A minimum of 10 courses (30 credits), distributed as follows, is required for the Women’s and Gender Studies major:
1. Foundational/Praxis courses (6 credits minimum)
These courses provide the foundation of Women’s and Gender Studies by introducing students to the complexity of feminisms, in both theory and practice, and discussing the relationship between the two. Students must take PHIL 218 - (P,D) Feminism: Theory and Practice and one course from group A.
A. WOMN 215 - (D) Feminism and Social Change/SOC 315 - (D) Feminism and Social Change, SOC 220 - (S,D) Social Stratification OR SOC 222 - (S,D) Gender in Society
2. At least 1 course (3 credits) must be taken in each of the three areas listed below (9 credits minimum)
A. Area A: Historical Knowledges (material, cultural, social)
After completing courses in Area A, students will be able to: demonstrate that they recognize the intersections between gender and other social and cultural identities, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, class, and sexuality; comprehend the impact of gender and women’s experiences on individuals’ historical and contemporary agency, and how the ability to express agency has shaped people’s lives in geographical settings; demonstrate knowledge of the history of women’s studies as an academic discipline, with an understanding of its growth and relation to the fields of gender and sexuality studies; articulate a critical appreciation of the richness and diversity of gender expressions and feminisms; articulate theoretical perspectives relevant to feminist theories; and explain relationships between feminist theory and practice.
B. Area B: Social and Behavioral Sciences:
Courses in the social and behavioral sciences will provide students with: an understanding of cross-cultural studies of gender; an understanding of intersectionality between gender and other modes of oppression; the ability to determine how various types of research tools and social/behavioral science research methods are used to study the human experience and gender; the skills and knowledge to perform an institutional, structural, and behavioral analysis of gender and/or women’s lives; a critical appreciation for theoretical perspectives relevant to feminist theories; and the ability to explain relationships between feminist theory and practice.
C. Area C: Representations and Expressions (creative, literary, and visual arts)
After completing courses Area C, students will be able to: demonstrate through analysis and/or practice their understandings of ways in which artistic works (i.e. literature, music, and the visual arts) expose the reality of gender-based human experiences; demonstrate through analysis and/or practice their understandings of ways in which artistic works have been created to express gender-based social and/or political views, issues of sexuality and the relationship between the personal and the political; articulate theoretical perspectives relevant to feminist theories; and demonstrate through analysis and/or practice the relationship between feminist theory and practices.
3. Electives (15 credits)
All Women’s & Gender Studies (WGS) designated courses including additional area and praxis courses beyond those required count as electives. Students must complete 5 WGS elective courses. Students wishing to specialize or concentrate in a particular area (e.g., humanities or social/behavioral sciences) may focus the remainder of their WGS courses in a given area or discipline. Students are strongly encouraged to complete a community-based internship related to their work in Women’s and Gender Studies and/or volunteer or work at the Jane Kopas Women’s Center (JKWC).
4. Theory intensive courses
Of the 10 courses necessary for completion of the major, students must take at least one theory intensive course beyond the foundational/praxis courses. Any approved area or elective Women’s and Gender Studies course may be flagged as theory-intensive, if it fits the WGS criteria and has been approved for such designation by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program Steering Committee.