The Rutgers University Board of Governors today approved the establishment of a bachelor of arts in gender studies program at Rutgers University–Camden.

“The importance of gender studies as an academic discipline lies in its investigation of enduring and emerging issues relevant to today’s diverse world,” says Gail Caputo, a professor of criminal justice and director of the women’s and gender studies program at Rutgers–Camden, who was instrumental in the creation of the program. “Students will develop competencies highly sought-after by employers and graduate programs, and essential to everyday civic life.”

The 30-credit B.A. in gender studies is an interdisciplinary major for students interested in exploring questions about gender, sex, and sexuality, as well as equity, diversity, and privilege on a host of topics and in a variety of academic disciplines. Students bundle the major with their primary academic major, completing the degree requirements for gender studies by double-counting up to 12 credits toward a second degree. In doing so, they package courses economically and in marketable ways for internships, graduate programs, and employment opportunities.

“Both online and on the Camden campus, the major offers students an exciting array of courses that engage them in debate, discussion, research, and applied learning where gender distinctions influence local, national, and global topics,” explains Kris Lindenmeyer, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers–Camden.

Major courses include topics such as gender discrimination; sexual harassment and power; sexuality; masculinities; and gender and health, history, literature, art, criminal justice, crime, and the environment. Additional offerings will focus on the Salem witch trials; sexual identity and popular culture; women and piracy; gender and animals; and a travel abroad course to South Africa. Courses in other subjects, such as psychology, sociology, philosophy and religion, criminal justice, English, fine arts, and health sciences, are also available.

In addition to a major in gender studies, there is an existing 18-credit minor in women’s and gender studies.

The proposal for the gender studies major will be forwarded to the New Jersey Presidents’ Council for action.

Original post by By Tom McLaughlin on