Wealth, Poverty, and Opportunity Minor

Honors College student looking serious, holding a pencil.

The Honors College is pleased to announce a new minor in wealth, poverty, and opportunity open to both Honors College students and students outside of the Honors College with a minimum GPA of 3.4. This unique interdisciplinary minor allows students of all years and majors to wrestle with the complex concepts of income disparity, mobility, opportunity, privilege, and inequality through a combination of in-class and experiential learning. Students will bridge the worlds of theory and practice, and use both to think critically about money and poverty, as well as interdisciplinary solutions that could break the poverty cycle.

The minor offers students a formal opportunity to enter the current debate on who we are as a country and the impact of our economic policies and practices on the global community, and to enter this debate from an angle that is particularly urgent and timely. Students will explore issues related to wealth and poverty, particularly how wealth is acquired, how wealth can be employed for the benefit of society, structural inequality, and intergenerational mobility. Students who complete this minor will have the experience and tools to be meaningful advocates for social justice through economic equality and be prepared to work in various sectors such as nonprofit, government, business, education, and grassroots community-based organizations. Those students interested in public policy as well as contemplating graduate school in a range of disciplines will also benefit greatly from this interdisciplinary minor. Questions?  Email us at wpominor@umb.edu

Requirements for the 21-credit minor:

Elective classes: 4 courses (12 credits)
Elective courses may be offered in each of the following:
  • Honors 101 First Year Seminar
  • Honors 200-level courses, including 210G Intermediate Seminar
  • Honors 380

For the current list of elective courses offered, please visit the Honors College Course Description Booklet

One approved course can be taken outside of the Honors College. Sample pre-approved courses can be found here. Students may suggest other courses by emailing wpominor@umb.edu

Experiential learning opportunity (3 credits)
The 3-credit Experiential Learning course is an opportunity to apply key coursework concepts such as disparity, mobility, opportunity, privilege, and inequality to a real life setting as well as explore ways that students can become meaningful advocates for social justice and equality in their careers. Students will participate in preparatory activities before they begin the experiential learning component. This includes exploring meaningful career paths through self-reflection and guidance from the Office of Career Services and the Honors College as well as participating in the Day of Service through the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement (OSLCE) and completing a reflection activity. Students will work with the Honors College, OSLCE, and the Office of Career Services to choose a field experience centered on community needs and priorities that allow the student to gain crucial insights into civic engagement and systemic economic, social, and political structures. Examples include Beacon Voyages for Service, U-ACCESS volunteer, and internship opportunities on or off campus. The field experience must include a minimum of 105 hours of on-site community engagement in one academic year. Completion of the experiential learning component culminates in an engagement portfolio which includes reflections on career exploration, service experience, and community-engaged field experience.
Relevant senior thesis research: 2 semesters (6 credits)
Students must get approval from the Honors College indicating that the senior research project is sufficiently relevant to the themes of “Wealth, Poverty, and Opportunity.” Students could situate the thesis in their departmental structure for a senior thesis and focus their thesis in the discipline in which they major, provided that the thesis addresses the themes of the minor. Thus, a student who is an English major and pursuing the Honors College minor in wealth, poverty, and opportunity could write a senior thesis on fiction and/or poetry that engages homelessness or the impact of wealth.