Why Women's Studies?

The Women's Interdisciplinary Studies program includes a minor, an Ethnic Studies Concentration in Women's Studies, and Graduate Certificate available to Masters and PhD candidates. The program allows graduate and undergraduate students to:

  • Explore academic disciplines from a feminist and gender studies perspective.
  • Develop an appreciation of the historic and contemporary contributions of women and gender in all cultures.
  • Understand the ideological assumptions regarding women and gender implicit in social institutions.
  • Recognize how multiple systems of power and privilege intersect in our everyday lives.
  • Acquire knowledge and skills necessary for physical, social, and emotional well-being.

The program is interdisciplinary in nature, meaning that the classes are in economics, anthropology, music, ethnic studies, art, etc. Only two courses with a WS prefix are required - the Introduction to Women's Studies, or WS200 and the Seminar, or WS472. Most students find that the minor fits nicely with their major because they are taking electives for their major anyway - doing a minor just means that most of those electives have a gendered focus.

Undergraduate students who are pursuing a major in Ethnic Studies have the opportunity to pursue a concentration in Women's Studies. Ethnic Studies majors are required to pursue a minor anyway, so the Women's Studies concentration fits in nicely.

The graduate certificate is very flexible, and allows the student to create her or his own experience, based on her or his interests. Most graduate students find that it fits nicely with a two year master's program, though they may have to take one to two more classes than other members of their cohorts.