BA in Interdisciplinary with Emphasis in Women's and Gender Studies

Degree Program Description

Women's and Gender Studies is the interdisciplinary, feminist study of the social, cultural, and historical processes that effect gender human identity. The BA in Interdisciplinary with an emphasis in Women’s and Gender Studies combines a broad range of approaches and methods with innovative classroom experiences and teaching. Students learn to integrate women's, gender, and/or queer studies with analyses of race, ethnicity, religion, spirituality, nationality, and class, and to think critically and synthetically about the multiple axes of power through which sexual and gendered identities are constructed. Courses encourage students to analyze the world in which they live, in order that they might act to transform it.   An emphasis in Women's and Gender Studies prepares students for many different employment opportunities. Some fields include arts, business, education, healthcare, media, politics, law, social work and social services.

Major Program Requirements

Interdepartmental Program in the College of Arts and Science

Joan Hermsen, Chair
Mary Jo Neitz, Director of Undergraduate Studies
325 Strickland Hall
(573) 882-2703

Students may earn a Bachelor of Arts in the College of Arts and Science with an Interdisciplinary Studies major and an emphasis in Women’s and Gender Studies. A minor is also available as are departmental honors. Please consult the Women's and Gender Studies department for more information. 

Advising of students and assistance in designing student-tailored academic plans is available from the Women’s and Gender Studies department office.

The curriculum includes Women's and Gender Studies core courses as well as cross-listed courses from several departments throughout the University. These courses assume that knowledge cannot be separated from the study of women and gender, and that gender and sexuality are fundamental categories of analysis in all disciplines. The department stresses interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching that are broadly comparative and range across multiple cultures, national and transnational contexts, and historical periods. Its faculty employ a broad range of theoretical approaches and methods.

When students graduate with an emphasis in Women's and Gender Studies, they should be able to:

  • Apply cross-cultural and global awareness to "big questions" about women and gender
  • Have a comprehensive grasp of intersectionality and matrices of domination
  • Think critically: i.e. consider an issue from multiple perspectives; locate, evaluate and interpret diverse sources, including statistics; engage in critical self-reflection
  • Construct arguments with evidence obtained from research
  • Work collaboratively
  • Recognize sexist/racist writing and thinking
  • Connect knowledge and experience, theory and activism, Women's and Gender Studies materials with other courses
  • Communicate effectively in writing and speech
  • Apply knowledge for social transformation, citizenship
  • Use gender (and other identity categories) as a category/ies for analysis

An emphasis in Women's and Gender Studies prepares students for many different employment opportunities. Some fields include arts, business, education, healthcare, policy, media, politics, law, social work and social services. Because of the diversity of Women's and Gender Studies, the WGST emphasis can be combined with a number of other potential majors to create a dual degree. Many students choose to combine two areas of study, such as Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology, or Women's and Gender Studies and Journalism. This results in a student receiving one degree with two areas of specialization that reflect the student's unique academic interests and his/her individually-designed course of study.

Thirty hours are required in Women’s and Gender Studies. In addition to degree requirements, college and university requirements, including university general education requirements, must be met.

