Wesleyan Offers 4 New Certificate Programs

This fall, students have the opportunity to work towards one of four certificates, in addition to their degree.

The new certificate programs include South Asian Studies; Middle Eastern Studies; Writing; and Social, Cultural and Critical Theory.

“These are outstanding endeavors by the faculty to keep the curriculum fresh and innovative, and to help students study across the disciplines but with a road map for curricular coherence,” says Karen Anderson, associate provost.

South Asian Studies Certificate
Wesleyan already offers courses and resources for all students interested in studying the cultures of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. South Asia Studies Certificate faculty will help Wesleyan students better pursue the wide range of opportunities in South Asia — both scholarly and artistic — as South Asia becomes increasingly prominent politically, economically, and academically. Peter Gottschalk, chair and professor of religion, will administrate the program.

Students will be required to take seven courses. Of these, one must be a course completely about South Asia, at least one course on contemporary society and practice, historical inquiry, language or performance traditions.

The Middle Eastern Studies Certificate
The cornerstone of the Middle Eastern Studies Certificate program is language acquisition, explains Bruce Masters, the John E. Andrus Professor of History. The certificate program requires a minimum of either intermediate-level Arabic or Hebrew.

The program requires eight courses, of which at least one course must be on Jewish and Israel studies and one must be on the Muslim Middle East.

“The certificate would signal to would-be employers or graduate programs that the students completing the requirements has competency in Middle Eastern Studies, a region of the world that has attracted a lot of interest of lately,” Masters says. “The certificate creates an interdisciplinary understanding of a complex region.”

Writing Certificate
The Writing Certificate is designed to provide a flexible framework within which students from all majors can develop proficiency in creative writing (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, playwriting) and forms of non-fiction such as criticism, (auto)biography, science writing, political and literary journalism, and writing about academic subjects for non-specialists.

Students must take five courses for the certificate. These include at least one course designated as an entry-level craft or technique course; three electives; The Writing Certificate senior seminar, WRCT350, a pass/fail course, in which the participants work on compiling and revising portfolios of their work, and present their work to each other in class and to the public in events organized for this purpose. Entry-level craft courses include techniques of poetry, creative non-fiction, distinguished writers, non-fiction and fiction techniques.

Certificate in Social, Cultural and Critical Theory
The theory certificate aims to facilitate a coordinated program of study that encourages students to seek out theory-intensive courses on offer in a wide range of disciplines and departments at Wesleyan and to become proficient in the study of theory. The Center for the Humanities administrates the program.

Students must take introductory courses, one in “cultural theory” and one in “social theory” and one course in “philosophical origins of theory.” Students also must take three advanced courses.