Women's Studies

We offer a minor in women's studies for the campus program, and through online classes in our online degree program, Woods Online.

Women's Studies Minors at Saint Mary-of-the -Woods College have an interest in the history of women's roles and status, a wish to understand and share present experiences, a passion for women empowerment and eyes on improving women's lives. This minor requires 18-21 hours of study. It is designed to provide students with great flexibility in pursuing personal interests, requiring 6 hours of core courses along with 12 to 15 hours of electives. Three of these elective hours must be at the 300-level or above.

Benefits of Being a Women's Studies Minor

What is gender studies? As a Women's Studies Minor you will:

  • become a member of an all-female learning team to address issues of particular concern to yourself and other women. 
  • develop confidence in your analytical and critical skills, better enabling yourself to meet challenges with the courage that comes from deep understanding. 
  • become acquainted with concerned and experienced faculty who share your interest in women's lives and experiences, eager to work with you in linking your major area career choices to your special interest in women's lives and concerns.

Women's Studies Minors find that their particular interests in women's issues mixes very well with major areas of study in:


As a Women's Studies minor, you will have the opportunity to both create and participate in campus activities and events. We try to plan special events in recognition of women's history and achievements, to invite speakers on current topics of concern regarding legal, social, and health issues, and to conduct discussions about films. Students are always encouraged to network with local women's organizations and to actively participate in events such as the annual "Take Back the Night" march and "Race for the Cure".

Course Requirements - (18-21 credit hours)

To graduate with a minor in Women's Studies from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College you need to complete at least 125 hours that include General Studies courses, required courses for your chosen major, and the following courses for the Women's Studies Minor:

Women's Studies Minor - Required Courses

6 credit hours required.

Introduction to Women‘s Studies as an interdisciplinary field that examines diverse feminist responses to a variety of topics including women‘s work, the family, discrimination, health, popular culture, violence, and social activism. Students will examine how gender affects both larger social institutions as well the individual women‘s identity and choices. Satisfies Women‘s Studies minor.

Advanced study and critique of significant classical and contemporary feminist theories that offer different perspectives on womanhood, women‘s experiences, and the future of feminism(s). Satisfies Women‘s Studies minor and general studies interdisciplinary requirement.

Women's Studies Minor - Electives

Choose 4-5 elective courses (12-15 credit hours). 3 courses must be upper-level (300-400 level).

Surveys the history of women's involvement in the visual arts and the ideologies that have shaped the production of art and representation for women. Identifies the major issues and specific historical conditions that have influenced the role of women in art history and the ideologies that affected their art production. Winter, odd years. Prerequisite: AD250.

Surveys the history of women artists, their time and influences. Looks at prominent women artists throughout history in the western world and the social aspects of their experiences as women artists. Discusses women‘s issues and examines women‘s choices.

Explores the works of women writers as perceptive recorders of the human experience through their art. Satisfies Women‘s Studies minor requirements.

Investigation of the various legal, social and political factors that have determined the position of women at various periods in the nation‘s history. Provides the student with the necessary historical and analytical tools to understand current themes and issues relating to the changing roles of women in contemporary society.

Provides a historical overview of how law and the legal system in the United States have defined women's status from the Revolutionary war period to the present in such areas as family law,criminal law,property and contract rights, earnings, and rights of citizenship. From this historical perspective, selected contemporary issues are examined, including statutory, regulatory, and constitutional remedies to gender bias or inequities; family violence, divorce,custody, and economic/employment issues. The effectiveness of the courts, legislatures, and other forums in resolving these issues is also examined. Fulfills general studies requirements and serves as an elective in Women's Studies minor. Prerequisite: Successful completion of at least one ID3xx course.

The study of Muslim women in historical, cultural, and contemporary contexts. Original source readings and film are examined for their representations of Muslim women. Comparative analysis of the status and roles of women in Western Christian tradition is also addressed. The linked disciplines of study are the aesthetic and social/cultural. Fulfills general studies requirement and Women‘s Studies minor requirement. Prerequisite: Successful completion of 5 Skills courses, 3 Foundations/Diversity courses, and 3 Perspectives courses.

Study of images of American women in art, entertainment, and advertisement and their effects on health and self-esteem. By examining the development of these images from an interdisciplinary perspective of aesthetics and philosophy, students will learn how to analyze images from the arts and develop their own personal aesthetic of beauty. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: Successful completion of 5 Skills courses, 3 Foundations/Diversity courses, and 3 Perspectives courses.

Course has three fundamental goals: to enable participants to understand differing historical and philosophical perspectives on women; to help participants challenge traditional philosophy with as many feminist perspectives as possible; and to demonstrate feminist philosophers make the kinds of distinctions that matter in everyday lives of ordinary women and men. Prerequisite: PH 200.

An overview of current psychological theories and research on issues which impact women in their development throughout the life cycle. Gender roles, women and work, violence against women, psychological disorders in women, and the biological/cultural basis of sex/gender are among the topics explored.

Science has a past, present and future in its definition and pronouncements about sex and its functions. The history of what science has said about women and women‘s responses will be examined. Women scientists and their contributions, feminist critiques of science and future of sex as a variable in scientific research will be explored. Prerequisite: Instructor's consent.

Examines the changing status and roles of women in various institutional settings in contemporary society; relevant historical, cross-cultural and ethnic comparisons; the social construction of gender concepts; socialization, stereotypes, inequalities in power; traditional division of labor by sex and its relationship to cultural beliefs about gender; parallels with minority status and current social movements. Prerequisite: SO 211 or instructor‘s consent.

Explores the theology of God from the perspectives of how women image God. The class engages with the works of historical and contemporary women as primary sources. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Women's Studies minors are viewed favorably, in fact sought after, by employers in a variety of professional fields. Some possible career paths for this minor include:

  • Human Resource Management 
  • Law 
  • Corrections 
  • Community mental health facilities 
  • Private business 
  • Shelters for abused women 
  • Women's health providers 
  • Social service providers 
  • Fine and performing arts 
  • Digital media communications 
  • Scholarship and research

As a Women's Studies minor you are encouraged to work closely with the Career Development Office to make professional contacts, to meet with alumnae working in the professional world, and to arrange for internships, externships or other practical learning experiences.

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