Minor in Global Development

What is Global Development?

Global Development is the attempt to reduce poverty in lesser developed countries through the provision of technical expertise, goods and services, markets, and financial assistance. Global Development seeks to improve the physical infrastructure of an impoverished country by assisting in the design and construction of bridges, roads, dams, wells, irrigation systems, electric grids, or communications and computer networks. It also focuses on improving the health and education of people in the developing world so that they do not die or suffer from lack of clean water, medical services, or basic knowledge. Some in Global Development work towards creating a sustainable food supply so that people can feed themselves. Others seek to boost economic development so that people can get decent jobs and support their families. Above all, Global Development promotes human rights and dignity, respect for indigenous cultures, and law and order so that all parties to Global Development projects can thrive and feel secure. The field is therefore very broad. It offers significant room for differences of opinion, disciplinary perspectives, and expertise.

This minor will prepare students to be catalysts for improving the lives of the world’s vulnerable communities in a sustainable manner. It will combine engineering, technology, and design with the social sciences and humanities to solve practical problems in the developing world. Students will learn and apply analytical skills and practical problem-solving techniques, gain technical competence, become conscious of variations in local cultures and social conditions, and master the ability to collaborate across disciplines to solve problems in Global Development. Students will learn to define problems, facilitate and contribute to their solutions, and, in the process, become more objective, nonlinear thinkers with the capacity to synthesize data and seek and value perspectives other than their own.

What Minor Teaches | Minor Requirements | Capstone CourseEnrolling | Why Enroll | Why Georgia Tech | Learning Outcomes | Eligible Courses

What Does the Global Development Minor Teach?

The minor will cover topics and foster skills that are essential for all scientists, engineers, businesspersons, and policymakers who get involved with projects in impoverished countries. A civil engineer sent by Bechtel to work on a bridge in Vietnam; an environmental impact analyst sent to study a dam in Brazil; a Goldman Sachs analyst who seeks to grasp the investment opportunities for telecommunications in Zaire – all of these workers need to understand how politics, economics, culture, and engineering interact to affect the outcome of different types of S&T projects in the developing world. The Global Development minor will teach the concepts, theories, applications, and tools necessary for graduates to enter into such projects and work constructively with others in the Global Development community. 

Minor Requirements

Completion of the Global Development minor will require 15 credit hours:

Students must earn at least a “C” in each course. Courses which overlap between a student’s major and minor can count towards either the major or the minor, but not both. 

Capstone Course

The Global Development Capstone offers Georgia Tech students an opportunity to engage in a community project centered around the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), over the course of a semester. Students gain practical experience and develop their professional networks by working closely with a partner organization based in Atlanta or beyond. Throughout the course, students also discuss and are informed by key concepts from historic and contemporary discussions on development. The class is open to students from all departments at Georgia Tech and is designed to be interdisciplinary. Student projects in the past have included, but are not limited to topics of---affordable and clean energy, clean water and sanitation, health and wellbeing, gender equality, education, climate action, forests and food production, peace and justice, sustainable cities and transportation, and wildlife and animal welfare. Students present their final projects at the annual Ideas to Serve (I2S) competition and showcase at the Scheller College of Business, where faculty and community leaders across Georgia Tech and the Atlanta area are invited to engage and offer feedback.

Students' Capstone Projects

2021 Ideas2Serve awards | 2019 Ideas2Serve awards 

How Can I Enroll?

1. Watch this video for an overview and instructions on how to add the minor.
2. Find and complete the Add a Minor form 
3. Have your Major Advisor sign the form
4. Email the form to Stephanie Jackson
5. Set up an Advising appointment to review DegreeWorks and get questions answered. After that appointment, Stephanie Jackson will sign and submit the form. 

Why Should I Enroll?

The Global Development minor will:

  1. Provide students majoring in the natural sciences, computing, design, and engineering with the means to understand the political, economic, and cultural conditions of developing countries.
  2. Expose students in international affairs, economics, and public policy to technological and engineering approaches to solving problems in developing countries.
  3. Develop in students from all backgrounds the analytical skills and the ability to draw independent conclusions as they confront problems in the developing world. Students will learn techniques for dealing with real-life development policy choices so as to participate in constructive, informed roles in the struggle to alleviate extreme poverty.
  4. Aid future careers by providing training and experience in development projects at the intersection of science, technology, and international affairs.
  5. Provide opportunities for students to travel, learn, and explore unique places through study abroad programs.

Why at Georgia Tech?

The Global Development minor supports the Institute’s mission and strategic goal in several aspects:

  1. It enriches the student experience by providing interdisciplinary education. The capstone course will involve project-based learning in which students develop teamwork, leadership, and communications skills.
  2. It allows an individualized minor program to prepare students for careers that are unimaginable today. By bringing the social sciences together with the physical sciences and engineering, the minor is innovative in course design, while the project-based capstone is innovative in its instruction methods.
  3. It allows Georgia Tech to enhance its leadership in engineering by providing more rounded STEM graduates who can compete globally for jobs, and lead globally in providing innovative solutions to global problems.
  4. It embraces and supports globally-engaged students, directly enhancing Georgia Tech’s commitment to ensure that our students understand science and technology in the context of different social, economic, and cultural domains.

Learning Outcomes

The Global Development minor’s learning outcomes are as follows:

  1. Students will be able to articulate their mastery of development theories and ideas that have guided development practice in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.
  2. Students will be able to describe the way that states, firms, key international financial institutions, civil-society organizations, and non-governmental agencies are organized and the way that these organizations frame development issues and affect outcomes.
  3. Students will be able to analyze the myriad problems faced by development agencies and other change agents which seek modernization in impoverished countries and assess the potential impacts (both intended and unintended) of development projects.
  4. Students will be able to work on multidisciplinary teams to design solutions to development issues that are sensitive to local social and political variables and conditions.
  5. Students will be able to assess the experience of the people and institutions that are the targets of their development activities.

Related Study Abroad Programs

Study Abroad Programs with courses accepted by the minor are: 


Course List

Prefix Number Title
CEE 4803 Special Topics: Environmental Technology in the Developing World
CP 4020 Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning
CP 4190 Introduction to Climate Change Planning
CP 4210 Environmental Planning and Impact Assessment
CP 4310 Urban Transportation
CS 4911 Computing for Good
ECON 2101 The Global Economy
ECON 3300 International Energy Markets
ECON 4311 Global Enterprise
ECON 4350 International Economics
ECON 4351 International Financial Economics
ECON 4355 Global Financial Economics
ECON 4411 Economic Development
ECON 4415 Conflict and Security in Developing Countries
HTS 3055 Globalization Modern Era
HTS 3064 Sociology of Development
INTA 3773 Global Issues and Leadership
INTA 3031 Human Rights
INTA 3240 Government and Politics – Africa
INTA 3241 Latin American Politics
INTA 3301 International Political Economy
INTA 3303 Political Economy Development
INTA 4803 Computers, Communication, and International Development
INTA 4803 Evaluating International Development Projects
INTA 4803 Modernization and Development
ME 2803 Engineering and Global Development
MGT 4194 Social Entrepreneurship
PUBP 4260 Economic Development Policy and Planning

Other courses may be added with the permission of the program’s administration.

Undergraduate Advising

Stephanie Jackson
Associate Director, Undergraduate Advising and Professional Development
Phone: 404.894.0342 | Email: stephanie.jackson@inta.gatech.edu
156 Habersham / Ivan Allen College

More About Advising

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