Women and Gender Studies Minor

The women and gender studies minor is multidisciplinary. Participating academic departments offer courses that examine women’s roles, gender identity and gendered perspectives. The goal of the women and gender studies minor is to encourage students to explore varied ideas, perspectives and values that will enrich their experiences and contributions to society.

A student who seeks a minor in women and gender studies must complete a minimum of 18 hours in women’s and gender studies coursework, which includes both a three-hour service learning internship approved by both the coordinator of women and gender studies and career planning and development, and WGST 371 Women and Gender Studies Thesis Seminar.

All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.

WGST 101: Introduction to Women and Gender Studies
3 credit hours

A multidisciplinary analysis of gender from historical and cross-cultural perspectives. This course examines the relevance and impact of gender-related issues in terms of historical and contemporary culture. The goal of this course is to help students develop a critical framework for thinking about gender and sexuality, with special attention to issues of class, race and ethnicity. Topics include birth control, the social construction of beauty, masculinity and race.

WGST 371: Women and Gender Studies Thesis Seminar
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  12 hours completed in Women and Gender Studies. 
Students who have completed all other coursework in the Women and Gender Studies program will be eligible to complete their women’s studies thesis project. Students may complete their thesis either in the junior or the senior year. Each student, in working closely with a faculty mentor and with the director of the women’s studies program, will select one paper or project the student has completed in one of her or his other women’s studies classes. The student will then develop this project as a thesis in Women and Gender Studies. The thesis must exhibit high standards of scholarship and must address a question related to the study of women and/or gender issues. Students participating in the seminar will meet occasionally to share their research with other participants. At the end of the semester, students will present their research in a public forum. Students participating in the Senior Honors Colloquium cannot use their honors theses as their women’s studies theses, though students may choose projects that relate to each other. Offered spring semester.

WGST 397, 398, 497, 498: Internship
Varies credit hours

Interns must have at least 60 credit hours, completed appropriate coursework and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 prior to registering for academic credit. Also, approval must be obtained from the student's faculty sponsor and required forms must be completed by the deadline. Note: *Architecture, Music Therapy and Education majors do not register internships through Career Planning & Development. These students need to speak with his/her advisor regarding credit requirements and options.

Choose one course offered in fine arts or in humanities:

ENGL 302: Women Writers
3 credit hours

A study of British and American literary works written by women. Particular consideration will be given to feminist modes of inquiry and critical thought as well as to the contributions of women in literary scholarship.

ENGL 303: Single Authors
3 credit hours

This course provides an in-depth study of a single author’s literary work. May be repeated when authors varyThis course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ENGL 317: African-American Literature
3 credit hours

The backgrounds of African-American culture in African and Caribbean literatures, as well as the history of black American literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with focus on the contemporary scene.

HIST 321: Women in European History
3 credit hours

Exploration of the lives and voices of European women throughout history and the ideologies that Western society has projected concerning women.

HIST 322: Joan of Arc: Film and History
3 credit hours

Through an examination of trial records and documents, this course examines the life of the peasant Joan of Arc, one of the most popular figures in history. Additional focus on the context of the Middle Ages as well as myth-making and representations in literature, art, film and propaganda. In what ways are historical interpretations shaped by popular culture and cultural biases about the past? How has Joan remained an important cultural construction long after her death?

HIST 325: Gender and Culture: East Asia
3 credit hours

This course explores the complex relationships between women and culture in two major civilizations in East Asia: China and Japan.

HIST 342: The European Witch Hunts
3 credit hours

This course examines the witch?hunts in Early Modern Europe. To understand the historical context, the course examines magic, heresy, witch?hunts and the shifting definitions in the late Middle Ages. Primary sources highlight the words of the accused and the accusers. Additional foci include the popular modern myths associated with the witch-hunts, as well as examination of modern witch-hunts. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

RELG 310: The Bible and Sexual Ethics
3 credit hours

This course explores the Bible through theories of anthropology, sociology and cultural criticism. It looks specifically at stories in the Bible that concern marriage, sex and violence.

