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Women’s and Gender Studies Major


The Department of Women’s & Gender Studies offers an undergraduate major in Women’s & Gender Studies leading to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. You can keep track of your requirements using the degree worksheet.

Note: The instructor for WGS 303 is currently on leave. We are accepting HIST 308 or HIST 309 in place of this course. If this does not work for you, please contact the office or your advisor immediately for assistance.

Specfic Courses 24
WGS 101 Women, Difference, and Power 4
WGS 303 Women and Gender in American History 4
WGS 315 History and Development of Feminist Theory 4
WGS 321 Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, and Culture 4
WGS 351 Introduction to Global Feminisms 4
WGS 352 Gender, Literature and Culture 4
Seminars 4
WGS 411 Feminist Praxis (Internship) 4
Electives 20
Upper-division WGS courses 8
WGS or other subject code (8 credits can be lower-division) 12
Total Credits 48

* These 48 credits in WGS are in addition to the requirements of a second major, if applicable.

Students should consider selecting a set of elective courses that constitute a coherent and focused course of study within the major. Students are encouraged to plan their courses with advisors to achieve this goal. All courses counting toward the major must be taken for letter grades except for:

  • WGS 403 – Thesis
  • WGS 405 – Reading and Conference
  • WGS 409 – Practicum
  • WGS 413 – Feminist Pedagogy

Caveats and other restrictions:

  • No more than 8 credits taken pass/no pass may be counted toward the major.
  • No more than 4 credits of WGS 409 practicum may apply toward the major.
  • At least 32 credits must be in upper-division courses.
  • At least 24 upper-division credits must be taken at the University of Oregon.
  • WGS majors must attain a grade-point average of 2.50 or higher in courses applied to the major
  • All graded courses in the major must be completed with grades of C- or higher.
  • Note: Students who have declared their major before fall term 2013 may choose the requirements in place when they declared or those above.

Senior Thesis in Women’s and Gender Studies

Students interested in producing a substantial piece of original research and writing may elect to do a senior thesis in Women’s and Gender Studies. Writing a senior thesis is also good preparation for graduate studies. Eligible students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 in WGS.

Thesis Requirements

Students producing a senior thesis should expect to do this work over the course of a full year prior to their graduation.

Summer-Fall: Summer-Fall:  Students should identify a primary advisor who is either a faculty member in Women’s and Gender Studies or an affiliate faculty member.   In fall term, Students must register for WGS 405 (1-4 variable credits) and meet with the WGS 601 course “Dissertation and Research Writing.”  By the end of the fall term, they should have a complete draft of a research proposal approved by their thesis advisor.  Proposals will be 5-8 pages in length and will identify an important issue in the field of gender/sexuality studies and the question(s) the student wishes to pursue about the topic.  If an affiliate faculty member is advising the student, the student must have their proposal approved by their primary advisor in WGS as well.

Winter: Students will spend winter term conducting their research and writing the thesis and working closely with their advisor.  By the end of winter term, students should have completed their research and be well into writing the thesis.  They may sign up for research or reading credits with their adviser during winter term.

Spring: Students write, revise, and produce a final draft of the thesis.  A first draft of the thesis is due ideally in the third or fourth week of the term.  A revised (hopefully final) draft of the thesis is due in the sixth or seventh week of spring term.  The length of a senior thesis will vary, but generally they are 35-50 pages long.