Why study women, gender and sexuality studies?

Because much of what people think they know about women, gender, and sex is myth.  Our department seeks to produce intellectually rigorous, analytical and creative work that embodies the perspective of gender in its local and global dimensions through teaching, research, and outreach activities.

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

First- and Second-Year Preparation

It is recommended that students complete WGSS 101, the introductory course, and consult the undergraduate advisor.

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major Course Requirements

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Core Knowledge and Skills (18)
Majors must complete a course in each of the following areas:
Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Satisfied by one of the following:3
Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Honors
Introduction to Human Sexuality Studies
Methods
WGSS 301Research Methods in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (Fall Only)3
Social Science Core. Satisfied by 1 course (3 hours) chosen from the following: 3
The Politics of Physical Appearance
The Anthropology of Gender: Female, Male, and Beyond
Psychology of Women
Women and Violence
Women and Politics
Gender, Sexuality and the Law
Politics of Reproductive Policy
Human Reproduction: Culture, Power, and Politics
Conceptual Issues in Human Sexuality
Humanities Core. Core satisfied by 1 course (3 hours) chosen from the following:3
Sex in History
African American Women: Colonial Era to the Present
History, Women, and Diversity in the U.S.
From Goddesses to Witches: Women in Premodern Europe
From Mystics to Feminists: Women's History in Europe 1600 to the Present
Perspectives in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
Black Love and Romance
Skin, Sex, and Disease
History of American Women: Colonial Times to 1870
History of American Women: 1870 to Present
Theory. Satisfied by 1 course (3 hours) chosen from the following:3
Black Feminist Theory
Feminism and Philosophy
Sex and Gender in New Media
History of Feminist Theory
Race, Gender, and Post-Colonial Discourses
Feminism and Anthropology
Contemporary Feminist Political Theory
Introduction to Feminist Social Theory
International focus. Satisfied by 1 course (3 hours) chosen from the following (not satisfying requirement above): 3
From Goddesses to Witches: Women in Premodern Europe
From Mystics to Feminists: Women's History in Europe 1600 to the Present
Women in Contemporary African Literature
The Anthropology of Gender: Female, Male, and Beyond
Gender and Sexuality in Greek Culture
Gender and Sexuality in Roman Culture
Race, Gender, and Post-Colonial Discourses
Gender, Culture, and Migration
Love, Sex, and Globalization
Sexuality and Gender in African History
Gender, War, and Peace
Human Reproduction: Culture, Power, and Politics
Gender and Politics in Africa
Women and Islam
Religion, Power, and Sexuality in Arab Societies
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Required Electives (9)
Humanities Elective. Satisfied by any core humanities course not already satisfying core requirement above or any of the approved humanities electives (see catalog). 3
Sex in History
African American Women: Colonial Era to the Present
History, Women, and Diversity in the U.S.
From Goddesses to Witches: Women in Premodern Europe
From Mystics to Feminists: Women's History in Europe 1600 to the Present
History of Women and the Body
Perspectives in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
Women in Contemporary African Literature
History of Jewish Women
Popular Culture in Africa: Spiritual Thrills, Romance and Sexualities
Feminism and Philosophy
History of American Women: Colonial Times to 1870
History of American Women: 1870 to Present
History of Women and Work in Comparative Perspective
Modern American Women in Film and Literature
Gender and Sexuality in Greek Culture
Gender and Sexuality in Roman Culture
History of Feminist Theory
Race, Gender, and Post-Colonial Discourses (if not already used)
Gender, Culture, and Migration
Men and Masculinities
Body, Self and Society
Sexuality and Gender in African History
Witches in European History and Historiography
Jazz and American Culture
The Black Woman
Women and Islam
African Women Writers
Unveiling the Veil
American Women and World War II
Religion, Power, and Sexuality in Arab Societies
Sexual Politics in Chinese Literature and Culture: Premodern Times
Sexual Politics in Chinese Literature and Culture: Premodern Times
Love, Sexuality and Gender in Japanese Literature
Global Environmental Literature
Women and Literature: _____
US Diversity in Visual Culture
International Women Filmmakers
European Art 1789-1848: Gender and Revolution
Art in France 1848-1900: Modernisms
Loving Relationships
Gender and Religion
Women in Christianity
Social Sciences Elective. Satisfied by any core social science course not already satisfying core requirements above or any approved social science elective.3
The Politics of Physical Appearance
Women and Leadership: The Legislative Process
Gendered Modernity in East Asia
The Anthropology of Gender: Female, Male, and Beyond
Skin, Sex, and Disease
Psychology of Women
Women and Violence
Sex and Gender in New Media
Women and Politics
Gender, Sexuality and the Law
Feminism and Anthropology
Love, Sex, and Globalization
Contemporary Feminist Political Theory (if not already used)
Politics of Identity
Politics of Reproductive Policy
Gender, War, and Peace
Human Reproduction: Culture, Power, and Politics
Gender and Politics in Africa
Women, Health, and Healing in Latin America
Conceptual Issues in Human Sexuality
Anthropology of Gender: Advanced Seminar in the Four Fields
Communication and Gender
The Rhetoric of Women's Rights
Diversity in Media
Intimate Relationships
Stereotyping and Prejudice Across Cultures
Human Sexuality
Sociology of Families
Health, Gender, and Society
Sociology of Sex Roles
Gender and Society
Women and Work
Wealth, Power, and Inequality
Introduction to Feminist Social Theory
Women and Health Care
Human Sexuality in Everyday Life
Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Elective. Choose one additional course from any of the above lists that is not already satisfying another requirement. Courses designated with * may be used as Social Science or Humanities Electives by petition.3
Studies in: _____ (*)
Independent Study
Service Learning in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Capstone Experience. Seminar in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (to be taken in the student’s final year), satisfied by: (3)
WGSS 601Seminar in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (Spring Only)3

