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Intersect. Interact. Integrate.

Center for Interdisciplinary Studies The mission of Kean University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Studies is to bridge the boundaries separating academic disciplines in pursuit of advancing interdisciplinary methods, theories, and practices that generate new knowledge and relevant solutions for a global-oriented world. What is IDS?

Where can IDS take you?

Interdisciplinary study (IDS) is ideal if you are curious about world affairs and have an interest in multiple subjects. You can customize your studies at Kean by choosing an IDS major or minor that concentrates in a geographic area or thematic issue of global concern. In doing so, you will learn to seek out diverse perspectives of global issues by developing broad, contextual, and systemic knowledge, while engaging in integrated thinking and adaptive practice.

Graduates with an interdisciplinary studies background develop transferable critical thinking skills that are widely sought by a range of employers. They find employment in businesses, government agencies, Foreign Service, nonprofits, journalism, consulting firms, and the educational sector; or they go on to pursue post baccalaureate degrees.

Why IDS? Interdisciplinary studies at Kean University will help you develop versatile knowledge and adaptable skills. You will gain broad understanding of world regions and cultures, foreign language ability, integrated analytic proficiencies, as well as research, writing, and critical problem solving skills.


What We Offer The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and its affiliated programs at Kean University offer numerous interdisciplinary degrees, academic minors, and courses for students from any disciplinary background. Degrees

Campus Involvement

B.A. Asian Studies B.A. Global Studies M.A. Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Join one of the lively cultural clubs and interdisciplinary associations on campus, such as Jewish Hillel, the Human Rights Club, the Chinese Table Discussion Group, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Student Association.

Minors Complete your Bachelor’s degree with the addition of an interdisciplinary minor such as: Africana, Asian, Chinese, Latin American, Jewish or Women’s and Gender Studies. Each minor is worth 18-credits, and concentrates on a region or theme of global interest.

Courses Over 30 stimulating ID courses that cover a range of issues from Human Rights and Justice and Understanding Images, to Computing in the Modern World and Environmental Sustainability.

Guest lectures: Attend an interdisciplinary lecture or academic event on topical issues, hosted by experts in the field. Conferences and workshops: Participate in one of the annual interdisciplinary conferences and workshops on campus, such as the China in the World conference, the Jewish Studies Summer Institute, or the Human Rights Conference.


Africana Studies

Africana Studies Africana Studies is for anyone interested in the histories, ideas, and experiences related to Africa and its people throughout the world. In our multicultural society, knowledge about Africa is beneficial to educators, counselors, social workers, managers, business owners and many other professions. Students can minor in Africana studies and develop their critical thinking and analytical skills that are marketable in the professional world. The Office of Africana Studies is affiliated with Kean’s Center for Interdisciplinary Studies as an academic and programmatic entity. It has a vibrant presence on campus and is connected to various African student groups. It hosts an annual guest speaker series, a study abroad class, and the spectacular African heritage graduation ceremony. Since its inception in 1987, the Office of Africana Studies has set out to provide an intellectual forum in which students learn to examine, analyze, critique, and interpret the traditions, culture, and dynamics of African peoples and, by extension, develop a greater understanding of humankind.


Asian Studies

Asian Studies Asian Studies at Kean University is committed to promoting a deeper understanding of Asian culture, worldview, history, economics, and politics. Students can minor or major in Asian Studies and develop the skills and dispositions needed for global cooperation in the diversity of the Asian world. With an Asian Studies degree from Kean, students will experience travel abroad and/or professional internships, and they can take language courses that may open the way for amazing trips to Kean’s Wenzhou campus in China. The U.S. Federal Government has declared Mandarin Chinese a “Critical Need Language,” putting graduates with this language skill in high demand on the job market. In addition, Asian Studies students host many exciting cultural clubs, discussion groups, and celebrations around seasonal festivals.


