Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan Dearborn is a vibrant interdisciplinary community of faculty, students and alumni dedicated to excellence in scholarship, teaching, learning and activism.

Are you interested in a program of study that allows you to pursue your interest in gender equity and social justice while developing the skills employers and competitive graduate programs desire?  

In Women’s and Gender Studies you will examine the ways that gender – through its connection with other forms of power such as race, class, sexuality and national location – shape lives, bodies, institutions and worlds.

You will also develop your analytical and critical thinking skills, and your ability to integrate and apply knowledge across the disciplines – skills that are needed to succeed in today’s ever-changing and dynamic labor market. 

The community service orientation of our program provides experiences that will contribute to both your intellectual growth and post-graduate employment opportunities.

Our students are campus and community leaders. They are Difference Makers, Honors scholars, Commencement speakers, and Chancellor medallion winners. Graduates of our program have gone on to successful careers in social work, health care, education, arts administration, human resources and community change, and scholarship funded graduate study in a variety of fields.

Dr. Lisa Martin
Director, Women's and Gender Studies
Email: martilis@umich.edu

Degree Requirements & Program Goals

Students may choose to pursue a major or a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. A double-major in WGST is also very easy to do, and many of our students pursue this option. 

Learn more about CASL Degree Requirements.

  • The Major

    Students wishing to major in Women’s and Gender Studies take a minimum of 30 credits from the following:

    • Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
    • Women’s and Gender Studies Foundations (3 hours)
    • WGST 409 Feminist Theories
    • Curricular focus areas (12 hours)
      Two courses from each of the following focus areas in WGS: “Gender Culture and Representation” and “Gender and Social Institutions.”  A complete list of these courses is found in the current Undergraduate Announcement and is available from the WGST director.
    • Community-based experiential learning
      One WGST service learning class or internship course.
    • Capstone Experience (3 hours)
      Choose from WGST 408, 436, 475  
    • Electives (9 hours)
      Students can fulfill the elective requirement with at least 6 credit hours in any 300/400 level Women’s and Gender Studies courses. 
Students must also complete two upper-level cognate courses in a discipline outside of WGST. For students who choose to double-major, these could be two courses in your other major.

  • The Minor

    Students wishing to minor in Women’s and Gender Studies must take a total of 15 credits in WGST: Introduction to WGS and 12 hours of 300/400 level WGST electives. 

  • Program Goals

    1)   Gain an understanding of the influence of gender in cultural discourse (including texts and other types of cultural production) and on social organization and behavior.

    2)   Gain an understanding of the diverse range of women’s and men’s experiences, including the specific ways that factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality and class background intersect with one another to shape these experiences.

    3)   Learn the fundamental concepts, theories and methods of women’s and gender studies scholarship, including the ways they challenge and/or enrich prevailing disciplinary approaches.

    4)   Gain critical thinking and information literacy skills to effectively identify, evaluate and apply data sources and texts related to Women’s and Gender Studies.

    5)   Develop the ability to effectively communicate in written and oral form especially in the form of arguments based on appropriate claims and evidence; be able to explain Women’s and Gender Studies concepts and theories to academic and general audiences.

    6)   Gain skills to recognize and understand the relationship between theory and practice as it relates to social and personal change. 

Women’s and Gender Studies has opened my eyes to the experiences of people in many different groups and has provided me with an analytical framework that is useful in my academic as well as personal life.  

-  Jennifer, Women’s and Gender Studies double-major in psychology

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