Degrees Offered

Undergraduate Study

Women’s and Gender Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a cross-disciplinary program in which students may elect a minor or a major. Women’s and Gender Studies provides an opportunity for students to examine women’s roles, contributions, and status in social and cultural context and to investigate a variety of disciplines from feminist perspectives.

Women’s and Gender Studies creates an understanding that interrelated factors —e.g., race, ethnicity, class, age, disability, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation — inform knowledge of women’s history, culture, and social roles. Women’s and Gender Studies seeks to improve critical thinking and to provide students with the intellectual means to question prevailing assumptions. It encourages students to explore the contexts and ideological origins of knowledge and to examine the relationship between knowledge and power in society. It promotes social responsibility by examining the connections between personal experience and political activity, and validates student contributions and voices.

Women’s and Gender Studies graduates are skilled in critical thinking, research methods, and effective communication. Because they have developed a thorough understanding of gender, race, and class, they can understand and work effectively with employers, colleagues, and clients to analyze and address complex social problems. Graduates acquire strong backgrounds for careers in such areas as counseling, education, human resources, public policy, politics, business, or law. The program includes core courses in Women’s and Gender Studies and cross-listed courses in anthropology, art history, classical studies, economics, English, history, health and human performance, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, speech communication, and world languages and cultures. An undergraduate major requires 33 credits of core and cross-listed courses.

Graduate Minor

The Women’s and Gender Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Minor is available for masters and doctoral students seeking to integrate work on women and gender into their programs of study. The graduate minor is designed to provide students with knowledge of theories and methods within a variety of approaches in feminist and gender based scholarship. The program seeks to integrate and synthesize knowledge from many disciplines and to offer students opportunities for systematic study of gender and women’s experiences and perspectives in all knowledge fields.

Program Requirements:


  • Official acceptance into any ISU graduate degree program.
  • Successful completion of at least two undergraduate courses in Women’s Studies.
  • Submission of a Statement of Purpose to the program director detailing your research interests in the Women’s and Gender Studies minor.
  • Completion of an advisory meeting with the program director.

Course Work: A Women’s and Gender Studies Graduate Minor requires a minimum of twelve (12) credit hours of coursework.

Required Courses (6 Credits)*:

  • Theory (3 Credits): WGS 501: Contemporary Feminist and Gender Theories or ELPS621: Pedagogies of Dissent.
  • Methods (3 Credits): WGS 502 Advanced Seminar in Feminist Research Methods or SOC 513 Qualitative Research Methods in Sociology or RESEV 580 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methodology or RESEV 680 Critical Issues in Qualitative Inquiry (pre-requisite: RESEV 580).

*Course substitutions possible on a case-by-case basis with POS committee approval

Elective Courses (6 Credits): Students are required to take a minimum of six (6) elective credits from available core and cross-listed Women’s and Gender Studies Classes.

Conference Participation: All Women’s and Gender Studies Graduate Minors are required to participate in the end of year student directed conference as a presenter, panel moderator, and/or administrative/support staff for the event.

Language Requirements: Determined by primary department