Chinese Studies

Chinese Studies Chinese Studies at Kean University offers students a stimulating opportunity to learn about Chinese language, culture, politics, and global influence. Studying Chinese will widen any student’s vision and inspire imagination. It not only increases student’s language skillset, and helps gain an informed, global perspective; it also develops general expertise in Asia, which is sought by many employers in business, government, international companies, libraries, museums, media entities, nonprofits, and education organizations. As part of the Chinese Student Group, students can join language conversation sessions, enjoy the cultural festival celebrations on campus, participate in the China in the World conference, and study abroad at Wenzhou Kean University—at no additional cost. The climax of the year is the China in the World conference, which brings together notable public figures and guest lecturers to analyze the importance of China in the Asia region and globally.


Global Studies

Global Studies Kean University’s exciting new Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies is an interdisciplinary program emphasizing knowledge and understanding of the major social, economic, and political issues facing an increasingly globalist world. The internationalization of business, commerce and idea-markets has necessitated the need for university graduates who are knowledgeable about cultures, languages and professional practices of countries outside their own borders. Employers want graduates who have international experience, adaptable skills, and versatile cultural capacity to make successful employees. Global Studies graduates develop capacities that are needed in the globalist labor market, including:

• Cultural awareness • Ability to analyze global and local interconnectedness • Skills in ethical research and analysis with specific policy implications • Awareness of current affairs • Ability to communicate effectively in a range of situations • Cross cultural competence • Foreign language proficiency

Global Studies scholars are eligible for a myriad of professions tackling political, social, and economic issues on an international scale that work to improve the human condition. It also equips students for further graduate study in the humanities, social sciences, international affairs, law, public health, and communications.


Jewish Studies

Jewish Studies Jewish Studies inspires cross-cultural understanding of Jewish interaction with the larger world, by promoting informed inquiry into one of our civilization’s fundamental and seminal cultures. Students can minor in Jewish Studies and develop a skill-set that employers find very attractive. Especially desirable is the ability to see the world from multiple perspectives and to grasp the complexities of different cultures. Students can also join the Kean University Hillel which enriches Jewish lives on campus, or utilize the extensive library available through the Holocaust Resource Center. Jewish Studies promotes study in Israel and Europe through the university’s Study Abroad program, as well as study in Washington, DC, through its Washington Program. It maintains agreements with nearby Elizabeth’s Jewish Educational Center and with Hillel’s Soref Initiative for Emerging Campuses; and supports the Jewish community’s Birthright Israel program. Jewish Studies is also closely tied to the university’s Holocaust Resource Center, Jewish Culture Club (a student-led organization), Jewish Faculty and Staff Association, and the Master of Arts degree program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.


Latin American Studies

Latin American Studies The Latin American Studies program offers a stimulating opportunity for students to broaden the scope of their education by learning about the political and social history, economic development, arts, and cultural diversity of Latin America. Students at Kean University can minor in Latin American Studies, improve their bilingual language skills, and participate in the numerous vibrant student groups representing cultures and nationalities from across Latin America and the Caribbean. The diverse and international faculty and students affiliated with Latin American Studies conduct distinguished research and teaching on issues pertinent to the region and the world such as: narco-trafficking, migration, democratic advancement, populism, regional inequality, and innovation.


Womens’ and Gender Studies

Women’s and Gender Studies Women’s and Gender Studies is for anyone at Kean University who wishes to broaden the scope of their studies by investigating gender issues worldwide from critical perspectives, such as feminism and queer-theory. Students can minor in Women’s and Gender Studies by taking fascinating courses from a range of social science and humanities disciplines. Our courses explore how gender intersects with race, ethnicity, class, sexualities, nationality, and culture. The program also hosts guest lectures and film showings, and encourages student-led initiatives and participation for all on campus. Women’s and Gender Studies students are active on campus: for example, they hosted a Clothesline Initiative to raise awareness about domestic and intimate partner violence, and participated in the Women’s March in Washington DC and New York City.


Center for Interdisciplinary Studies 1000 Morris Ave. Union NJ 07083 n

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