Women's and Gender Studies Minor


Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) is a diversity and social-justice-focused area of study that examines how our beliefs about gender and sexuality shape our personal identities and the world we live in. The program also examines how gender and sexuality intersect with other facets of our identities such as race, class, nationality, ability and age. As an interdisciplinary and multicultural field, WGS offers courses in a wide variety of disciplines including English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology and Religious Studies.

The WGS minor provides an expertise in diversity issues that is highly valued 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.

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    Requirements for the Women's and Gender Studies Minor (18 credits)

    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 in the Schedule of Classes.

    1. WGS 2000 Gender, Sex, and Justice (3 credits)

    2. Courses in other disciplines approved for WGS (15 credits)

    To find WGS-approved courses in a specific semester, go your My Portal account and select the link for "Class Schedule," then choose “Advanced Search.” In the “Attribute” field, type/choose “WGS-Women’s and Gender Studies,” then click “Search."

    Note: No more than six elective credits (two courses) in any one department can be counted toward the minor. At least nine credits (three courses) within the minor must be upper division courses (3000 or 4000 level).

    3. A Women's and Gender Studies Minor Portfolio


    WGS Portfolio Information

    No later than the seventh week of the final semester, each student must submit a Women's and Gender Studies minor portfolio to the student's WGS advisor for evaluation by the Women's and Gender Studies Steering Committee. The minor portfolio consists of:

    1. Cover Page:
    • Name
    • Date of portfolio submission
    • Date of expected graduation
    • Titles of essays/projects included in portfolio
    • The numbers and titles of the courses for which the work was completed and the course instructor’s name

    2. Submitted Work:

    • 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.
    • 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.
      • Four additional analytic essays or research papers of at least three pages or three additional analytic essays or research papers of at least three pages and one project that is not an analytic essay or research paper, such as narrative or personal essays, creative writing, audio and/or visual compositions (including videos), PowerPoint presentations or research posters.
      • If the student took WGS 3300, one of the four additional essays should be their WGS 3300 Capstone Essay.
      • At least one essay/project should directly address the WGS program outcome being assessed the year the student completes the requirements for the minor.
    • Essays should be arranged in chronological order.

    3. Self-Reflection Essay (4-5 pages):

    • Discusses your reasons for considering the essays/project you have chosen to be reflective of your intellectual exploration and achievements as a Women’s and Gender Studies minor
    • Explains—with reference to the applicable essays/project contained in the portfolio—how your work as a WGS minor has helped you to analyze specific issues of gender in connection with two or more disciplines other than WGS. One of these disciplines must be your 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.

Program Contact Information

Hsiao-Lan Hu, Ph.D.
Professor of Religious Studies
Director, Women's and Gender Studies Program
Briggs Building, Room 333
McNichols Campus

Email: hhu@udmercy.edu
Telephone: 313-578-0351

Amanda Hiber, M.F.A
Senior Lecturer of English
Associate Director,
Women's and Gender Studies Program
Briggs Building, Room 216
McNichols Campus

Email: hiberja@udmercy.edu
Telephone: 313-993-2011