Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) develops students’ abilities to critically examine the place of women and gender in culture and society. WGS students examine a wide variety of scholarship on and theories about women and gender; study the ways issues of sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion, culture and class impact those categories; and engage with issues of social justice and equity. As an interdisciplinary and multicultural field, WGS offers courses in a wide variety of disciplines.
The Women's and Gender Studies minor provides an expertise in gender issues that responds to an increasing demand for such expertise in many professions and offers strong preparation for further study in a variety of postgraduate fields. In addition, Women's and Gender Studies courses often combine practice with theory, supplying students with a strong foundation for involvement in social justice issues. The Women's and Gender Studies minor is open to all undergraduates enrolled at University of Detroit Mercy.
Women's and Gender Studies Minor Requirements
The Women's and Gender Studies minor will be granted to students completing a minimum of 18 credit hours in courses approved for Women's and Gender Studies credit and a WGS minor portfolio. Courses meeting Women's and Gender Studies criteria are listed each semester. Students should refer to the schedule of classes or visit the WGS Program website.
Required (18 credits)
1. WGS 2000 Gender, Sex, and Justice (3 credits)
2. Courses in other disciplines approved for WGS (15 credits)
No more than 6 elective credits (2 courses) in any one department can be counted toward the minor. At least 9 credits (3 courses) within the minor must be upper division courses (3000 or 4000 level).
3. A Women's and Gender Studies Minor Portfolio
No later than the seventh week of his or her final semester, each student must submit a Women's and Gender Studies minor portfolio to his/her WGS advisor for evaluation by the Women's and Gender Studies Steering Committee. The minor portfolio consists of:
A) Cover Page
This must include the student's name, date of portfolio submission, date of expected graduation, titles of essays/project included in portfolio and the instructor and course for which the work was completed.
B) Submitted Work
Five representative pieces of work from four or more different WGS courses. Pieces should be arranged in chronological order. No more than two pieces of work may be submitted from the same department. Submitted pieces should include instructors' comments and grades as well as copies of the original assignment sheets/prompts. The following must be included:
- WGS 2000 Capstone Essay
- Three to four additional analytic essays or research papers of at least three pages. If they wish, students may include ONE project that is not an analytic essay or research paper, such as the following:
- Narrative or personal essays
- Creative writing
- Audio and/or visual compositions (including videos)
- PowerPoint presentations
- Research posters
At least one essay/project should directly address the WGS program outcome being assessed the year the student completes his or her minor requirements.
c. Self-Reflection Essay (4-5 pages)
Along with selected pieces of work, students must write a self-reflection essay in which they:
- Discuss their reasons for considering the essays/project they have chosen to be reflective of their intellectual exploration and achievements as Women’s and Gender Studies minors, and
- Explain—with reference to the applicable essays/project contained in the portfolio—how their work as WGS minors has helped them to analyze specific issues of gender in connection with two or more disciplines other than WGS. One of these disciplines should be the student’s major.
Completed portfolios are required for graduation with a Women’s and Gender Studies minor. However, they are graded on a pass/fail basis. Contents of the portfolios will not be used to evaluate individual student competence; rather, they will be used by WGS faculty to assess the minor program as a whole. Students who have demonstrated particular excellence in the WGS minor will be recognized as “passing with distinction.” This distinction will be conferred by the WGS Steering Committee, based on an exceptional level of engagement, sophistication and intellectual exploration by a WGS student. This distinction will be noted on the student’s WGS minor certificate.
Rosemary Weatherston, Director
Women's and Gender Studies Program
Patricia Rouen, Chair
Women's and Gender Studies Program Curriculum Committee