About the Program

General Information About the Women's Studies Program

The Women's Studies Program at Kean University is an interdisciplinary program offering classes and programming relating to women's and gender issues in a variety of departments. Along with engaging course selections, the program sponsors a full roster of lectures, a film festival, guest speakers, scholarships, student presentations, poetry and arts events, trips, social gatherings, a student club, and many other activities.  A more in-depth description of the program can be found at the bottom of this page.

Students who wish to complete the 18-credit Women's Studies concentration can successfully combine the program with any majorA downloadable application as well as instructions on how to apply can be found on the
"Program Application " page of this site.

Through the Women's Studies Program, students explore the diversity of women's experiences and perspectives, both nationally and globally, and discover how an analysis of the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, sexuality, and disability/ability broaden and deepen our understanding of all of these issues.  Students gain new insights into their own experiences and their own multi-layered identities.

It is a course of study to enrich both academically and personally enriching, and greatly relevant to today's workplace, families, communities, and the larger society.  Students find relevance and application to the Program's content in many areas of study, and in many career paths, such as education, health, community, the media, the arts, business and government, science and technology.

Some of the biggest issues and challenges faced by our global community today are deeply linked to gender issues.  For example:

1) AIDS, childhood diseases, infant mortality;

2) sexual violence, slave labor, trafficking;

3) poverty, hunger, income inequality, racism;

4) globalization and migration;

5) population issues;

6) the climate crisis and the use of resources;

7) inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts; and

8) many of the societal stressors contributing to crises in family and community life.  

Our students have opportunities to participate in career networking events, do research and attend professional conferences, and to work with Women's Studies faculty developing ideas for new programs and even new courses.  

Several Women's Studies scholarships will be awarded each year!

The program creates new opportunities for students to understand the experiences of women and to connect these experiences to those of other groups both locally and globally.  Topics focus on issues of sexuality and gender identity, class and race, trans-global economies and social prejudices, as well as transformative pedagogies and celebration of women’s achievement’s in the private and public domains.

Women's Studies Program Q & A:

How can a Women's Studies certificate (or even a few Women's Studies' courses) help me in the job market?

Women's increasing influence in the workplace is already evidenced by national progress in instituting family leave and equal pay policies, in growing numbers of women in positions of leadership, and in the flourishing of women in professional sports. 

Students with a Collateral Certificate in Women's Studies will also document to a prospective employer that you are already knowledgeable about work place issues such as affirmative action, sexual harassment, discrimination and prejudice. 

Because gender issues play an instrumental role in all sectors of the economy, those students who have taken courses in Women's Studies will have a head  start in the workplace.

I'm an education major. How does Women's Studies relate to my major?

Students will learn important and surprising facts about gender in the classroom, such as why boys get called on and encouraged more in the classroom and girls down play their mathematical abilities. Students will also discover that there are more women math majors than men math majors! 

I grew up outside the United States. My culture does not have the same beliefs about women and men?s roles as American culture does. Does the Women's Studies Program focus only on the experiences of women in the United States? 

No, Kean University's Women Studies program is committed to a global perspective on gender issues. This philosophy is demonstrated throughout its courses and on the special programs and activities it sponsors.

What kind of students take Women's Studies courses? What motivates them?

All kinds of students-women and men-take Women's Studies courses. 

A young woman who has several female friends who have been physically abused by their boyfriends and wants to learn more about violence against women and what can be done about it. 

A man who wants to gain a clearer understanding of gender issues in his social and professional relationships. ("Why does she get mad at me?" "What can I do if I have a female boss?" "What is all this talk about sexual harassment at work?")

A woman who has just walked out of a long relationship and is looking for new perspectives on family, work and relationship. ("Why does it seem so difficult for men and women to understand each other?" "I want to learn more, and I want to build my own self-esteem and confidence as an independent woman.") 

A parent or future parent of either gender who is looking for suggestions and recommendations on how to raise their daughter to be strong and confident and their son to value and respect women. 

A woman with disabilities who wants to learn how sexism and "ablelism" together affect peoples's responses to her.