Required Core Courses15
WGST 1120Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies3
WGST 2010Gender and Identity: Understanding Intersectionality3
WGST 2020Feminist Theory3
WGST 3450Feminist Methodologies3
WGST 4990Capstone: Senior Research Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies3
Additional courses15
Students take an additional 15 hours selected from the lists of courses below. Students are encouraged to select the bulk of their elective coursework from the first list, Emphasis Core Courses, and must take a minimum of 9 hours from this list. Courses from the third list, Special Semester Topics Courses, may be either Emphasis Core Courses or Cross-listed Courses. Please seek advise from the department on which requirement these courses fulfill. 12 hours must be at 2000 level or above.
Emphasis Core Courses
WGST 2030Gender Perspectives: Colonial Histories, Post-Colonial Challenges3
WGST 2040Perspectives on Empowerment3
WGST 2050Gender Perspectives: Issues in Public Health3
WGST 2080Perspectives on Sexual and Gender Diversity3
WGST 2250Perspectives on Gender, Race, Class and Sexuality in the Americas3
WGST 2260Perspectives on Mass Media: Constructions of Gender, Race and Sexuality3
WGST 2340Perspectives on Gender and Popular Culture3
WGST 2960Sexual Health Advocacy and Service Learning3
WGST 3080Sexuality and Gender Theory3
WGST 3230Themes in Sexual Politics3
WGST 3240Nonprofit Work and the Pursuit of Social Justice3
WGST 3370Themes in Gender and Religion3
WGST 3480Themes in Sexuality and Literature3
WGST 3560Themes in Gender and Immigration3
WGST 3670Themes in Gender and Globalization3
WGST 3850Themes in Gender and the Politics of Representation3
WGST 3960Strategies for Effective Peer Education1
WGST 4020Studies in Feminist Thought3
WGST 4110Feminist Research and Criticism3
WGST 4230Women, Development, and Globalization3
WGST 4420Studies in Gender, Culture, and Politics3
WGST 4550Gender and Human Rights in Cross Cultural Perspective3
WGST 4600Studies in Women and Health3
WGST 4640Studies in Gender and Performance3
WGST 4940Internship in Women's and Gender Studies1-12
WGST 4965Special Readings in Women's and Gender Studies1-6
Cross-listed Courses:
AR_H_A 4120Gender and the Arts3
ANTHRO 4370Anthropology of Gender3
ENGLSH 2180Introduction to Women's Literature3
ENGLSH 2200HStudies in British Literature - Honors3
ENGLSH 3180Survey of Women Writers3
ENGLSH 4180Major Women Writers3
ENGLSH 4181Themes in Literature by Women3
ENGLSH 4480Major African Diaspora Women Writers3
ENGLSH 4780Women's Folklore and Feminist Theory3
FRENCH 2370French Women Writers (in translation)3
HIST 2400Social History of U.S. Women3
HIST 2410African American Women in History3
HIST 3220U.S. Women's Political History, 1880-Present3
HIST 3430Sex Radicals in U. S History3
HIST 3570European Women in the 19th Century3
HIST 4310Adoption, Child Welfare and the Family, 1850-Present3
HIST 4660European Women in the 20th Century3
JOURN 4716Women and the Media2
PHIL 2500Philosophy and Gender3
POL_SC 4730Women and Politics3
REL_ST 3750Women and Religions3
REL_ST 4750Women, Religion and Culture3
RUSS 3870Russian Women and Film3
SOC_WK 4400Domestic Violence3
SOCIOL 1360The Female Experience: Body, Identity, Culture3
SOCIOL 3300Queer Theories/Identities3
SOCIOL 3320Sociology of Gender3
Special Semester Topics Courses
WGST 1001Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-General1-3
WGST 1003Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Behavioral1-3
WGST 1004Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Social Science1-3
WGST 1005Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Humanities1-3
WGST 2001Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-General1-3
WGST 2003Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Behavioral1-3
WGST 2004Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Social Science1-3
WGST 2005Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Humanities1-3
WGST 3001Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-General1-3
WGST 3003Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Behavioral Sciences1-3
WGST 3004Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Social Sciences1-3
WGST 3005Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Humanities1-3
WGST 4001Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-General1-3
WGST 4003Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Behavioral Sciences1-3
WGST 4004Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Social Sciences1-3
WGST 4005Topics in Women's and Gender Studies-Humanities1-3
WGST 4873Women's and Gender Studies Abroad - Behavioral Science3
WGST 4874Women's and Gender Studies Abroad - Social Science3
WGST 4875Women's and Gender Studies Abroad - Humanities3

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Semester Plan

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
WGST 11203WGST 20103
ENGLSH 10003Foreign Language5
Social Science (MO State Law)3MATH 11003
Foreign Language5General Elective3
 14 14
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
WGST Major Course3WGST 20203
Science with a Lab5Minor3
Foreign Language3Humanities/Fine Arts (Writing Intensive)3
Behavioral Science3Behavioral Science3
Social Science3Science3
 17 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
WGST 34503WGST Major Course3
WGST Major Course3Minor3
Minor3Humanities/Fine Arts3
Science (Math Reasoning Proficiency)3Social Science3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
WGST Major Course3WGST 49903
WGST Major Course3Minor3
Minor3Humanities/Fine Arts3
Humanities/Fine Arts3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits: 120

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Degree Audit

 

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students who have attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by logging in to myZou and navigating to Self Service, then Student Center, and clicking on “Request Degree Audit.” The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.

MU students who have NOT attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to http://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

For newly admitted or prospective students, MU degree audits can be created at http://www.transfer.org. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to http://registrar.missouri.edu/degree-audits/index.php.

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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