Women's and Gender Studies is a discipline that critically examines gender and women's issues from an interdisciplinary perspective and challenges many traditional assumptions and theories. It examines the practice and expression of gender in different societies and at different historical moments.

Regardless of your gender, Women's and Gender Studies is crucial and relevant for anyone interested in working in criminal justice, social work, the non-profit sector, the arts, politics, business, and more. Students learn to look at the world and history through different perspectives and think about how gender and our perceptions of it impact culture, society, and daily interactions. It is a traditional liberal arts discipline where the knowledge and skills developed in the program can be applied to all types of career paths. Work experiences during college through internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer positions often shape career paths after graduation.

Students in Women's and Gender Studies master critical thinking, problem analysis, and communication through both classroom studies and service learning opportunities. 

Course of Study – Bachelor of Arts Degree

Complete 120 credits including 90 credits in the College of Letters & Science and with 36 of the 90 credits in L&S upper-level (numbered above 300) courses. The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major. Students are also required to complete University-wide General Education Requirements and the specific L&S requirements listed below.

To complete a major, students must satisfy all the requirements of the major as stated in this catalog. Students who declare their majors within five years of entering the UW System as a degree candidate may satisfy the requirements outlined in any catalog issued since the time they entered. Credits used to satisfy the major also may be used to satisfy other degree requirements.

University General Education Requirements (GER)

Oral and Written Communication
Part A
Achieve a grade of C or better in the following course:
ENGLISH 102College Writing and Research (or equivalent)
Part B
Course designated as OWC-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
Quantitative Literacy
Part A
Earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course, or achieve a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test (or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department)
Mathematical Literacy for College Students II
Contemporary Applications of Mathematics
Introduction to College Algebra
Algebraic Literacy II
Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning 1
Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning
College Algebra
Or equivalent course
Part B
Course designated as QL-B; may be completed through a major-specific course requirement
Arts
Select 3 credits3
Humanities
Select 6 credits6
Social Sciences
Select 6 credits6
Natural Sciences
Select 6 credits (at least two courses including one lab)6
UWM Foreign Language Requirement
Complete Foreign Language Requirement through:
Two years (high school) of a single foreign language
Two semesters (college) of a single foreign language
Or equivalent
UWM Cultural Diversity Requirement
One course from the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences must also satisfy UWM's Cultural Diversity requirement
1

 Math 111 and Philosophy 111 are jointly offered and count as repeats of one another. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.

College of Letters & Science Requirements

I. English Composition Requirement

Students must satisfy the English Composition Requirement with one of the following options:

1) Completing ENGLISH 102 with a grade of C or higher; or

2) by placing beyond ENGLISH 102 on the English Placement Test (EPT) (or other assessment as determined by the English Department); or

3) transferring a course of at least 2.5 equivalent credits from another institution that is equivalent to English 102, or a UWM higher-level expository writing course, with a grade of C or higher.

Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part A. The College of Letters & Science does not have a specific requirement for a writing course beyond English 102, but students must complete the university-wide requirement for Oral and Written Communication Part B listed above.

II. Mathematics and Formal Reasoning

To satisfy the Mathematics and Formal Reasoning Requirement, students must satisfy the following two requirements:

1. Achieve a placement code of at least 30 on the mathematics placement test (or other appropriate test, as determined by the Mathematical Sciences Department) or earn at least 3 credits with a grade of C or higher in one of the following courses or an equivalent course:

MATH 102Mathematical Literacy for College Students II3
MATH 103Contemporary Applications of Mathematics3
MATH 105Introduction to College Algebra3
MATH 108Algebraic Literacy II3
MATH 111Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning 13
or PHILOS 111 Introduction to Logic - Critical Reasoning
MATH 116College Algebra3
MATH 175Mathematical Explorations for Elementary Teachers I3
1

 Math 111 and Philosophy 111 are jointly offered and count as repeats of one another. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.

Note: This requirement is the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part A, listed above.

2. Complete one course (at least 3 credits) at the 200 level or above chosen from courses in Mathematics, PHILOS 211, or Letters and Science statistics courses:

Complete one of the following:
3 or more credits in any 200-level or above Math course
Introduction to Statistics in African and African Diaspora Studies
Introduction to Anthropological Statistics
Biostatistics
Economic Statistics
Quantitative Analysis in Geography
The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data
Elementary Statistical Analysis
Elementary Logic
Political Data Analysis
Survey Research
Psychological Statistics
Introduction to Statistical Thinking in Sociology

Note: This requirement is NOT the same as the University General Education Requirement for Quantitative Literacy Part B. To complete the BA, students must take one of the L&S approved courses. Not all of the courses listed here will satisfy the QL-B requirement.

