skip to content

Undergraduate Study

Women's Studies Changing to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

In May 2012, the Women's Studies Program anticipates a change in our name to Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies.  The name of our major and minor changed effective May 2011. The change reflects contemporary perspectives on gender and sexuality studies while retaining the historical significance of Women's Studies in our course offerings and general approach.  Our programmatic and curricular foci are currently evolving to include these exciting new developments.   Please note: There has been no change in the major and minor requirements as a result of the program's name change.  If you have any questions about the name change, please contact Kate Hurley-Dizigan (

Mission Statement

The Women’s Studies Program is a flexible interdisciplinary academic program devoted to the critical analysis of gender and the pursuit of knowledge about women. Combining the methods and insights of Women’s Studies scholarship, our courses yield fresh perspectives which help us to understand the origins of and changes in diverse cultural and social arrangements. The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major is broad as well as flexible, and the student’s program can readily reflect individual interests or complement a second major.

Gender is a common thread in our curriculum, which interweaves issues of race, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, ability, national origin and religion. The Women’s Studies Program is committed to a vision that is truly international and cross-cultural. Without this perspective, our view of the world is profoundly impoverished and stereotypes will continue to distort our understanding.

The Program prepares students to employ critical learning in their private lives, in their public roles as citizens and as members of the work force, and enhances their ability to work with and for women to create a more humane society.  Women ’s Studies fosters interdisciplinary breadth and critical thinking and thus opens the way to a wide variety of career choices and graduate programs. Women’s Studies students are flourishing in social service agencies, business, law, education, and journalism, and employers appreciate the broad interdisciplinary perspective of Women’s Studies education.

Undergraduate Concentrations for WS Majors!

Message to Undergraduate Majors: In pursuing the major you may well wish to follow one or more of the four concentrations that we've laid out: sexualities; gender, science and health; transnational feminism; and arts, history and culture. Included for each is a mission statement, which lays out the aim of the concentration, a list of faculty who work in these areas, and a list of relevant courses. To reivew the concentration details, please view the PDF's listed below.

  • Sexualities (.pdf)
  • Gender, Science, and Health (.pdf)
  • Transnational Feminisms (.pdf)
  • NEW for Fall 2011! Arts, History and Culture (.pdf)

Requirements for the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major:

Core Courses (Required)
Students are required to take the following:
   1.    ONE 100/1000 level WS Introductory Course – WS 104/1104, WS 105/1105 or WS 124/1124
   2.    WS 265W/3265W – Research Methodology
   3.    PHIL 218/3218 – Feminist Theory OR WS 250/3250 – Feminisms
   4.    WS 261/3891 – Internship
   5.    WS 262/3894 – Internship Seminar
   6.    WS 289W/4994W – Senior Seminar

Supporting Courses
    1.    In addition to core courses, students are required to take FIVE Supporting Courses:
    2.    Majors must complete at least 15 credits of 200/2000/3000 level courses that should be selected with the guidance of their faculty advisor.
    3.    At least three of these courses will be Women’s Studies or cross-listed courses.
    4.    Two of the five supporting courses may include cross-referenced courses that cover special topics relevant to feminist scholarship in various departments.
    5.    Such cross-referenced courses will be applied to the major with approval of the Program Director

Related Courses
Students must take an additional 12 credits at the 200/2000/3000 level or above in fields closely related to the major. No required course in the major or in the related area may be taken pass/fail.

- WS Internal Student Profile form (.pdf)
- WS Major Plan of Study form (.pdf)
- The following forms can be found at CLAS Academic Services Center Form page (click here):
       Double Major Application
       Program (School/College) Change Form - this is the Major Declaration form for students new to CLAS:
       Plan (Major) Change - this is the Major Declaration forn for students already in CLAS

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers minors for matriculated students. A minor is an option for students who want an academic focus in addition to their major. An approved plan of study must be submitted to the Registrar's Office.

For the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor, the requirements are:
    1.    FIFTEEN credit hours in Women’s Studies and cross-listed courses, of which one course may be at the 100/1000 level
    2.    No more than two courses may be counted toward both the Major and the Minor.
    3.    The Internship Program (WS 261/3891 and 262/3894) will count for a maximum of SIX credits toward the Minor.
    4.    Students should contact the Women’s Studies Program office for advising. Students must have the approval of their advisor and the Women’s Studies Program Director.

The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor allows you to design an individualized program which will add interdisciplinary breadth to your undergraduate program. Courses focusing on women and gender give you the opportunity to supplement your major field, to enrich your educational experience, and to establish a broader base for critical thinking. Courses may be chosen from Women's Studies offerings or from a list of cross referenced courses which is updated each semester.

- WS Internal Student Profile form (.pdf)
- WS Minor Plan of Study form (.pdf)
- The following forms can be found at CLAS Academic Services Center Form page (click here):
       Minor Declaration Form


Why Major or Minor in Women's Studies? (flyer)

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major and minor provide an exceptional Liberal Arts education. In addition, it enhances or develops skills in critical thinking, writing, communications, and collaboration. All of these skills are vital in today’s job market and, as evidenced from the list below, our students are fully prepared to enter into a wide range of careers.

When someone asks what one does with a major or minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, tell them “anything you want!” And you can do it better with this educational background.

If you are considering a major or minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies but are wondering what your prospects for employment or graduate education might be, notice the diverse career paths some of our former students have chosen:


Crisis Intervention
Education: all levels    
Graphic Design
Human Resources
Insurance Underwriting
Labor Mediation

Magazine Editing
Medical Fields
Non-Profit Work
Public Policy

Radio Broadcasting
Social Service
Social Work
Theatre & Arts
TV Production
Union Organizing


The Women's Studies Internship Program

Your education will make more sense as you get out of the classroom and into your life!

    -   Integration of theory & practice
    -   Crucial work experience
    -   Contacts with potential employers
    -   Tailored for Women's Studies Majors and Minors
    -   Supportive environment

The Women's Studies undergraduate internship program for Women's Studies majors and minors is designed to provide students with supervised work experience in the profession they are preparing to enter.  Internships are available in a wide range of fields and are tailored to match each student’s abilities and interests with the needs of a particular placement. Interns work 9-18 hours per week to receive 3-9 credits. Through this program students have the chance to develop skills and confidence with the support of a field supervisor and an academic coordinator.

Students from a broad range of backgrounds participate in this program, including those who are changing fields or are returning to work after a period of varied experience without pay. Through placements, students are able to expand their resumes, clarify their career goals and make contacts with potential employers.

In addition to the field placement, students are required to participate in a weekly three-hour, three-credit seminar. This integrative seminar is designed to provide students with a forum for situating their work experience within a broader context. A portion of each class is devoted to discussion in which insights gained from students’ field experiences are viewed from the perspective of their academic training.

Prerequisite: One Women’s Studies course. Open only to WS majors and minors. Consent of Instructor is required. For more information, visit or contact Marita McComiskey, (860) 486-1133,


(last updated 9/13/11 - khd)