Wellesley College, the highly rated liberal arts college for women in Massachusetts, has announced the establishment of a new interdisciplinary minor degree program in comparative race and ethnicity. According to the latest U.S. Department of Education figures, African Americans make up 5 percent of the student body at Wellesley College.
The new minor will allow students to create a structured yet individualized plan of study from interdisciplinary courses that offer rigorous and complementary approaches to understanding race and ethnicity. Students will also have an opportunity to forge connections across disciplines and to compare how people experience racial and ethnic differences around the world.
Students who wish to pursue the minor must take two of six gateway classes. The remaining three electives for the minor can be selected from among the other gateway courses or from an approved list of approximately 80 additional courses from 18 different departments. One course must be at the 300 level and one course must be in sociology.
Markella B. Rutherford, associate professor of sociology at Wellesley College, stated that “comparing racial regimes globally and historically allows students to see that global dynamics are influencing racial issues in ways that are not always incorporated into dominant national narratives about race.” Dr. Rutherford added that “as Wellesley students prepare for leadership and service at the College and beyond, their ability to understand and analyze racial/ethnic dynamics is crucial.”