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College Adds Two New Undergraduate Majors

14 January 2010 | 11:23 am By:

College of Charleston students will have two additional undergraduate majors to choose from, beginning in Fall 2010 (pending SACS approval). A major in women’s and gender studies (housed in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences) and a major in international studies (housed in the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs) will be added to the curriculum.

“These two programs represent the College’s commitment to diversity and globalization in the education of our students,” says President P. George Benson. “The College’s strategic plan calls for the creation and expansion of interdisciplinary programs such as these to help our students develop the global mindset that is required in the 21st century.”

The College joins only one other institution in the state – the University of South Carolina-Columbia – in offering a major in women’s and gender studies. Launched in 1984 as a concentration and then expanded to a minor, the program now has 40 affiliated faculty, who represent a variety of academic interests and viewpoints.

“The new WGS major responds to strong student demand for the opportunity to specialize in this subject,” said Cynthia Lowenthal, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “I am particularly pleased for Alison Piepmeier, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, a brilliant scholar whose talent and energy have brought life-changing educational opportunities to College of Charleston students.”

The international studies major draws on a various disciplines that give students multidimensional linguistic, cultural and international perspectives. They will choose from a concentration that focuses on Africa, Asia, European, Latin America and the Caribbean, or international comparative literature. The courses range from politics and history to advanced language acquisition and international economics. All majors must study abroad.

“The international studies major is a huge step forward for our school. We are committed to preparing students to enter the 21st century as leaders in the global community,” said David Cohen, dean of the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs. “We have faculty from across the College who are committed to an interdisciplinary approach, and are working to develop students who are not only globally aware but globally engaged.”

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), with eight academic departments and seven interdisciplinary programs, is the largest of the schools at the College of Charleston. HSS also oversees six master’s degree programs and is responsible for six of the 10 largest undergraduate majors at the College. More information about the School of Humanities and Social Sciences is available at

The School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs is home to one of the most comprehensive foreign language programs in the southeastern United States, with in-depth majors in classical and modern languages, overseas study programs, specialized programs for future language professionals, and offerings in several less commonly taught languages (such as Arabic and Chinese). The school is composed of four departments – Classics, French and Francophone Studies, German and Slavic Studies, Hispanic Studies – and includes a myriad of interdisciplinary programs and area studies.

For additional information about the major in women’s and gender studies, please contact Cara Delay, interim director of Women’s and Gender Studies, at 843.953.7597 (Alison Piepmeier is on leave for the spring semester).

For additional information about the major in international studies, please contact David Cohen at 843.953.5530.

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