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Women's and Gender Studies 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 course 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 the University.

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 web site.

Required (18 credits)
1. WGS 2000 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies (3 cr.)

2. Courses in other disciplines approved for WGS (15 cr.)
No more than 6 elective credits (2 courses) in any one Department can be counted toward the minor. At least nine 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 3rd 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
Four to six essays, written for at least three different Women’s and Five representative pieces of work from four or more different WGS courses. No more than two pieces of work may be submitted from the same department. The following must be included:

  • 1. WGS 2000 Capstone Essay
  • 2. Three to four additional analytic essays or research papers of at least 3 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

c. Self-Reflection Essay (4-5 pages)
Along with selected pieces of work, students must write a self-reflection essay in which they: 1) 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 2) 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's 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, as demonstrated by the submitted work and self-reflection essay in his or her WGS portfolio. This distinction will be noted on the student’s WGS Minor certificate.

Contact Information:

  • Rosemary Weatherston, Director
  • Women's and Gender Studies Program
  • weatherr@udmercy.edu or 313-993-1083


  • Amanda Hiber, Chair
  • Women's and Gender Studies Program Curriculum Sub-Committee
  • hiberja@udmercy.edu or 313-993-2011

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