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Awareness & Understanding

Using an interdisciplinary approach, students in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies critically examine the social construction of gender and the status of women in diverse cultural contexts and time periods. The program emphasizes both scholarly exploration and the application of knowledge to practical women's issues. With many cross-listed courses, the Women's Studies Major is easy to combine with another discipline as a double-major or to include a minor in one of the core areas of study.

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies for non-majors: WGS Minor

Why major in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies?

While Mississippi and the nation are making some gains in bridging the gender gap, a recent report from the Washington-based Institute for Women's Policy Research emphasizes that women in the USA, and Mississippi women in particular, are still struggling toward equity in education, employment, and health. In fact, the IWPR labeled Mississippi as overall, "the worst state for women."

In 2010, the Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women reported that 24% of Mississippi women lived in poverty, up from 22% in 2000. A systematic study of the problems and the issues connected with gender inequity brings awareness and understanding. With understanding comes the power to change society for the better. An interdisciplinary major in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at our institution reflects the truth of women's needs in our world: we must work in collaboration to achieve comprehensive improvement for women in health, education, politics, economics, media image, etc.

Two female students volunteer at a charity shop sorting clothes

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies provides a broad liberal arts background that helps build skills in critical thinking and problem solving, data collection and analysis, oral, written and presentation expertise, and collaborative teamwork . A major in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies also provides in-depth knowledge of the gender dynamics, strategies and organizational skills needed to address gender inequalities, promoting skills which are needed in the human resources field, in political think tanks, in management, and in a variety of professions such as law, science and medicine.

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, BA Curriculum

This information is presented for informational purposes. In the event of a discrepancy between this page and the Undergraduate Bulletin, the Bulletin should always be used.

General Education Curriculum

In keeping with The W's Mission, the General Education Program provides students with the skills, knowledge, and values they need to become independent, productive members of society in our continually changing world.

The W's General Education Program provides a foundation in the liberal arts that includes knowledge in the historical, literary, aesthetic, scientific, and cultural traditions that shape the world, and fosters skills that allow students to become civically responsible life-long learners ready to adapt to new challenges.

All students who complete the Mississippi University for Women general education program will demonstrate:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Effective Communication
  • Cultural Literacy
  • Quantitative & Technology Skills
  • Understanding of Self, Global Societies, & the Natural World
  • Life-Long Learning

View General Education Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Requirements

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree must include the following courses (or demonstrate equivalent competency) in their academic program:

  • Foreign Language 101-102 8 semester hours
  • Foreign Language 201-202 6 semester hours

To fulfill the language requirement for the B.A., students must complete the 202 level or above in a foreign language. For information on foreign language placement, see the Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy section in the Bulletin. If, upon entering the University, a student already has sufficient background to be successful in 201-202, he/she does not need to enroll in 101-102. The requirement is in essence six hours credit at the 200-level or above.

Major Courses

WS 200 - Introduction to Women’s Studies
WS 499 - Women’s Studies Capstone Course

Select two of the following Humanities Electives (6 Semester Hours)

WS 308 - Women and Gender in Western Religion
WS 315 - Women Artists in History
WS 317 - Sexuality in American History
WS 324 - Women in European History: From Antiquity to the Age of the French Revolution
WS 326 - Women in American History
WS 350 - Women in Literature
WS 375 - Women in Medieval Literature

Select two of the following Social Science Electives (6 Semester Hours)

WS 215 - Women’s Rebellion
WS 351 - Women’s Experiences of Family Life
WS 352 - Psychology of Women
WS 382 - Women’s Health Issues
WS 384 - Strategies for the Managerial Woman
WS 425 - Gender Development

Select five additional Women’s Studies Electives (15 Semester Hours)

May include any Women's, Gender, and Sexuality courses (listed with prefix WS) including any of the above elective courses not counted already or:

WS 299 - Special Topics in Women’s Studies
WS 400 - Seminar in Women’s Studies
WS 401 - Internship in Women’s Sudies
An approved course from another discipline which contains significant Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies content.

Electives for the major must include courses cross-listed with at least three different academic disciplines.

Total Women’s Studies Hours: 33 Semester Hours

Total Hours Required for a BA in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: 124 Semester Hours