Note: Courses with a blank (____) at the end of their titles are typically topics or seminar courses that may be repeated for credit. Usually these courses offer different topics each time they are taught. Students should check with the course instructor about the requirements to take the course and what the topic will be when it is offered.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses (above), majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 30 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 18 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

A sample 4-year plan for the BA degree in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies can be found here: Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, or by using the left-side navigation.

A sample 4-year plan for the BGS degree in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies can be found here: Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, or by using the left-side navigation.

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major

Summary

  • 3.25 GPA KU overall & 3.5 GPA in the WS major
  • A senior honors thesis related to WGSS written over two semesters (two three-credit courses)
  • Double majors: earn Honors in both majors with one thesis that is relevant to both programs.

GPA Requirements

Students need a 3.25 GPA overall and a 3.5 GPA in their Women's Studies major.

Honors Thesis

Student write an honors thesis that is pertinent to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. An honors thesis is a piece of original research or other project supervised by a faculty member of any department. In most cases, the result will be a written document of some length, but this could vary depending on the topic and what the student and thesis advisor agree on. A single thesis can be submitted to WGSS and to another department for Honors in both programs, if both programs agree.

The senior honors thesis or honors project must be approved by a three-member thesis committee (the thesis advisor and two other faculty members, at least one of whom must be either in WGSS or on the WGSS Advisory Board).

Students take 6 credit hours of honors thesis work (3 hours per semester for 2 semesters, earning a A or B in the first semester and a A the second. For these 6 hours, students can enroll in:

  • WGSS 499—Honors in WGSS
  • and/or
  • WGSS 498—Independent Study in WGSS
  • and/or
  • two Honors Research courses or two Independent Studies in any department


The last option would be especially relevant if the student plans to submit one honors thesis to both WGSS and another department in order to receive honors in both programs, or if the student's research advisor is not a member of the WGSS core faculty.

Typical Timeline

Junior Year (or very early in the first semester of the student's last year): Select a topic for a thesis; talk to professors about ideas; find a professor willing to supervise the thesis. Inform the WGSS Honors Coordinator!

First Semester of the Last Year: Enroll in 3 credit hours of WGSS 498 or WGSS 499 or in an Independent Study of another department. Begin researching the thesis topic. The student and thesis advisor should form a three-person faculty committee (the thesis advisor and two other faculty members, at least one of whom must be either in WGSS or on the WGSS Advisory Board). Submit an Honors Intent Form by 1 March to College Advising and Student Services, 109 Strong.

Second Semester of the Last Year: Enroll in 3 credit hours of WGSS 498 or WGSS 499 or in an Independent Study of another department. Finish the thesis. Have the thesis committee read the thesis and vote to award Honors (or not). If the thesis is passed, the thesis advisor needs to sign the Honors Certification Form, which can be obtained by the student in the College Advising and Student Services office, 109 Strong; after the advisor signs this form, it is then submitted back to the College Advising and Student Services, 109 Strong, at least a week before the end of the graduation term. The thesis advisor should also notify the Honors Coordinator of the result.

Double Majors: Students who are satisfying double majors and pursuing Honors in both majors may use one honors thesis for both majors if they get approval from both departments. The thesis must be related to both majors, and the thesis committee must include faculty members from both departments. Students must fulfill both departments' requirements for honors.