College of Arts & Sciences

The Women and Gender Studies Program offers a minor, houses the Elizabeth Ann Seton Center for Women's Studies, and hosts the university’s annual Women and Gender Studies conference. Consistent with national trends, Women and Gender Studies is one of the fastest growing programs in the College of Arts & Sciences as students recognize the real-world applications of this degree.

Women and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field exploring the intersection of gender and the structures that shape and are shaped by it. Scholars and students investigate issues including but not limited to economic forces such as the distribution of wealth, wage equality, or access to education and employment; political forces such as legislation and women in elected office; historical forces such as and social forces including violence against women, the representation of women in the media, and gender expectations. Students taking courses or minoring in Women and Gender Studies gain an understanding of how their world and their own lives affect and are affected by gender. Consistent with the university’s mission, Women and Gender Studies thus offers students a rich understanding of the diversity of opportunity and challenge facing individuals and societies, preparing them for lives of effective and responsible participation and leadership.

As a minor (18 credits), Women and Gender Studies is an excellent complement to virtually any major. It will strengthen students’ academic preparation and better prepare them for the world within and beyond the university’s gates, including a competitive and rapidly changing job market. Students’ preparation for the professions (law, medicine, education) and the corporate world will be greatly enhanced by a rigorous analysis of gender and its importance in the wider culture. Students who have explored the disciplines through the gender lens will be better prepared to understand the complexities of the world and to manage their careers.

As events in the second decade of the new millennium have proved, gender remains as great a source for injustice as ever. Through the minor, programming such as speakers and roundtables, and an annual conference, the Women and Gender Studies Program fosters an awareness of the challenges and opportunities facing our students and prepares them for rich, rewarding, and productive lives of servant leadership.

To talk to a faculty adviser, contact either co-director of the Elizabeth Ann Seton Center for Women's Studies: Vanessa May, Ph.D., at or (973) 761-9447 or Karen Gevirtz, Ph.D., at or (973) 275-2176.

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