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Majoring and Minoring in WGSS

Interdisciplinary Major in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  • A a major requires at least ten courses. These must include all of the following:
    • WS 140 (Introduction to Women's Studies)

    • WS 340 (Feminist Theory)

    • WS 350 (Feminist Inquiry)

    • WS 440 (Senior Seminar)


  • And at least one of the following:
    • WS250 (Queer Theory, Queer Lives)
    • WS260 (Women of Color in the U.S.)
  • The remaining courses, one of which must be at the 300-level, can be drawn from the following regularly offered courses and/or from the list of cross-listed electives approved by the Women’s Studies steering committee and announced each semester.
    • WS262 (Transnational Feminisms)
    • WS342 (Women, Health and Social Control)
    • WS362 (Feminist Approaches to Environmentalism)
    • WS355 (Women in Education)
    • WS332 (Women, Culture and Identity)
  • Students must also take at least 16 courses outside the list of women's studies courses. No more than two credits of off-campus study may be counted toward the major. Studying in an off-campus DePauw-sponsored or GLCA program such as the Comparative Women's Studies Program in Europe is encouraged for majors and minors. Appropriate courses from off campus may be applied toward the major upon approval by the Director of Women’s Studies. For more information, please contact Tamara Beauboeuf, tbeauboeuf@depauw.edu.

Interdisciplinary Minor in Women's Studies

  • Five courses are required for a minor. These must include all of the following::
    • WS 140 (Introduction to Women's Studies)
    • WS 340 (Feminist Theory)
  • And at least one of the following:
    •  WS250 (Queer Theory, Queer Lives)
    • WS260 (Women of Color in the U.S.)
  • The remaining courses, one of which must be at the 300-level, can be drawn from the following regularly offered courses and/or from the list of cross-listed electives approved by the Women’s Studies steering committee and announced each semester.
    • WS262 (Transnational Feminisms)
    • WS342 (Women, Health and Social Control)
    • WS362 (Feminist Approaches to Environmentalism)
    • WS355 (Women in Education)
    • WS332 (Women, Culture and Identity)
  • Studying in an off-campus DePauw-sponsored or GLCA program, such as the Antioch Comparative Women's Studies Program in Europe, is encouraged for majors and minors. Appropriate courses from off-campus may be applied toward the minor upon approval by the Director of Women's Studies. For more information, please contact Anne Harris, aharris@depauw.edu

Requirements for a major

Women's Studies

Total courses required Ten
Core courses WS 140, WS 340, WS 350, WS 440.
Other required courses At least one of the following:
  • WS 250, Queer Theory, Queer Lives
  • WS 260, Women of Color in the U.S.
The remaining courses, one of which must be at the 300-level, may be drawn from the following regularly offered courses and/or from affiliated electives approved by the Women's Studies Steering Committee:
  • WS 262, Transnational Feminisms
  • WS 342, Women, Health and Social Control
  • WS 362, Feminist Approaches to Environmentalism
  • WS 355, Women in Education
  • WS 332, Women, Culture and Identity
Number 300 and 400 level courses Four
Senior requirement and capstone experience The senior requirement consists of the completion of WS 440.
Additional information Students must also take at least 16 courses outside the list of women's studies courses. No more than two courses of off-campus study may be counted toward the major. Studying in an off-campus DePauw-sponsored or GLCA program such as the Comparative Women's Studies Program in Europe is encouraged for majors and minors. Appropriate courses from off campus may be applied toward the major upon approval by the Director of Women's Studies.
Recent changes in major The list of core courses and other courses was revised effective 7/1/2012.
Writing in the Major

The Women's Studies program is committed to writing that engages an audience about complex issues regarding gender, race, class, and sexuality. Social change is inextricably linked to language and powerful writing and the program is designed to provide students with the skills to write persuasively. The fundamental skills of argumentation and data analysis are emphasized in all Women's Studies classes, and are given special priority in the two courses designated for the Writing in the Major requirement: WS340, Feminist Theory, and WS350, Feminist Inquiry.

In WS340, students practice and develop writing skills geared towards argumentative papers based on theoretical concepts of feminism. The course investigates various types and styles of feminist reasoning and writing, while also looking at how feminist analyses can help approach and attack some of the urgent problems of today. In this course, students are asked to develop two research projects, in line with their own interests and commitments, and sustained by scaffolded writing assignments.

In WS350, students engage in the methods, ethical practices and concerns, and social implications of conducting feminist research. The course provides an in-depth overview of both feminist methodology, including theories of what constitutes an ethics of feminist research, and appropriate methods to conduct inter/disciplinary research for outcomes in support of social justice. In this course, students conduct their own research project that is grounded in one of the feminist methodological frameworks discussed and that utilizes one or more of the tools of inquiry (or methods) outlined in the syllabus.

Together, these courses will provide students with the ability to write about both the philosophical principles of feminism and to exercise its methodology. Both skills are necessary to engage in the work of critique and social justice that feminism has shaped.


Requirements for a minor

Women's Studies

Total courses required Five
Core courses WS 140, WS 340
Other required courses At least one of the following:
  • WS 250, Queer Theory, Queer Lives
  • WS 260, Women of Color in the U.S.

The remaining courses, one of which must be at the 300-level, can be drawn from the following regularly offered courses and/or from affiliated electives approved by the Women's Studies steering committee.

  • WS 262, Transnational Feminisms
  • WS 342, Women, Health and Social Control
  • WS 362, Feminist Approaches to Environmentalism
  • WS 355, Women in Education
  • WS 332, Women, Culture and Identity
Number 300 and 400 level courses Two