2019-2020 Catalog

Publication date June 2019

Women's Studies Major - Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Women’s, gender, and sexuality studies is rooted in the women’s, anti-racist, LGBT, and labor rights movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It seeks to understand how various societies construct ideas of maleness/masculinity and femaleness/femininity in relation to other social categories and to systems of inequality and privilege. As a field, WGSS has always generated action and organized movements, seeking equality worldwide.

The Department of WGSS enacts the Wisconsin Idea: that universities should produce knowledge and educate students in ways that serve real people. We study and teach about the lives of women, men, and sexual and gender identity minorities. We examine the ways that race, social class, age, and other socially constructed hierarchies connect to gender to impact people's real lives and our social, cultural, and economic institutions and opportunities.  We study how social change works and what social justice might look like. We use and teach students to use academic skills to make social change. We maintain the connection between theory and practice, issues and advocacy, throughout our curricula and all our programs.

(All colleges, excluding teacher certification programs)

33 credits (24 credits must be 300/400 level, and courses may not count in more than one category).


Admission to the major requires a grade of "C" or higher in any courses taken for the introductory or transnational categories. Students majoring in women’s studies and another major must satisfy requirements for both majors; no more than six credits can count for the women’s studies major and another major or minor.


Category I. Introductory3
Select one of the following:
Gender, Race and Class in American Institutions
Women's Diversity: Race, Class, and Culture
Introduction to Social Justice
Category II. Theory and practice9
Social Justice Research Methods
History of Feminist Thought
Black Feminist Thought
Gender, Knowledge, and Power
Women's Studies Seminar
Category III. Electives21
Select 21 credits from the following, including one transnational course:
Gender, Race and Class in American Institutions
Introduction to LGBT Studies
Women's Diversity: Race, Class, and Culture
Introduction to Social Justice
Search for Economic Justice
Women and Leadership
Girls and Women in Sport
Independent Study
Women in the Modern United States: 1890-Present
History of Motherhood in the United States
Gender, Justice, and Film
History of Feminist Thought
Violence Against Women
Sexual Violence in the United States
Gendered Violence Prevention
Black Feminist Thought
Topics: Women, Gender, and Society
The Gendered Body in History and Today
Gender, Knowledge, and Power
Women, Poverty and Public Policy
Lesbian Studies
Internship in Women's Studies
Women and Society
Anthropology of Childhood and Youth
History of Women in the Ancient World
Gender Communication
Sex, Love, and Romance in the Media
Communication, Media and Identity
Women in the U.S. Economy
Women and Popular Culture
Women Authors
Advanced Study of Women's Literature
Women's Health Issues
Sexual Health Promotion
Philosophy of Love, Sex and Friendship
Women and Politics
Human Sexuality
Psychology of Women
Men and Masculinities
Changing the Culture: Women in Science
Sociological Aspects of Work and Life
Sociology of Sexualities
Sociology of Gender
At least one elective must be a transnational course:
Gender, Sexuality, and Social Change in Religion
Globalization, Women, and Work
Gender and Human Rights
Women, Gender and Sexuality in Modern Europe
Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Latin America
Women in South Asia
Women and Gender in Africa
Women and Gender in the Middle East
Women and Politics in Asia
Women and Politics in the Middle East
Women and Politics in Africa
Women and Politics in Latin America
Total Credits33

All students must complete the general education, college core, major/minor, and university degree requirements in order to qualify for a degree. The easiest way to track all of these requirements is to refer to the Advisement Report (AR) found in the Student Information System (WINGS) Student Center. All enrolled students have access to the AR. 

College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CASSH/VPA) Bachelor of Arts core requirements

The following conditions apply to one or both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees:

  1. Students majoring in English (writing and rhetoric or literature emphases) or in the department of global cultures and languages must earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Education majors earn a Bachelor of Science degree; English major: medical professions emphasis majors may earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.
  2. Students majoring in other CASSH programs may choose either a B.A. or a B.S. degree.
  3. Language courses (ARA, CHI, FRE, GCL, GER, HMG, JPN, RUS, SPA) used to fulfill general education requirement: "Mathematical/logical systems and modern languages" (GE 02, category 2) may also be used to meet the B.A. and B.S. language requirements.
  4. All other courses used to meet the requirements below must be in addition to the minimum 39 credits required in the General Education Program.
  5. At least one course in the B.A. or B.S. college degree program (core requirements) must be a CASSH designated diversity course.
  6. Applicable courses may be found on the CASSH B.A./B.S. Degree Option Course List or in the Advisement Report (AR) when the degree has been declared.

Courses used to fulfill general education requirements will not apply to core requirements except for language courses (ARA, CHI, FRE, GCL, GER, HMG, JPN, RUS, SPA) that count in the general education requirement: "Mathematical/logical systems and modern languages" (GE 02, category 2).

Declare ONE of the following tracks in the CASSH Academic Services Office in 235 Morris Hall:

A. Language track

  1. Native speakers of English complete:
    Select one of the following:
    Intermediate Arabic II
    Intermediate Chinese II
    Intermediate French II
    Intermediate Languages II
    Intermediate German II
    Hmong Heritage Language: Intermediate
    Hmong Heritage Language: Advanced
    Intermediate Japanese II
    Intermediate Russian II
    Spanish Language and Cultures in Action II
    Non-native speakers of English: score at least 80 on the La Crosse Battery of exams for non-native speakers of English; or submit a TOEFL or IELTS score that meets the university's English language proficiency requirement for admission; or complete ESL 252 or ESL 253, and one additional course from ESL 250, ESL 251, ESL 252, ESL 253. (Contact the English as a Second Language Institute for eligibility and regulations); and
  2. Two additional courses outside of the student's major in two of the following: humanities, social sciences or fine arts.

