The Department of Ethnic and Gender Studies is one of only a few such interdisciplinary departments in New England and the first of its kind in the Massachusetts state college system. The major in Ethnic and Gender Studies and the two distinct, but interconnected minors offered by the department, Ethnic Studies, and Women and Gender Studies, share an emphasis on global diversity, cultural competency, and social justice efforts. The Ethnic and Gender Studies department reflects the University’s mission to increase the integration of diverse perspectives and content into students’ educational experience and to help foster a campus climate that respects the ideas and contributions of a culturally diverse community.
The interdisciplinary nature the major accommodates a wide range of student interests. By exposing students to new information about issues in gender and ethnic studies and developing their analytical skills through reading, writing, and speaking, the major complements all 24 of the University’s undergraduate degree programs and is thus an ideal second major. All of the programs in Ethnic and Gender Studies prepare students for graduate study and professional work in any number of fields in the humanities as well as the social sciences. The Ethnic and Gender Studies major also prepare students for any number of careers, including but not limited to:
- Service professions;
- Communication fields;
- Natural and social sciences;
- Public non -profit and private organizations.
The Ethnic and Gender Studies major emphasizes multidisciplinary and comparative approaches to the study of race, class, ethnicity, culture and gender in one degree program. Course work in Ethnic and Gender Studies incorporates a framework that fosters the study of gender, culture, class, ethnicity, race and sexual orientation across the curriculum. Both theoretical and applied perspectives are embedded in a curriculum that addresses how all of these shape identities, literacies, public policies, and communities in local, U.S. and transnational contexts. Students will work with their departmental advisor to create an academic plan within the major. Community work will be emphasized with a capstone seminar and community activism course part of the core requirements and internships supported and encouraged. Thus the Ethnic and Gender Studies major will emphasize the relationship between academic knowledge and the development of a critical active citizenry.
CoursesEthnic and Gender Studies