The 2020 Women’s Studies Major

A Women’s Studies education offers students a flexible program of study examining feminist scholarship and the history, status, contributions, and experiences of women in diverse cultural communities. The program of study emphasizes the significance of gender as a social construct and as an analytical category.  The B.A. degree prepares students both for continuing advanced study in women, gender, and sexuality studies; law; medicine; media studies; and for direct entry into careers in a wide range of fields; including social services, government, public policy, education, and the non-profit sector.

Degree Requirements

Students will earn a total of 37 credits, distributed as indicated below. At least 30 credits must be at or above the 300 level. No course with a grade less than “C-” may be used to satisfy the major. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation. Students will design their programs in consultation with a Women’s Studies advisor.

The Introductory course – 3 credits
(1 course, any of the following, usually taken in the first or second semester in the major)

  • LGBT200 Intro LGBT Studies
  • WMST200 Women and Society
  • WMST250 Women, Art and Culture
  • WMST263 – Intro Black Women’s Studies
  • WMST298D – Bodies in Contention

The Foundational Courses – 9 credits
(3 Courses, usually taken during sophomore or junior year)

  • WMST301 – Introduction to Research in Gender, Race and Queer Studies (Required)
  • WMST302 – Feminist, Critical Race, and Queer Theories (Required) (replaces the former WMST 400)
  • WMST319 – Workshop in Gender, Race and Queer Studies –The topical focus will vary, such as WMST 319C: Gender, Drag, and Burlesque; 319D: Disability Justice, only 1 WMST 319 course is required.

The Thematic Concentration Area – 12 credits
(4 courses, taken over the course of the degree)
Students will identify an area of interest with the advisor when they declare the major.
9 credits of these must be upper-level and 6 credits may also fulfill other major requirements.
*see the Thematic Concentration Areas descriptions and course lists for more information*

Scholarship in Practice: Experiential Learning – 3 credits (1 course, usually taken senior year)

  • WMST358 Teaching Assistantship
  • WMST368 Internship
  • WMST 378 Research and Creative Works Assistantship

The Capstone – 6 credits (2 courses, usually taken senior year)

  • WMST487 Advanced Research in Gender, Race and Queer Studies (Required)

and 1 of the following courses

  • WMST489 Individual Research in Gender, Race and Queer Studies
  • LGBT488 Senior Seminar
  • WMST488 Senior Seminar
  • WMST486 Advanced Feminist, Critical Race, and Queer Theories

Professional Development – 1 credit (1 course, usually taken senior year)

Cognate – 3 credits (1 course) A 300 or 400 level course outside of the department that provides supporting context for the thematic concentration.

Among their 37 credits students must take at least 1 course utilizing each of the following approaches; Historical, Transnational, and Cultural Production. Students will review their course plan with the advisor to ensure completion of this requirement

Courses can fulfill multiple requirements and students can fill any remaining credits needed towards the 37-credit requirement with approved electives. Ex. WMST 319C Gender, Drag, and Burlesque fulfills the WMST 319 Workshop requirement and also counts towards the Arts, Technologies, and Cultural Production thematic concentration area.

Sample 4-Year Graduation Plan

Year 1 (3 credits of WMST coursework and 27 of Gen Ed)

  • 3 credits of any WMST introductory course ex. WMST 250 Women, Art, and Culture

Year 2 (6 credits of WMST coursework, 24 credits of Gen Ed and elective courses)

  • WMST 301 Introduction to Research in Gender, Race and Queer Studies
  • Choose a thematic concentration ex. Arts, Technologies, Cultural Production Concentration
  • 3 credits of coursework in the thematic concentration ex. WMST255 Reading Women Writing

Year 3 (15 credits of WMST coursework, 15 credits of Gen Ed and electives)

  • WMST 302 Feminist, Critical Race, and Queer Theories
  • WMST 319 Workshop in Gender, Race and Queer Studies
  • 3 credits of upper-level thematic concentration ex. LGBT 327 LGBT Film and Video
  • 3 credits of experiential learning ex. Undergraduate Internship
  • 3 credit cognate course ex. ENGL368J Special Topics in the Literature of Africa and the African Diaspora; Contemporary Black Literature

Year 4 (13 credits of WMST coursework, 17 credits of electives)

  • Capstone (1) WMST 487 Advanced Research in Gender, Race and Queer Studies
  • Capstone (2) ex. WMST488 Senior Seminar – Black Women in the Arts
  • WMST497 Professional Development
  • 6 credits of 300 or 400 level thematic concentration ex. ENGL 408 Literature by Women before 1800, WMST 448 Literature by Women of Color

Sample 3-Year Graduation Plan
(example of no courses taken freshman year)

Year 1 (9 credits of WMST coursework and 21 of Gen Ed)

  • 3 credits of any WMST introductory course ex. WMST 250 Women, Art, and Culture
  • 3 credits of foundation – WMST 301 Introduction to Research in Gender, Race and Queer Studies
  • Choose a thematic concentration ex. Arts, Technologies, Cultural Production Concentration
  • 3 credits of coursework in the thematic concentration ex. WMST255 Reading Women Writing

Year 2 (15 credits of WMST coursework, 15 credits of Gen Ed and electives)

  • 6 credits of foundation – WMST 302 Feminist, Critical Race, and Queer Theories and WMST 319 Workshop in Gender, Race and Queer Studies
  • 3 credits of upper-level thematic concentration ex. LGBT 327 LGBT Film and Video
  • 3 credits of experiential learning ex. Undergraduate Internship
  • 3 credit cognate course ex. ENGL368J Special Topics in the Literature of Africa and the African Diaspora; Contemporary Black Literature

Year 3 (13 credits of WMST coursework, 17 credits of electives)

  • Capstone (1) WMST 487 Advanced Research in Gender, Race and Queer Studies
  • Capstone (2) ex. WMST488 Senior Seminar – Black Women in the Arts
  • 1 credit – WMST497 Professional Development
  • 6 credits of 300 or 400 level thematic concentration ex. ENGL 408 Literature by Women before 1800, WMST 448 Literature by Women of Color