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Undergraduate Studies Catalog



Director: P. Caughie


A fundamental goal of the Women’s Studies program is to examine critically the place of women and the role of gender in society, culture and history. Women’s studies offers a feminist perspective to many academic inquiries, revisioning and enhancing them. Courses in women’s studies investigate neglected material, raise new questions, and re-evaluate the traditional focus of many disciplines. To achieve its goal of extending to all areas of the curriculum, the program offers both its own courses and works with other departments to create new or revised course offerings. Women’s studies courses explore such topics as the origin of traditional and non-traditional sex roles, the economic and historical position of women, women’s contribution to the arts, philosophical and religious attitudes towards women and the implication of race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality in the formation of gender identity. Students in women’s studies benefit from the new feminist scholarship, which is changing conventional ideas and theories in fields as diverse as literature, history, anthropology, sociology, biology, and psychology.

Women’s studies poses fundamental questions about gender relations and explores ways in which gender-based divisions affect the growth of women and men. Because the program offers a comprehensive vision of history and the human condition, it promotes critical thinking, intellectual growth, and a self-awareness useful for all students. Women’s studies encourages both women and men to contemplate all the choices open to them, including non-traditional roles and careers; it prepares women and men to deal with the social issues raised by the presence of women in the professions, business and industry; finally, it contributes to the construction of a more equitable society.

Requirements for the Major

Once a student completes the minor in Women’s Studies, she or he can declare a second major in the program. Students must have a declared first major in another department or school within the University. A second major in Women’s Studies consists of five additional courses beyond the minor, for a total of 30 credit hours (ten courses). For the required capstone course (to be taken in the senior year), majors can select from either WOST 401: History of Feminist Thought: 1790-1970, or WOST 402: Intellectual and Institutional Foundations of Women’s Studies. A prerequisite for the capstone courses is completion of the minor.

Recommended Course Sequencing for the major:

1st and 2nd year:
WOST 201 (should be taken early)

2 cross-listed classes on the core level

3rd year:
2 cross-listed classes on the core level

2 cross-listed classes on an advanced level

4th year:
WOST 401 or 402

2 cross-listed classes on an advanced level


The minor consists of 15 credit hours (five courses), including WOST 201. Students receive core credit for WOST 201 in the department of the instructor teaching the course. The remaining credits may come from four cross-listed courses or from three cross-listed courses and either WOST 390 or WOST 398. The minor may have a humanities or a social science orientation, and can be arranged to coordinate with the student’s major field.


201. Issues in Feminism.
This course explores the issues, methodologies, and controversies in the field of women’s studies. It is multi-disciplinary, drawing on the work of scholars from various departments and disciplines. Students explore the issues that have been raised during the recent wave of feminist scholarship and activism throughout the world and analyze the ways that scholars with different perspectives have addressed these issues.

390. Directed Readings in Women’s Studies.
An independent program of reading and research arranged between the student and the supervising faculty member in the student’s major department. Students will complete a final research project integrating their major fields with women’s studies. Permission of women’s studies director is required.

397. Special Topics in Women’s Studies.
Advanced courses or seminars focused on women that are taught in other departments and cross-listed in women’s studies.

398. Practicum in Women’s Studies.
Supervised field experience in a work situation. Opportunity to participate in an agency or organization with a focus on women and to see ways in which areas of concern to women today are dealt with in the public and private sectors. Permission of women’s studies director is required.

Following is a list of courses which the Women’s Studies Program cross-lists.


106. Sex, Science, and Anthropology. (ANTH 106)

205. Women in Cross Cultural Perspective. (ANTH 205)


295. Women in Antiquity. (CLST 295)


208. Communication, Language and Gender. (CMUN 254)


392. Domestic Violence. (CRMJ 373)

395. Women in the Criminal Justice System. (CRMJ 370)


283. Women in Literature. (ENGL 283)

306. Studies in Women Writers. (ENGL 306)

307. Topics in Feminist and Gender Studies. (ENGL 307)

369. Women in Drama. (ENGL 369)


207. The Artist is a Woman. (FNAR 207)


256. Women’s Sphere in Past Societies. (HIST 293)

290. Men and Women in U.S. History. (HIST 294)

296. Women in East Asia. (HIST 296) (INTS 296) (ASIA 269)

299. Gender, Race, and Class in U.S. History. (HIST 295) (PAX 295)

303. Rebels and Reformers in U.S. History. (HIST 381) (BWS 388) (PAX 387)

320. History of Sexuality in America. (HIST 392)

385. Women in Latin American History. (HIST 358) (LASP 299) (INTS 368)


280. Women in Foreign Literature. (LITR 280 variable topic)

284. European Women in Film. (variable topic)


322. Philosophical Perspectives on Woman. (PHIL 322)


139. Self-Defense for Women. (PHED 139) (1 credit hour)


318. Feminist Theory (PLSC 312)

319. Women, Law, and Public Policy. (PLSC 319)


230. Parenting Across the Life Span. (PSYC 230)

238. Gender and Sex Differences and Similarities. (PSYC 238)

340. Psychology of Women. (PSYC 340)


123. Mass Media and Popular Culture. (SOCL 123)

124. Women in Society. (SOCL 124)

242. The Family. (SOCL 240)


278. Women and Religion. (RCS 278) (THEO 178)

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