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There are many possible minor fields that students can take. Ph.D students must have two minors and M.S. students one.

Selecting a Minor

It's typical for students to explore possible minors and minor advisors during their first year through coursework and seminars. Once you have a sense of what minor you're interested in and who you might want to be your minor advisor, talk to Vivek, and then reach out to the potential advisor (ccing Vivek) to ask. You should be as specific as possible about the field/concentration you'd like the advisor to represent, as many faculty are members of multiple fields.

Minor Requirements

Double Dipping

You can't generally use the same course to satisfy major and minor requirements. This is not usually an issue, as most Cornell majors don't have large course requirements, so things are pretty flexible.

Minor requirements are ultimately up to the minor advisor, who is also a member of your special committee. In some cases, there are more specific requirements imposed by the field. These requirements do not have to be met prior to the A exam, as you can keep taking classes afterwards.

Some common minors for students in our group:

Civil and Environmental Engineering

The CEE minor is pretty broad and specifics are up to the faculty in a particular concentration, but typically this will involve 2-3 classes.

Systems Engineering

The Systems Engineering minor requires four courses, including SYSEN 6000 (Foundations of Complex Systems) and SYSEN 6150 (Model-Based Systems Engineering).

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

The EAS minor is pretty broad, and can range from 2-4 courses. EAS 3050/5051 (Climate Dynamics) is pretty common. The undergraduate minor requirements may be a good starting point to get a sense of the types of courses you might have to take; many of these are cross-listed as graduate courses as well.

Risk Analysis, Communication, and Policy

This minor is currently being reworked, but is highly relevant to our group. I'm not entirely sure what the broader requirements are, but from past experience it's quite broad and can allow double-dipping so long as the minor advisor is on board and the courses are relevant to the minor.

City and Regional Planning

The CRP minor requires four courses, including one of CRP 5130 (Introduction to Planning Practice and History) and CRP 5190 (Urban Theory). The remaining three courses must be 5000-level or above.

Computational Science and Engineering

The CS&E minor is also pretty broad. Your research should have a computational component (trivially satisfied for anyone in our group) and then you'll have to take 2-3 classes from across the university which are related to computing.

Last update: June 26, 2023