SPAN 313: These Are Not Sweet Girls: Hispanic Women's Literature
3 credit hours

This course investigates issues of power, space and archetypes in the literature written by Hispanic women. Beginning with the first great women writers, this course proceeds chronologically to the twenty-first century. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

WGST 290, 390, 490: Selected Topics
1-3 credit hours

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses (course numbers 290, 390, 490) will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.

Choose one course offered in social sciences or in science and math:

ANTH 315: Gender, Sex and the Body
3 credit hours

A study of the concepts of culture and the body, including critical analysis of alternative gendered experiences, comparisons of how cultures shape identities about the body and sexuality, and cultural perceptions about sexuality, child-bearing and self-identification.

ANTH 362: Gender and Islam
3 credit hours

This course offers an overview and in-depth consideration of the relationship between gender and religion in Islamic cultures around the world. The course introduces students to cultural practices of Islamic society and the ways that women’s lives are shaped by religious forces. Readings and course materials emphasize the cultural contexts of the women’s lived experiences and daily practices, including the regulatory discourses of veiling and seclusion, kinship structures, violence, health, feminist activism, literary expressions, etc. Students will also look critically at the emergence of Islamic feminist thought, in dialogue with the human rights discourse present in western feminism, to draw out issues related to gender, ethics, and cultural relativism in a global world.

ECON 335: Poverty and Discrimination
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Admission to Breech School of Business 
Extent of poverty and income inequality in U.S. economy is described. Various theories that attempt to explain causes of poverty and inequality are discussed. Existing antipoverty programs are analyzed as are proposals for policy changes. Students will also complete a relevant research project.

PLSC 370: Women and Politics
3 credit hours

A comparative study of the role of women as political actors in western and non-western societies. Students will consider the role of gender in shaping political attitudes and perceptions, and the policy issues that affect women in political and daily life.

PSYC 352: Psychology of Gender
3 credit hours

Psychological study of gender in historical and contemporary perspective. Includes biological, psychological and sociological examination of the role of gender in development, self-concepts, social relations and mental health.

PSYC 370: Human Sexuality
3 credit hours

A study of the anatomy and physiology of the female and male reproductive systems, sexually transmitted diseases, methods of contraception, the sexual response cycle, sexual dysfunctions, gender identity, development of sexual orientation, adult sexuality, the development of relationships, cross-cultural comparisons of sexuality and socialization of gender roles.

SOCI 341: Homosexuality and Civil Liberties
3 credit hours

Examination of the rise of the gay and lesbian movement and the challenges of achieving civil liberties and civil rights in dominantly heterosexual Western and non-Western societies.

WGST 290, 390, 490: Selected Topics
1-3 credit hours

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses (course numbers 290, 390, 490) will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.

Choose one elective course from the following:

ANTH 315: Gender, Sex and the Body
3 credit hours

A study of the concepts of culture and the body, including critical analysis of alternative gendered experiences, comparisons of how cultures shape identities about the body and sexuality, and cultural perceptions about sexuality, child-bearing and self-identification.

ANTH 362: Gender and Islam
3 credit hours

This course offers an overview and in-depth consideration of the relationship between gender and religion in Islamic cultures around the world. The course introduces students to cultural practices of Islamic society and the ways that women’s lives are shaped by religious forces. Readings and course materials emphasize the cultural contexts of the women’s lived experiences and daily practices, including the regulatory discourses of veiling and seclusion, kinship structures, violence, health, feminist activism, literary expressions, etc. Students will also look critically at the emergence of Islamic feminist thought, in dialogue with the human rights discourse present in western feminism, to draw out issues related to gender, ethics, and cultural relativism in a global world.

