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African Studies Program

Students enrolled in this dual degree program choose African Studies as their first minor field.  Upon acceptance by the African Studies admissions committee, the student is also assigned an African Studies academic advisor.  Students take 18 credits in African related coursework including a required overview course.  The courses should have an integrated intellectual thrust that probes a thematic, national or regional issue and complements the student’s specialty in Political Science.  A representative of the African Studies program will serve on the student’s committee, and the dissertation must be on a topic appropriate to both political science and African Studies.  The African Studies program offers graduate assistantship or fellowships with duties determined by the African Studies director.

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Asian Studies Program

Students enrolled in this dual degree program choose Asian Studies as their first minor field.  Upon acceptance, the student takes a year-long Asian Studies Seminar on Theories, Methods, and Archives, and must show strong all-skills proficiency in one Asian language and have either two years’ college study (or equivalent knowledge) of another Asian language, or an alternative proficiency appropriate to the student’s field.  A representative of the Asian Studies program serves on the student’s committee, and the dissertation must be on a topic appropriate to both political science and Asian Studies. Additional scholarships are available from Asian Studies to support summer research or travel for students in this dual degree.


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Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Women's Studies is a central site for interdisciplinary teaching and research in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State. As a field of study, Women's Studies analyzes the unequal distribution of power and resources by gender. By adding the perceptions, contributions, and experiences of women, this young and vital field of research and teaching has produced an exciting body of knowledge and theory that transforms traditional areas of study. On the graduate level, the Women's Studies Department at Penn State offers students two opportunities to integrate women's studies into their program. The interdisciplinary dual-title graduate program enables students to earn a dual-title master's and doctoral degree in Women's Studies and one of the following fields: Art Education, English, French, History, and Political Science. Students enrolled in the graduate minor have the opportunity to include women's studies work in their graduate study in any discipline at the masters' and doctoral level.

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Social Thought Program

The Social Thought Program at Penn state is motivated by the assumption that narrow disciplinary training can be inadequate preparation for the multi-faceted and multi-lingual nature of intellectual and political life in the 21st century. The Program is intended as a conduit and point of contact for those members of the university community in various disciplines with shared interests in social values, historical understanding, and interdisciplinary approaches to learning. Organizers of this Program intend especially to share the benefits of this cross-disciplinary cooperation with the graduate student community in a wide array of research fields. To that end, the Program includes a PhD Minor in Social Thought and is engaged in coordingating public events, informal gatherings, reading groups, and other modes of connection for young scholars and their faculty colleagues.

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