Women's Studies (WMS) is an interdisciplinary program that places women in all their diversity at the center of inquiry and examines how gender influences our personal identities, cultural and artistic expressions, social arrangements, political and economic systems, and even our ways of knowing and understanding the world. The Bachelor of Arts program in Women's Studies is organized around three major areas of inquiry: feminist thought, women in multicultural perspective, and women in international perspective. Through courses taught in these and other areas across many disciplines, as well as opportunities for internship experiences and/or independent research, students will gain 1.) critical thinking and communication skills; 2.) the ability to analyze multiple fields of difference related to gender, race, cultural identity, nationality, class, age, sexual orientation, and physical ability; 3.) new ways of seeing and new standards for evaluating diverse women's and men's contributions to knowledge and society; 4.) a more inclusive and transformative understanding of themselves and the world(s) in which they live; and 5.) the opportunity to actively participate in social change.
The breadth and flexibility of the major enables students to choose among a variety of courses in many disciplines that suit their needs and interests as well as to tailor their course of study to develop a specialization within Women's Studies. Because the Women's Studies major is made up of courses that also count toward minors and majors in other disciplines, it also offers students the opportunity to pursue minors or dual majors in other fields to supplement and apply their training in Women's Studies with fewer additional credits to complete. As documented in national studies of Women's Studies graduates, a major in Women's Studies prepares students for a broad array of graduate and professional programs and a broad range of careers in such areas as research, writing, teaching, public policy, social and health services, law, business, and communications in public, private, and nonprofit organizations at local, national, and international levels.
Students seeking admission to the major must possess an overall GPA of 2.0. To graduate with a degree in Women's Studies, students must complete, along with university and college requirements, 20 hours of core courses and 31-36 hours of additional requirements, and maintain a grade of "C" or higher in all approved WMS courses taken for the major, 40 hours of which must be at the 300-level or above.