Grand Challenge Courses

Are you a University of Minnesota student interested in learning more about global grand challenges — and solutions to those challenges? Then the University of Minnesota’s new Grand Challenge Curriculum (GCC) is for you!

The Office for Undergraduate Education collaborates with deans and faculty to develop GCC courses.

IonE is a supporting partner of the curriculum, and assists faculty and staff where possible, including developing new GCC courses, creating curriculum modules for translating knowledge into impact and integrating experiential learning opportunities.

All GCC courses:

  • Are 3 credits
  • Open to undergraduate and graduate students
  • Meet a Liberal Education (LE) theme
  • Fulfill and Honors Program experience

Tackling Global Challenges

The video below explains the GCC further and provides a sneak peek into the student experience.

Fall 2016 Courses

Below is a listing of several GCC courses offered during the Fall 2016 semester. For more information, including full course descriptions, visit the Grand Challenges Curriculum page.

GCC 3001/5001 Can we feed the world without destroying it?

Seeking an answer to the question outlined in the course title, this course tackles the fundamental changes occurring in the global food system, the environment and our civilization as a whole.

GCC 5003 Seeking solutions to global health issues

This course considers challenges to global health at the nexus of human, animal and environmental health. Questions include, How is health influenced by development policy, climate change, war and poverty? How do cows, lions, forests, deserts and farmers influence human health? What is the role of entrepreneurs, governance, NGOs and schools in crafting new solutions?

GCC 3004 The Fracking Boom: Promises and Challenges of the Hydrocarbon Renaissance

This course considers how fracking has transformed political, economic, and environmental challenges related to developing a sustainable energy system. Students will develop a strong context for the problem, while considering how this new technique for extracting oil presents oppportunities as well as risks.

GCC 5005 Global Venture Design: What Impact Will You Make?

Students create a plausible plan for a social venture that addresses a Grand Challenge problem in India, Uganda or Nicaragua. Supported by an extensive network of advisors, students define a problem they want to work on, then collaborate within teams to design a financially sustainable venture that implements a possible solution.