SWS Minor

Minor in

Southwest Studies (SWS)

Description of the SWS Minor

The Southwest Studies (SWS) minor offers an expansive undergraduate experience rooted in the intensive study of the peoples, places, and landscapes of the Southwest and borderlands region. Students minoring in SWS will develop a strong intellectual foundation and the practical skills to become engaged and compassionate global citizens committed to lifelong learning. 

By exploring the region’s diverse peoples, institutions, traditions, histories, ecologies, languages, and places, SWS students will be exposed to a broad range of topics and fields, as well as to innovative methods by which to study and understand them. With a focus on both social-scientific and humanistic inquiry, the SWS minor will prepare students across the disciplines to pursue advanced degrees and/or work in diverse fields, including education, city and state government, law, cultural resource management, planning, public health, social work, marketing and communications, nonprofits, research, philanthropy, the service industry, and business.

Declaring the SWS Minor

Students can begin taking SWS courses while waiting for the minor to be declared. Students may book advising appointments with the SWS Advisor through the Trellis Advising website. A meeting with the SWS Minor Advisor is recommended, but not required.

Any advisor can declare the SWS Minor. In UAccess, the code is: SWSTMINU. Students can also follow the link below to sign up for the SWS Minor online.

Declare Minor

SWS Minor Requirements

18 total units required

  • A minimum of 9 units must be upper division (300-499 level)
  • Minimum 2.00 GPA required in the SWS minor 
    • Required Core Course: SBS 300: Introduction to Southwest Studies- 3 UD units
    • Take two of the following core courses: - 6 units 
      • GEOG 250: Environment & Society in the Southwest Borderlands
      • GEOG 408: Geography of Arizona and the Southwest
      • ANTH 418: Southwest Land and Society
      • ENGL 424: Studies in Southwest Literature
        • Completion of foundations writing (ENGL 101 and 102 OR ENGL 109H OR ENGL 106 and 107 and 108) is required to take UD (300-499) ENGL classes
      • HIST 446 – History of Arizona and the Southwest 
    • Take three elective courses (see SWS minor checklist) - 9 units. NOTE: a directed research practicum or internship credit can be used in lieu of any one of these courses
  • SWS Minor courses (other than internship credit) may NOT be taken for Pass/Fail credit.

Review the SWS MINOR CHECKLIST for a full list of the minor elective course options.

Double Use of Minor Coursework

SWS Minor courses may NOT be shared with any other major/minor within the same degree.


Please contact the SWS Advisor, Laura Owen, lauraowen@arizona.edu (link sends e-mail), with any questions about the SWS minor and how you can declare!