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Political Science

Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Minor

The Refugee and Forced Migration Studies provides students with context about the broad topic of migration. It is a multi/interdisciplinary course of study to cultivate students' understanding of the various causes of global displacement and the policies and processes addressing refugee resettlement, immigration and migration.


To fulfill the Refugee and Forced Migration Studies Minor, students must complete five classes (4 credit hours each) or four classes and one independent study (4 credit hours) for a total of twenty hours (20). Courses include the required foundational Introduction to Refugee and Forced Migration Studies course and one elective in the Social Sciences, Humanities or The Arts, and Natural Sciences class. Courses to select are listed below although additional courses are forthcoming. Students may cross-register at other local campuses for one approved refugee and forced migration-related elective. All classes must be passed with a grade of “C” or better. Courses in the Minor cannot “double count” for other major/minor or core requirements.

Courses to Select

  • PSC 211: Introduction to Refugee and Forced Migration Studies-Required (Taught every semester)
  • REL 285: Religion, Women &Violence in Global Perspective
  • PSC 328: Forced Migration in and From Africa
  • PSC 380: Human Rights and Global Conflicts
  • ENG 424: New U.S. Immigrant Women's Literature

* Independent Study: faculty-approved directed study

* Directed studies with individual faculty on a specific topic with department consent and guidelines.

** Students enrolling in the Minor who entered Spelman in 2020-2022 are eligible to declare the Minor based on completed courses that meet the Minor requirements. These students must still take PSC 211: Introduction to Refugee and Forced Migration Studies.


This course is an avid introduction to global displacement. This rigorous, interdisciplinary, service-learning course explains and examines the various causes of and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR’s) durable solutions to global displacement. The experiential component introduces students to U.S. refugee resettlement through class content while providing the opportunity to possibly engage with refugees through students’ service with community partners involved in refugee resettlement. Offered each semester.

Meet the Founding Director

Headshot image of Dorian Crosby
Dorian Brown Crosby, Ph.D., C'91
, associate professor of political science at Spelman College, is recipient of Spelman's 2017 Vulcan Teaching Award and published her first book, "Somalis in the Neo-South: African Immigration, Politics and Race," in December 2020.

Her work chronicles three years of research that she conducted with Somali communities in Clarkston, Georgia and Nashville, Tennessee, and offers a balanced and insightful look at Somalis in the southern United States.

Learn more about Dorian Brown Crosby