In the women and gender studies program, you’ll learn about how greatly society relies on the effects of gender, sex, ethnicity, race and class. With feminist movements on the rise, it’s important to understand how oppression and efforts for equality affect not only women, but everyone on the gender spectrum. You can pair a major in women and gender studies with one in psychology, political science or a variety of other programs to fit your career goals.
Put Your Degree to Work
As a graduate of the women and gender studies program, you can apply your skills to any area of study, including counseling, education, gerontology, government, health professions, human resources, law and advocacy, politics, public relations, social work, and domestic violence support.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data
|Job||Median Pay||Job Growth through 2022|
|Social/human services assistant||$28,850 per year||22% (81,200 more jobs)|
|Social worker||$44,200 per year||19% (114,100 more jobs)|
|Mental health and family therapist||$41,500 per year||29% (48,200 more jobs)|
The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.
(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)
Women and Gender Studies Major
Women and Gender Studies is a multi-disciplinary course of study that fosters understanding of the ways in which social patterning of female and male roles impacts on human behavior and on the accumulation of knowledge. It satisfies the needs of students working in a large number of disciplines. The Women and Gender Studies major requires 30 hours of coursework and a second major taken in any discipline offered at Central Michigan University. The director of the Women and Gender Studies Program serves as advisor for all students taking this major.
Total: 30 semester hours
1. Completion of a second major in any discipline offered by CMU.
2. Courses must be selected in consultation with an advisor.
How Gender Affects Our Lives
An interdisciplinary course on the creation of gender inequalities. Students will delve into the complexities of gender identity from historical, contemporary, intersectional, and international perspectives. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
WGS 426/PSC 426/PHL 426
Examination of theories that describe and criticize the social, cultural and political status of women and offer alternatives to the status quo. Identical to PHL 426 and PSC 426. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. Recommended: one course in philosophy or one of PSC 275, 326, 371, 372, 373, 378.
Capstone Seminar in Women's Studies
An interdisciplinary capstone seminar in Women’s Studies integrating feminist theory, research and practice with particular attention to analysis of global movements, cultural institutions and science. Prerequisites: WGS 328/HST 326, WGS/PHL/PSC 426, and six additional hours in Women’s Studies.
Required Courses I
WGS 230/ECO 230
Women in the Economy
A study of the past and present role of women in the economy, as workers, both inside and outside the labor market. Identical to ECO 230. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses.
WGS 317/SOC 317
Sociology of Sex and Gender
Analysis of the role of gender in institutions such as the economy, the family and the schools. Gender inequality and factors that promote its reproduction. Identical to SOC 317. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. Prerequisite: SOC 100 or 201 or 221.
WGS 326/PSC 326
Women and Politics
This course will look primarily at empirical studies of women's role in politics in the U.S. but also in other contexts. Identical to PSC 326. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses.
WGS 334/PSY 334
Psychology of Women
Explores psychological issues pertaining specifically to women in the following areas: affective and cognitive functioning, personality theories, adult role behaviors, sexuality and physical and mental health. This course is approved for offering in a distance learning format. Identical to PSY 334. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses.
WGS 430/GRN 430
Women and Aging
Multiple theoretical perspectives examine the status of older women, individual psychological, social and physical development, roles in family and society, and policy implications. Identical to GRN 430. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. Prerequisite: HDF 247 or PSY 325 or HSC 390.
WGS 590/ANT 590/SOC 590
Gender, Culture, and Society
Analysis of gender roles in various cultures; theoretical approaches to explaining gender role variation. Identical to ANT 590 and SOC 590. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. Prerequisites: 6 hours of anthropology and/or sociology and /or women's studies.
Required Courses II
WGS 207/REL 207
Women in Religion
Roles and images of women in major religious traditions; emphasis on religious reform, creation of alternative institutions, new concepts of spirituality. Identical to REL 207. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. May be offered as Writing Intensive. (University Program Group I-A: Human Events and Ideas)
WGS 303/REL 303
Interdisciplinary study of goddesses in selected cultures, ancient and modern. Uses intersectionality to analyze opportunities and challenges inherent in gendering gods, including borrowing/reinventing goddesses today. Identical to REL 303. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Recommended: ENG 201.
WGS 327/ENG 327
Women Writers: Gender, Sexuality, and Literature
Examination of women writers in a variety of historical and cultural traditions, approached through the lenses of feminist and queer theory. Identical to ENG 327. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. May be offered as Writing Intensive. Prerequisite: ENG 201 with a grade of C or better.
WGS 328/HST 326
Women in America
Study of the traditional position of women in American society as documented in historical, literary, and biographical sources. Identical to HST 326. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. May be offered as Writing Intensive. (University Program Group I-A: Human Events and Ideas.)
WGS 354/HST 354
Women in European History
Surveys and analyzes the traditional and nontraditional roles of women in European history, using new historical research. Identical to HST 354. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses.
WGS 362/COM 362
Focuses on the role of communication in the creation and perpetuation of gender stereo types. Emphasis on personal growth and awareness in a variety of contexts. Identical to COM 362. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses.
WGS 382/ART 382
Gender and Art
Examines how gender identity has played a role in art. Examines artists, patrons, viewers, and subjects of representations as gendered and historically specific entities. Identical to ART 382. Credit cannot be earned in more than one of these courses. Prerequisite: Completion of 26 credit hours.
Chosen from the courses not selected from the lists above, or from the following group:
Growing Up in America
Learn how childrearing, family life, education, and the transition to adulthood have changed from colonial times to the present. May be offered as Writing Intensive. May be offered in an online format. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
Racial and Cultural Diversity: Mass Media's Role
Critical, historical and contemporary examination of African, Hispanic, Asian, Native Americans and gender stereotypes in mass media. Self- portrayals by these groups using mass media. (University Program Group IV-C: Studies in Racism and Cultural Diversity in the United States)
Women in Management
Explores women in management focusing on social phenomena shaping historical contributions and inequalities facing women in the workplace today, specifically opportunities/challenges pursuing a management career. This course may be offered in an online or hybrid format. (University Program Group III-B: Studies in Social Structures)
WGS 213/HDF 213
Introduction to Human Sexuality
Human sexual development throughout the human life cycle. Emphasis on understanding and acceptance of self as a sexually functioning person. Identical to HDF 213. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses.
Special Topics in Women and Gender Studies
Course covers special topics of interest to Women and Gender Studies not covered in existing courses. Course title will be listed on student's transcript.
WGS 319/PES 319
Women and Sport
An investigation of the motivational and social implications of women's participation in sport. Identical to PES 319. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses.
WGS 410/SOC 410
Women, Crime and Deviance
Exploring the theories, concepts, and social constructions fundamental to conceptualization of women as victims, offenders, and workers in the criminal justice system. Identical to SOC 410. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses. Prerequisites: SOC 301, 350.
Special Topics in Women and Gender Studies
Course covers special topics of interest to Women and Gender Studies not covered in existing courses. Course title will be listed on student's transcript. Recommended: 6 hours of coursework at the 300-level OR permission from instructor.