The mission of the Ethnic and Gender Studies Program combines an academic minor (or concentration) with a commitment to public programming.  Ethnic and Gender Studies is a part of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Ethnic and Gender Studies are interdisciplinary fields which span the traditionally separate humanities areas of art, drama, film, folklore, history, literature, music, religion; explore the social and political problem faced by minorities and women; and investigate race and gender issues in the study of the sciences.

Some Ethnic/Gender Studies courses illuminate the role of minorities and/or women in history and culture as depicted in one or more established academic fields.  Other courses present new analysis and interpretations of particular cultural or gender-based experiences by using the methodologies and perspectives obtained from a synthesis of two or more discrete disciplines.

As an interdisciplinary program of study Ethnic/Gender Studies seeks to provide intensive educational experiences which will foster in their students a deep understanding of the ramifications of the issues of race, ethnicity, and gender in our lives.  To support the broadest possible educational experience for students, the E/GS program sponsors public programming which brings outstanding speakers and events to campus, focusing on issues of gender and diversity.  In addition we sponsor a Lunchtime Lecture series at which faculty interests in ethnic and gender studies are shared with the campus community.  Check out our Calendar of Events for upcoming programs.

Why study Ethnic and Gender Issues?

  • Many occupations are open to students with a minor in Ethnic and Gender Studies. Companies are seeking people who are sensitive to issues of gender and ethnic diversity.
  • Jobs in management, social services, human resources, juvenile services, advocacy groups, education, and human rights organizations are open to people who are prepared to earn their living in a multiracial, multiethnic workplace.
  • Employers welcome the cognitive and interpersonal skills that graduates have; they can work in teams of diverse people, think analytically to solve problems, organize material, and speak and write well.  These skills are the lubricant that allows the organization to run smoothly.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor stresses employees must be able to work with people of diverse backgrounds.  In the 1990’s, one-third of workers entering the labor force were members of minority groups, and the changing American demographics forecast that in the 21st Century, nearly half of Americans will be members of what are today considered minorities.  There will be no majority; the workplace will be “many faces and many races.”  Many of those faces will be women.  Today nearly three out of four women with children are in the workplace.