The B.A. Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Interdisciplinary Studies with an Emphasis in Women's and Gender Studies

Students may earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with an emphasis in Women's and Gender Studies. An emphasis in Women's and Gender Studies prepares students for many different employment opportunities. Some fields include arts, business, education, healthcare, media, politics, law, social work and social services. The Women's and Gender Studies Department takes an active role in helping students create a program that will meet their professional aspirations.

The curriculum includes women's and gender studies core courses as well as cross-listed courses from several departments throughout the university. These courses assume that knowledge cannot be separated from the study of women and gender, and that gender and sexuality are fundamental categories of analysis in all disciplines. The department stresses interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching that are broadly comparative and range across multiple cultures, national and transnational contexts, and historical periods. Its faculty employ a broad range of theoretical approaches and methods.

When students graduate with an Emphasis in Women's and Gender Studies they should be able to:

  • Apply cross-cultural and global awareness to "big questions" about women and gender
  • Have a comprehensive grasp of intersectionality and matrices of domination
  • Think critically: i.e. consider an issue from multiple perspectives; locate, evaluate and interpret diverse sources, including statistics; engage in critical self-reflection
  • Construct arguments with evidence obtained from research
  • Work collaboratively
  • Recognize sexist/racist writing and thinking
  • Connect knowledge and experience, theory and activism, Women's Gender Studies materials with and other courses
  • Communicate effectively in writing and speech
  • Apply knowledge for social transformation, citizenship
  • Use gender (and other identity categories) as a category/ies for analysis

Degree Requirements

A student pursuing an emphasis in Women's and Gender Studies is required to fulfill the foundation (basic skills) and general education requirements for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in the College of Arts and Science, with 30 hours of coursework in Women's and Gender Studies. The 30 hours of Women's and Gender Studies courses must include:

  • 1120 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
  • 2010 Gender and Identity: Understanding Intersectionality
  • 2020 Feminist Theory
  • 3450 Feminist Methodologies
  • 4990 Capstone: Senior Research Seminar

plus at least 15 hours of approved elective Women's and Gender Studies courses, including 12 hours of courses numbered 2000 or above and at least nine hours of approved WGST core courses (download graduation plan for full list).

Because of the diversity of Women's and Gender Studies, the WGST emphasis can be combined with a number of potential other majors to create a dual degree. Many students choose to combine two areas of study, such as Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology, or Women's and Gender Studies and Journalism. This results in a student receiving one degree with two areas of specialization, allowing students to design a course of study that matches their interests.

Students pursuing an undergraduate emphasis in Women's and Gender Studies may be interested in the joint program in Women's and Gender Studies and Leadership and Public Service. This program is offered in cooperation with the Office of Service Learning, and provides students with an opportunity to participate in professional leadership and public service venues to compliment their academic coursework.