Women and Gender Studies

Degree BA

Students may earn a bachelor of arts degree in women’s studies or a women’s studies minor to supplement study in their major field.

Since 1974, the Women and Gender Studies Program has offered an interdisciplinary curriculum encompassing social sciences and humanities. Courses reflect the new scholarship on women: they focus on the interface of the public and private spheres of women’s lives; on the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, nation and class; feminist theory; gender identity and theories of inequality. The curriculum is multifaceted, offering courses on women of color, women and development, global feminism, feminist research methods, and gender and sexuality. The program houses a reading library and organizes colloquia, workshops, and other cultural and educational events.

A women’s studies major is useful in pursuing careers in law, medicine, government, public health, public policy, social work, teaching, counseling, advocacy, journalism, television production, labor and nonprofit organizing, public relations, education, politics, fundraising, small business development, librarianship, arts administration, and the Foreign Service.

The undergraduate degree in women’s studies emphasizes knowledge and awareness of:

• the historical and cross-cultural variability of social norms of masculinity and femininity;
• the ways in which ideas of masculinity and femininity shape and interact with class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, and nationality;

• the centrality of gender at the local, national, and international levels of society, politics, and the economy;
• the diversity of global feminism;
• how women interact with the global economy;
• how power and privilege function in relation to the intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, and nationality;
• women’s participation in, contribution to, and transformation of areas of social life including culture, society, politics, the economy, and religion;
• discrimination and violence against women;
• women’s activism and resistance;
• the varied research methods and theoretical perspectives used in women, gender, and sexuality studies scholarship, including the relationship between theory and practice; and
• the history of women and gender studies as an academic discipline and the main themes that have characterized its emergence.
In addition, students completing the program in women’s studies are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

• express ideas clearly in spoken form;
• employ creative problem-solving techniques;
• organize and synthesize material in new ways;
• analyze texts and information critically;
• articulate clearly complex ideas in written form; and
• participate in teamwork successfully.
Students must complete the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences and the required courses listed below.

Required Courses Semester Hours
Students must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours with grades of C- or better in women and gender studies courses, a minimum of 24 credits of which must be upper division (3000 or 4000 level).

Required Courses (15 hours)

WMST 2000 Introduction to Feminist Studies 3
WMST 2600 Gender, Race, and Class in Global Context 3
WMST 3020 Methods of Inquiry in Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality 3
WMST 3100 Feminist Theories 3
WMST 4800 Senior Colloquium in Feminist Studies 3

Lower-division Elective Courses (no more than 6 additional credit hours at the 1000–2000 levels)

Students may choose from any of the lower-division courses listed below, or courses approved by the advisor and the WMST department, that are not applied to courses listed either above or below.
ENGL 1260 Into to Women’s Literature 3
SOCY 1006 Social Construction of Sexuality OR SOCY 1016 Sex, Gender, Society 3
WMST 2200 Women, Literature, and the Arts 3
WMST 2400 Women of Color and Activism 3
WMST 2020 Social Construction and Feminities and Masculinities 3
WMST 2050 Gender and Contemporary Culture 3
WMST 2700 Psychology and Contemporary Women 3

Upper-division Courses (at least 15 credit hours; total credits hours must come to 36)

Students must take at least one course each in the following categories: gender/sexuality; race/ethnicity; global/transnational. For the remaining 6 credits, students may take additional courses from these three categories and/or the upper-division electives list. Consult the WMST advisor or the department for additional choices.

LGBT 3796 Queer Theory 3
PSCI 3301/WMST 3300 Gender, Sexuality, and U.S. Law 3
SOCY 3046/WMST 3046 Topics in Sex and Gender 3
SOCY 4016/WMST 4016 Sex, Gender, and Society 2 3
WMST 4287 Studies in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Literature 3
WMST 4636 Lesbian and Gay History 3

ETHN 3026 Women of Color: Chicanas in U.S. Society 3
ETHN 3213/WMST 3210 American Indian Women 3
WMST 3044 Race, Class, Gender, and Crime 3
WMST 3135 Chicana Feminism and Knowledge 3
WMST 3505 Historical and Contemporary Issues of Black Women 3
WMST 3600 Latinas: History, Culture, and Social Activism 3
WMST 3900 Asian American Women 3
WMST 4619 Women in Asian History 3

ANTH 3180 Gender, Culture, and Sexuality 3
WMST 3220 Women and Islam 3
WMST 3500 Global and Gender Issues 3
WMST 3650 Women and Politics in Latin America 3
WMST 3670 Immigrant Women in the Global Economy 3
WMST 3672 Gender and Global Economy 3
WMST 3730 Third World Women and the Politics of International Development 3
WMST 4300 Sex, Power, Politics: International Perspectives 3

Upper-division Electives
ARTH 3209 Culture and Gender Diversity 3
ENGL 3217 Topics in Gender Studies 3
FILM 3013 Women and Film 3
HIST 3016 Seminar in the History of Gender and Science 3
HUMN 3065 Feminist Theory/Women’s Art 3
ITAL 4730 Italian Feminism, Culture, Theory, and Narratives of Disclosure 3
THTR 4041 Women and Theatre/20th Century 3
THTR 4073 Performing Voices of Women 3
WMST 3000 Gender, Work, and Public Policy 3
WMST 3016 Marriage and Family in U.S. Society 3
WMST 3090 Critical Thinking in Feminist Studies 3
WMST 3110 Feminist Practical Ethics 3
WMST 3200 Religion and Feminist Thought 3
WMST 3267 Women Writers 3
WMST 3302 Peaceful Community Change 3
WMST 3314 Violence against Women and Girls 3
WMST 3601 German Women Writers 3
WMST 3656 History of Women in Progressive Social Movements 3
WMST 4000 Senior Seminar: Special Topics 3
WMST 4016 Sex, Gender, and Society 2 3
WMST 4063 Women in Victorian England 3
WMST 4086 Family and Society 3
WMST 4277 Topics in Women Literature 3
WMST 4331 Women in Popular Culture 3
WMST 4471 Russian Women in 20th Century Russian Culture 3
WMST 4614 Women and Society in Industrial Europe 3
WMST 4616 History of Women in the U.S. to 1890 3
WMST 4626 History of Women since 1890 3

Students may take up to 6 credits of honors hours in WMST; credits apply to upper-division electives in the major.
WMST 4950 Honors Research 1-6

Students may take up to 6 credits of internship hours in WMST; credits apply to upper-division electives in the major.
WMST 3930 Women’s Studies Internship 1-6

Special Topics
Students may take up to 6 credit hours in WMST topics courses; course topics vary each semester. Ask the WMST advisor or department about how each course applies to major cognates.

WMST 3700 Contemporary Topics in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 3
WMST 3710 Topics in Global Gender Studies 3
WMST 4000 Senior Seminar: Special Topics 3

Graduating in Four Years +

Consult the Four-Year Guarantee Requirements for more information on eligibility. The concept of “adequate progress” as it is used here only refers to maintaining eligibility for the four-year guarantee; it is not a requirement for the major. To maintain adequate progress in women and gender studies, students should meet the following requirements:

Declare major by the beginning of the second semester.
Complete WMST 2000 and 12 additional credit hours of major requirements by the end of the fourth semester.
Complete WMST 3100 and 27 total credit hours of major requirements by the end of the sixth semester.
Complete WMST 4800 and one additional 3-credit course of the major requirements by the end of the eighth semester.

Minor Programs +

A minor program in women’s studies is offered. Declaration of a minor is open to any student enrolled at CU-Boulder, regardless of college or school. Current requirements are being updated by the program. Contact the Department of Women and Gender Studies for more information.

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