2011-2012 Academic Catalog 
    Feb 21, 2024  
2011-2012 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Women’s and Gender Studies Major

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Undergraduate Program

Clark launched its Women’s Studies program in 1979. In spring 2006, the university approved the Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) major, effective fall 2006. The Women’s and Gender Studies major provides students with a solid foundation in women’s studies and gender analysis, introduces them to a range of disciplinary approaches to women and gender, and helps them to develop an area of specialization within the field. Courses stress the importance of social ideas and relationships such as those shaped by gender, ethnicity, race, and class to understand better individual and collective experiences, past and present. The major requires a minor in another field (and encourages a double major) in order to reinforce connections with existing majors.

WGS courses are offered by faculty throughout the university, but students are required to take three core courses within the Women’s Studies Program: Introduction to Women’s Studies, Feminist Theory, and Senior Capstone seminar. With the exception of these core courses, most offerings are cross-listed with the departments in which they originate.


Affiliate Faculty

Ya-chen Chen, Ph.D.



Program Requirements

All Women’s and Gender Studies majors must take ten (10) WGS courses, as well as complete a minor or a second major in another field. The major requirements are distributed as follows:

  • Three Core Courses: Introduction to Women’s Studies, Feminist Theory, and a Senior Capstone seminar or internship

  • Three Introductory or 100-Level Courses from three different departments
  • Three 200-Level Courses in a chosen theme or area of specialization from at least two different departments. Students will design a specialization in consultation with their adviser and must receive the approval of the women’s and gender studies director.
  • One Methods or Skills course related to student’s WGS specialization. This course may overlap with the required minor or second major.

The Women’s and Gender Studies director will help students identify an adviser based on WGS specialization, minor field, or second major. Advisers will be drawn from WGS faculty across the university.


Core Courses

Choose 3 of the following:

  • or Capstone Seminar
  • Students must complete a capstone course taught or supervised by a Women’s and Gender Studies faculty member and produce a major research paper or essay. In addition, the capstone may be an individual internship or a special project. Students may also satisfy the capstone requirement with an approved Women’s and Gender Studies Seminar or an Internship Seminar, both of which may be cross-listed with another department.


Introductory or 100-level courses from a different department:

Choose 3 of the following from 3 different departments:

200-Level Courses: Specialization in two or more departments

The specialization is not within an existing department or discipline, but should cross at least two. Examples could include: Women in Comparative Fiction; Women and Work; Gender and Environment; Gender, War and Militaries; Women and Social Change; Gender, Identity and Sexuality; Gender, Culture and Human Rights; Feminist Critiques of Globalization. Each student will define a specialization (comprising WGS courses in two or more departments) with their adviser, to be approved by the Women’s and Gender Studies Director. These courses can be developed from among the many courses offered within the following departments/programs:

Government and International Relations

  • GOVT 268 - Peace & War
  • GOVT 275 - Gender, Politics, and Development in Africa



  • PHIL 219 - Feminist Theory

Methods and Skills:

One course relevant to student’s WGS specialization may overlap with second major or minor. Alternative methods or skills classes may be approved as exceptions by the Women’s and Gender Studies Director.

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