety of perspectives.

Why minor in poverty studies at Furman?

As a private liberal arts and sciences university, Furman provides an exceptional environment for multidisciplinary studies, allowing students to find connections between multiple areas of interest. The poverty studies minor includes course options from several different academic disciplines. Small class sizes give students greater access to professors who are among the best in their fields. Our focus on engaged learning leverages Furman’s strong undergraduate research, internship and study away opportunities. Visit our campus or request information to learn more.

How will you learn?

The poverty studies minor balances coursework and research with real, practical experience. Students will study poverty locally, nationally and globally from a variety of academic disciplines. In addition to coursework, during a fully funded 8-10 week summer internship, students will work directly with people living in poverty,­ getting to know them as individuals and learning their stories and perspective. As the only minor program at Furman that requires an internship, poverty studies helps students understand the complexity of the issue while also contributing to the efforts of the many organizations attempting to address it at home and around the world.

Featured poverty studies courses

  • 689B
    people worldwide living in extreme poverty
  • No. 6
    rank of Furman among National Liberal Arts Colleges in the Southeast, according to U.S. News and World Report
  • 94.6%
    full-time faculty at Furman with the highest degrees in their fields

What our students say

“So many of the poverty studies courses, such as American Perspectives on Education and Race and Ethnic Relations, surprised me and opened my eyes, having a permanent impact on my worldview. The experience of then applying all that I learned in these courses to the outside world through the poverty studies summer internship program was truly unmatched.”
- Meghan Salm ’22

Our faculty

David Gandolfo

Associate Professor of Philosophy; Undergraduate Evening Studies Faculty
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Poverty Studies Minor F.A.Q.