B. Humanities track

  1. One global language course 102 or higher; and
  2. Two additional courses outside the department of the student's major from two different departments chosen from: communication studies, English, history, philosophy and women's, gender and sexuality studies (see the Advisement Report (AR) for a listing of the approved courses); and
  3. One additional course in social sciences or fine arts.

C. Fine arts track

  1. One global language course 102 or higher; and
  2. Two additional courses outside the department of the student's major from two different departments chosen from: art, music, theatre; and
  3. One additional course in social sciences or humanities.
In addition to all other College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities core requirements, all students in CASSH must complete a second major, minor, or program option by satisfying one of the following:
  1. Complete a minor (or second major) outside of the student's major program, consisting of at least 18 credits; or
  2. Complete an emphasis, program or concentration of at least 18 credits outside the student's major program. General education courses may apply provided they are not being used to fulfill minimum general education requirements; or
  3. Complete 18 credits in two or more departments or programs (at least 12 credits earned at the 300/400 level). These courses must be outside the student's major department and can be from any college. General education courses may apply provided they are not being used to fulfill minimum general education requirements.

Baccalaureate degree requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degrees must accomplish the following:

  1. Fulfill the general education requirements.
  2. Complete at least one ethnic studies (diversity) course.
  3. Complete the courses prescribed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for the degree desired in the respective school or college. (No substitutions for graduation may be made in course requirements for a major or minor after the fourth week of the last semester of the senior year.)
  4. Earn a minimum of 120 semester credits with at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.1
  5. At least 40 credits must be earned in 300/400 level courses. Transfer courses earned at the 300/400 level apply to this requirement. Courses earned at the 100/200 level that transferred to UWL as 300/400 level courses do not apply to this requirement.
  6. Complete major and minor requirements with at least a 2.00 GPA1 in each major and minor (and concentration or emphasis, if selected).
  7. A minimum of 30 semester credits in residence at UWL is required for graduation. (See undergraduate resident requirement.)
  8. Submit an application for graduation via the "Apply for Graduation" link in the WINGS Student Center as soon as the student has registered for his or her final semester or summer term in residence. December and winter intersession graduates should apply by May 1. May and summer graduates should apply by December 1.

No degree will be awarded unless all requirements are fulfilled and recorded within 30 days after the official ending date of each term.

Below is a sample degree plan that can be used as a guide to identify courses required to fulfill the major and other requirements needed for degree completion. A student's actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Also, this sample plan assumes readiness for each course and/or major plan, and some courses may not be offered every term. Review the course descriptions or the class timetable for course offering information.

The sample degree plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UWL in the fall term. Students should use the Advisement Report (AR) in WINGS and work closely with their faculty advisor(s) and college dean’s office to ensure declaration and completion of all requirements in a timely manner.

General Education Program
The general education curriculum (Gen Ed) is the common educational experience for all undergraduates at UWL. Sample degree plans include Gen Ed placeholders to ensure completion of the general education requirements. Courses may be rearranged to fit the needs or recommendations of the student’s program of study. Gen Ed courses may be taken during winter term (January between the semesters) and summer to reduce the course load during regular terms (fall and spring). Students should consult with their advisor and/or the college academic services director in their college/school for assistance with course and schedule planning. Refer to the general education requirements for more specific details.

Note: at least 40 credits of the 120 credits required must be earned at the 300/400 level.

This sample degree plan does not establish a contractual agreement. It identifies the minimum requirements a student must successfully complete, to qualify for a degree, in a format intended to assist the student plan their academic career. Actual degree plans may differ.

Year 1
WGS 100, 130, or 150 (Gen Ed Minority Cultures; WGS 150 is Gen Ed Self & Soc)3CST 110 (Gen Ed Literacy - Oral)3
Gen Ed Math4Gen Ed Global Studies3
ENG 110 or 112 (Gen Ed Literacy - Written)3WGS Transnational Elective3
Gen Ed World Hist3Gen Ed Arts2-3
Gen Ed Arts2-3Gen Ed Natural Lab Science4
 15 15
Year 2
WGS 303 (Theory and Practice Course)3WGS 315, 325, or 340 (Theory and Practice Course)3
Gen Ed Health & Well Being3CASSH Core Course3
Minor Course3102+ Level Gen Ed/CASSH Core Language14
Gen Ed Hum-Lit3Gen Ed Elective3
Gen Ed Self & Society3Gen Ed Elective3
 15 16
Year 3
University Elective3Minor Course3
Minor Course3WGS 300/400 Level Elective Course3
WGS Elective Course3WGS 300/400 Level Elective Course3
University Elective3Minor Course3
WGS 300/400 Level Elective Course3University Elective3
 15 15
Year 4
University Elective3WGS 300/400 Level Elective Course3
WGS 300/400 Level Elective Course3Minor Course3
WGS 499 (Theory and Practice Course)3CASSH Core Elective3
Minor Course3University Elective2
Gen Ed Elective3CASSH Core Diversity Elective3
 15 14
Total Credits: 120

At least two courses must be designed as writing emphasis.

Back to Top