ECON 335: Poverty and Discrimination
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Admission to Breech School of Business 
Extent of poverty and income inequality in U.S. economy is described. Various theories that attempt to explain causes of poverty and inequality are discussed. Existing antipoverty programs are analyzed as are proposals for policy changes. Students will also complete a relevant research project.

ENGL 302: Women Writers
3 credit hours

A study of British and American literary works written by women. Particular consideration will be given to feminist modes of inquiry and critical thought as well as to the contributions of women in literary scholarship.

ENGL 303: Single Authors
3 credit hours

This course provides an in-depth study of a single author’s literary work. May be repeated when authors varyThis course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ENGL 317: African-American Literature
3 credit hours

The backgrounds of African-American culture in African and Caribbean literatures, as well as the history of black American literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with focus on the contemporary scene.

HIST 321: Women in European History
3 credit hours

Exploration of the lives and voices of European women throughout history and the ideologies that Western society has projected concerning women.

HIST 322: Joan of Arc: Film and History
3 credit hours

Through an examination of trial records and documents, this course examines the life of the peasant Joan of Arc, one of the most popular figures in history. Additional focus on the context of the Middle Ages as well as myth-making and representations in literature, art, film and propaganda. In what ways are historical interpretations shaped by popular culture and cultural biases about the past? How has Joan remained an important cultural construction long after her death?

HIST 325: Gender and Culture: East Asia
3 credit hours

This course explores the complex relationships between women and culture in two major civilizations in East Asia: China and Japan.

HIST 342: The European Witch Hunts
3 credit hours

This course examines the witch?hunts in Early Modern Europe. To understand the historical context, the course examines magic, heresy, witch?hunts and the shifting definitions in the late Middle Ages. Primary sources highlight the words of the accused and the accusers. Additional foci include the popular modern myths associated with the witch-hunts, as well as examination of modern witch-hunts. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

PLSC 370: Women and Politics
3 credit hours

A comparative study of the role of women as political actors in western and non-western societies. Students will consider the role of gender in shaping political attitudes and perceptions, and the policy issues that affect women in political and daily life.

PSYC 352: Psychology of Gender
3 credit hours

Psychological study of gender in historical and contemporary perspective. Includes biological, psychological and sociological examination of the role of gender in development, self-concepts, social relations and mental health.

PSYC 370: Human Sexuality
3 credit hours

A study of the anatomy and physiology of the female and male reproductive systems, sexually transmitted diseases, methods of contraception, the sexual response cycle, sexual dysfunctions, gender identity, development of sexual orientation, adult sexuality, the development of relationships, cross-cultural comparisons of sexuality and socialization of gender roles.

RELG 310: The Bible and Sexual Ethics
3 credit hours

This course explores the Bible through theories of anthropology, sociology and cultural criticism. It looks specifically at stories in the Bible that concern marriage, sex and violence.

SOCI 201: Sociology of the Family
3 credit hours

The study of the family as a dynamic social institution. Students will examine family structures and socialization processes within multicultural and socio-historical contexts, including patterns of role behaviors, division of labor, decision making and the life cycle.

SOCI 341: Homosexuality and Civil Liberties
3 credit hours

Examination of the rise of the gay and lesbian movement and the challenges of achieving civil liberties and civil rights in dominantly heterosexual Western and non-Western societies.

SPAN 313: These Are Not Sweet Girls: Hispanic Women's Literature
3 credit hours

This course investigates issues of power, space and archetypes in the literature written by Hispanic women. Beginning with the first great women writers, this course proceeds chronologically to the twenty-first century. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

WGST 290, 390, 490: Selected Topics
1-3 credit hours

Selected Topics are courses of an experimental nature that provide students a wide variety of study opportunities and experiences. Selected Topics offer both the department and the students the opportunity to explore areas of special interest in a structured classroom setting. Selected Topics courses (course numbers 290, 390, 490) will have variable titles and vary in credit from 1-3 semester hours. Selected Topic courses may not be taken as a Directed Study offering.