Women’s Studies Program
Department of Political Science
College of Liberal Arts
Liberal Arts Building 209 ~ 260-481-6686
Program Director: Suzanne LaVere
Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary area of study that examines gender and its intersections with other categories of identity, including race and ethnicity, sexuality, class, nationality, and disability. As such, it provides students the opportunity to integrate knowledge across diverse academic disciplines, to understand gender within both historical and contemporary contexts, and to develop approaches to investigation, analysis, and research that reflect the complex nature of how gender operates in our lives, how systems of power and oppression function, and how individuals and organizations can bring about meaningful social change.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this degree, students will:
- understand the major concepts of feminist critical analysis, including gender, race, class, sexuality, nationality, ability, and age, and the complexities of their intersections
- understand how gender is socially and historically constructed, how it relates to systems of power, privilege, and oppression, and how it impacts our lives
- understand a broad range of feminist theories with an appreciation for their cultural and historical contexts
- understand the history and importance of feminist thought and activism in the U.S. and around the globe
- understand the diversity of women’s experiences, roles, and contributions to society and culture
- understand how gender impacts the production of knowledge and how feminist approaches to learning and research have transformed traditional disciplines and other canons of knowledge
- understand the history and status of women’s studies as an academic field of study and the key principles that distinguish it from traditional disciplines, including its interdisciplinarity, its commitment to feminist approaches to teaching and learning, and its development of feminist research methods
- be able to demonstrate effective reading, speaking, writing, and critical thinking skills through the work they complete in women’s studies courses
- be able to apply feminist perspectives to a range of issues and engage critical debates or areas of contention within feminism
- be able to apply feminist perspectives across disciplines
- be able to incorporate feminist theories and scholarship in research methods and problem-solving
- be able to transform knowledge into engagement and articulate effective strategies for change
- This program is available on-campus.
Declaring the Major:
- Declare this major within the Department of Political Science which is the administrative home of the Women’s Studies program.
- PFW General Education Requirements
- PFW College of Liberal Arts Requirements
- PFW Academic Regulations
Women’s Studies 4-Yr. Plan:
- A grade of C- or higher in all department courses required for the major and an overall GPA of 2.00 or higher for all courses required in the major.
- A thematic focus of at least three courses (9 of the 33 credits in major requirements) must be selected in consultation with your women’s studies advisor. The thematic focus provides coherence within this interdisciplinary major and can be defined in several ways: geographically (e.g., women in America, women in Western Europe); chronologically (e.g., women in antiquity, women of the Renaissance); by a category or issue (e.g., women and peace, women of color, etc.).
- If you major in women’s studies, you are also required to have a minor or a second major. If you elect to double-major in women’s studies and another discipline, women’s studies may be either your first or second major. See Program Descriptions in this Catalog for details on other majors and minors.
- No more than two courses may be applied to another major.
- You may count only two courses toward both the women’s studies major and College of Liberal Arts requirements. Only one course may be counted toward both the women’s studies major and any other minor.
To earn the B.A. with a major in Women’s Studies, you must fulfill the following requirements in addition to the General Requirements noted above:
General Education Requirements: Credits 33
- Click on the Purdue Fort Wayne General Education Requirements link above for details.
Some majors may require particular General Education courses as specified in their program description. Up to six credits of approved General Education courses satisfying requirements in Areas A and B, and three credits satisfying requirements in Area C, may originate in the major. A grade of C- or higher in each course, and an overall GPA of 2.0 is required to satisfy the Purdue Fort Wayne General Education Requirements.
College of Liberal Arts Course Requirements
Click on the PFW College of Liberal Arts link above for detailed information on college requirements.
Introduction to the Liberal Arts: Credits 3
Second Semester Writing, Research, and Methods Class: Credits 3
International Language: Credits 12
You must complete two courses at the first-year level and two courses at the second-year level in a single international language or in American Sign Language (or demonstrate equivalent proficiency). Click on the PFW College of Liberal Arts link above for more details.
Thematic Requirements: Credits 15
Students will take one course in each of these five areas to ensure that they have an opportunity to deepen their traditional liberal arts education while also preparing for a culturally diverse, technologically advanced, and increasingly globalized and complex world:
- Gender, Sexuality, Race, and/or Ethnicity: Credits 3
- Conflict and Cooperation: Credits 3
- Institutions and Behavior: Credits 3
- Regional/Geographic Study: Credits 3
- Digital Humanities/Public Humanities: Credits 3
- A single course may not be used to fulfill more than one of the five thematic requirements.
- Courses taken to fulfill the five thematic requirements must come from courses offered under at least three different course prefixes.
- At least one course must come from the list of courses approved as dealing exclusively or primarily with a Non-Western culture or cultures.
List of Courses for the COLA Thematic Requirements
Core and Concentration (Major) Courses: Credits 33
Required Courses: Credits 12
Supporting Courses: Credits 12
Humanities/Fine Arts: Credits 6
Choose two courses from WOST prefixed or cross-referenced courses offered in the humanities or fine arts:
Social Sciences/Sciences: Credits 6
Choose two courses from WOST prefixed or cross-referenced courses offered in the social sciences or sciences:
Additional Courses: Credits 9
Choose three additional courses from WOST prefixed or cross-referenced courses from the humanities, fine arts, social sciences, or sciences listed above.
- Sufficient additional credits to bring the total to 120.
You are responsible for ensuring that you satisfy all graduation requirements specified for each selected program. Thus, it is essential that you develop a thorough understanding of the required courses, academic policies, and procedures governing your academic career. If you cannot complete all program requirements by your stated graduation date but fail to remove those from your plan of study, the Registrar’s Office in consultation with your academic advisor will remove unmet pursuits from your plan of study. Changing curricular records during the graduation term of application may affect state or federal financial aid awards. All requests for exceptions to specific requirements must be made in writing and may be granted only by written approval from the appropriate chair or dean.