Princeton University will institute a formally structured women's studies program next fall, which will allow undergraduates concentrating in any department to emphasize women's roles in that discipline.
Students in the program will be required to take a core of women's studies courses both outside and within their department and complete theses integrating women's studies with their field of concentration. They will be granted certificates of proficiency in women's studies, in addition to traditional bachelor's degrees.
The program will "provide a center for research and a physical place to go as well as a more formal field of study," Susan Keller, professor of sociology at Princeton and a member of the committee who recommended the program, said yesterday.
She added that opponents of the program believe it will lead to insufficient treatment of women's issues in other departments.
Kathryn Surace, a senior at Princeton, said the new program will legitimize the field. "Without formal structure, women's studies would go nowhere. We now have the necessary catalyst to attract faculty and integrate women's issues elsewhere," she added.
Harvard currently has no plans to formally structure its women's studies program, Edward L. Keenan '57, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and chairman of Harvard's Committee on Women's Studies said yesterday.
"The Committee has regularly considered formally structuring the program," Keenan said, but "there is no realistic need for it. The program on the whole has been successful as it is."
Harvard's committee currently publishes a list of courses relating to women's issues and tries to create new courses within the existing departments, Kennan said, adding, "We want to integrate the study of women's issues throughout the Harvard curriculum."