Women's Studies

The Women's Studies Program is designed for students who want to gain an understanding of the ways that gender affects the organization, methodology, understandings, and practices within various disciplines. The program highlights women's concerns and promotes dialogue on timely topics of concern to women.

This program is also designed for students who wish to enrich the study of their academic discipline (i.e. their major) with an understanding of the impact of gender on social and cultural beliefs, societal institutions and functioning, and historical events. Gender is a way of signifying and articulating relationships of power.

The Women's Studies student will bring a more informed perspective to scholarship and career: she will also function more effectively in all areas of life through heightened awareness of the generally hidden interconnections of gender and power.

The Women's Studies Program includes special events, lecture and film series, and activities designed to highlight women's issues and the accomplishments of women in diverse fields, including the arts, music and theater, natural and social sciences, language and literature, and philosophy.

The Women's Studies Program seeks to help students achieve the following:

  • An understanding of gender as an historically, culturally, and socially constructed means of conceptualizing and ordering the world, one that closely interacts with other social constructions (including race, ethnicity, class, and sexual identity);
  • The means to analyze and critique the way gender constructions and differential access to power affect the structures of knowledge, particularly with regard to the organization, methodology, premises and practices of academic disciplines;
  • An understanding and validation of the achievements, experiences, and perspectives of women;

Women's Studies courses are open to all students, regardless of major.


To ensure a gender-informed interdisciplinary perspective, the Women's Studies track offers a coordinate major. Students must:

  • Fulfill the requirements of a disciplinary major,
  • Complete 24 credits of Women's Studies courses (WMS designations), not to include credits counting toward the disciplinary major. Courses should include:
    • WMS 148 - Women, Gender and Power (3 credits) as the methodology course;
    • 18 additional credits of WMS designated courses;
    • A 3-credit WMS seminar or independent study (WMS 385) directed by a member of the Women's Studies faculty and taken in the senior year. This will include a final project of an interdisciplinary nature that fulfills three of the four Women's Studies Program objectives.


The Women's Studies minor requires 18 credits in Women's Studies courses (WMS designations). It must include WMS 148 - Women, Gender and Power and 15 additional credits not to include those used to fulfill the disciplinary major or minor.

For course descriptions, visit the catalog.


The traveling film festival of award-winning short films by, for, and about women makes a stop at The College of New Rochelle every year. Visit for more information.

The Women's Studies Program also organizes readings, workshops, film screenings, panel discussions, and book signings throughout the academic year.

Elvira M. Dowell '36 Lecture

Each year, the Women's Studies Program presents a lecture for the College community, and open to the public.

The lecture was endowed by Dr. George B. Dowell in memory of his sister, Elvira M. Dowell, a 1936 graduate of the School of Arts & Sciences.

Recent topics include the feminist aspects of the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia; the creation and distribution of documentary films; women in politics; and the current state of feminism.

Academics, authors, filmmakers, journalists, and lecturers from a host of fields have addressed The College of New Rochelle.