Your journey to make the world a better place starts here

At Global Development, we don’t sit still. Here our students engage with real-world issues at home and abroad to deliver lasting social benefit to all. We connect science to the needs of people to improve lives, reduce inequality, protect the environment, and actually change the world for the better.

Undergraduate Majors and Minors

Leaf in the shade

Global Development

Major

The Global Development major responds to the need for innovative and critical thinking on the concept and practice of development. It prepares students to interpret problems, clarify solutions, develop leadership and foster positive social change. Students receive comprehensive training in the key ideas, issues, and debates central to global development. All students take a breadth of interdisciplinary coursework in development scholarship and practice and gain depth in a concentration of their choice, selecting from social and economic development, agriculture and food systems or environment and development.

Community Food Systems

Minor

Education

Minor

Leadership

Minor

  • Identify and grow your strengths with Cornell's Leadership minor, which is available to all students across the university. The minor empowers students to be more actively engaged, reflective and effective citizens with a deeper understanding of the complexities, dynamics and interdependencies of life. 
  • Learn more about the Leadership minor

Development Sociology

Major

International Agriculture and Rural Development

Major

Video spotlight

Meet Eli Newell ‘24, an undergraduate in global development who seeks to boost environmental health by using a key ingredient that is readily available – urine. Under the mentorship of Rebecca Nelson, Eli's work revolves around a growing field of research: circular bionutrient economy. With research partners from New York to Kenya, this work seeks to recycle nutrients from human and agricultural waste into fertilizer, which ultimately reduces pollution, improves sanitation, and promotes food security.

Students in the field

Learn how students in Global Development stepped out of the classroom to engage with communities.

Aerial view of farm and tractor

Field Note

Lessons from US agricultural cooperatives for China
The Humphrey PACT (Practitioner - Assistant - Collaborative - Training) Program pairs undergraduate students in Global Development with Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows to work on a research endeavor in the fields of agriculture, rural development...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
Headshot of Sadie Groberg

Field Note

Meet Sadie Groberg ’24, an undergraduate in Global Development who seeks to make the world a better place through criminal justice reform. During her time at Cornell, Sadie gained unique insights into the carceral system through her research on...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
Woman sits by the water

Field Note

Meet Sammi Lin '23, a recent graduate in the Department of Global Development with a passion for sustainability and equity, particularly in transforming food systems and empowering marginalized communities. Upon graduating in December 2023...
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development
Pile of waste

Field Note

The Humphrey PACT (Practitioner - Assistant - Collaborative - Training) Program pairs undergraduate students in Global Development with Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows to work on a research endeavor in the fields of agriculture, rural development...
  • Global Development
Aerial view of national park

Field Note

The Humphrey PACT (Practitioner - Assistant - Collaborative - Training) Program pairs undergraduate students in Global Development with Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows to work on a research endeavor in the fields of agriculture, rural development...

Faculty-led study trips

Where are they now?

Learn more about where a Global Development education can take you.

Ben Fields graduation
Ben Fields '20
Hannah Fuller holds produce at the grocery store on campus
Hannah Fuller '19
A headshot of Alexander King
Alexander King '15
A female in a blue shirt and blazer with brown hair and glasses standing in front of a pine tree
Connie Potter '16
Anastashia Alfred at Oracle
A woman in a red jacket smiles as she is photographed in front of water
Keelin Kelly '20

Contact Us

John Sipple headshot
John Sipple

Professor

Department of Global Development

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Department of Global Development

John Sipple
Pk-12 education
Sociology of communities
Policy
Lynn Morris headshot
Lynn Morris

Undergraduate Program Coordinator

Department of Global Development

Lynn Morris
Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman headshot
Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman

Senior Extension Associate

Department of Global Development

Director, Education Minor

Department of Global Development

Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman
Community development
Civic engagement
Engaged learning and research