III. Foreign Language Requirement 

Placement testing may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. Language courses (including American Sign Language) other than English taken in high school may be used to satisfy all or part of this requirement. One year of high school language equates to one semester of college work.

Completion of the L&S Language Requirement also satisfies the university-wide Foreign Language GER, but not vice versa.

Completed in one of the following ways:0-18
Successful completion of the 4th semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language)
Successful completion of the 3rd semester of college work or equivalent in one language other than English (including American Sign Language) PLUS the 2nd semester of college work or equivalent in another language other than English (including American Sign Language)

IV. International Requirement 

See Approved Courses for the L&S International Requirement for course options.  

Completed in one of the following ways:9
Complete 3 courses (min. 9 cr) in a single foreign language (not including literature-in-translation or American Sign Language) at the 3rd semester level and above
Complete 3 non-language courses (min. 9 credits) with an international content chosen from at least 2 curricular areas.
Complete 9 credits in combination of the two options above.

V. Breadth Requirement

Along with completing the University General Education Requirements of 3 credits in the Arts (A); 6 credits in the Humanities (HU), Social Sciences (SS), and Natural Sciences (NS/NS+); and a course with the Cultural Diversity (CD/+) designation, L&S students must complete the Breadth requirement.

Arts
Select 3 credits3
Humanities
Complete 12 credits of L&S courses with Humanities Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single subject area. *12
Social Sciences
Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Social Science Breadth designation; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *12
Natural Sciences
Complete 12 credits of L&S Courses with Natural Sciences Breadth designation, including at least one laboratory or field course; no more than 6 credits from a single curricular area. *12
Cultural Diversity
Complete 3 credits in a course with Cultural Diversity (CD) designation. **3
*

Students should check their course selections carefully with the list of approved L&S Breadth Courses.  Students are advised to select at least 6 credits worth of courses in each of the Humanities, Social Science, and Natural Sciences areas that can satisfy both the campus-wide General Education Requirements and the L&S Breadth requirement.

**

Students are advised to select a course that satisfies the Cultural Diversity requirement as well as a Humanities or Social Science breadth/GER requirement. 

 VI. The Major

The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the major attempted at UWM.  In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all major credits attempted, including any transfer work.  Individual departments or programs may require higher GPAs for graduation. Some departmental majors require courses from other departments.  Contact your major department for information on whether those credits will count as part of the major GPA.  The College requires that students must complete in residence at UWM at least 15 credits in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in their major.

Research Requirement

Within their majors, students must complete a research experience approved by the L&S faculty.  A list of courses satisfying the research requirement in each major can be found here.

VII. The Minor

The College of Letters and Science requires that students attain at least a 2.0 GPA in all credits in the minor attempted at UWM.  In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including any transfer work.

Women's and Gender Studies Major Requirements

The Women’s and Gender Studies major requires 36 credits drawn from Women’s and Gender Studies core and cross-listed classes. At least 15 credits in the major must be taken in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in residence at UWM. Completion of WGS 411 and either WGS 500 or WGS 501 satisfies the L&S research requirement. Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 in UWM major courses attempted. In addition, the College requires that students attain a 2.0 GPA in all major courses attempted, including any transfer work. Majors should consult regularly with their advisor in Women's and Gender Studies about their course of study.

The major requires completion of the following courses offered through Women’s and Gender Studies:

Required
Select one of these two: 13
Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies: A Social Science Perspective
Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies: A Humanities Perspective
WGS 211Foundations of Women's and Gender Studies Scholarship3
WGS 301Queer Theory3
WGS 401Global Feminisms3
WGS 410Feminist Theory3
WGS 411Women's and Gender Studies Research Methods:3
Select one of the following:3
Internship in Women's and Gender Studies
Independent Reading (taken in the senior year)
Any upper-level (numbered 300 and above) WGS or Women's and Gender Studies-related course approved by the Women's and Gender Studies Chair or Assistant Chair (Undergraduate Advisor)
Select one of the following:3
Advanced Social Science Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies:
Advanced Humanities Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies:
Electives
Select 12 credits (see below)12
Total Credits36
1

Students may not receive credit for both WGS 200 and WGS 201. Only one of these courses can be taken for credit. 

Electives

Students must take 12 credits of approved elective courses to reach a total of 36 credits. Approved electives include WGS courses and courses offered by other programs and departments; see the list of approved courses below.

Numerous courses in a wide variety of disciplines have been approved as electives for the WGS major. For information about whether a special topics course in another program might be approved as an elective for WGS, please contact Women's and Gender Studies.

WGS 150Multicultural America3
WGS 192First-Year Seminar:3
WGS 199Independent Study1-3
WGS 297Study Abroad:1-12
WGS 301Queer Theory3
WGS 302Gendered Bodies:3
WGS 303Feminist Activism and Movements:3
WGS 380Honors Seminar in the Social Sciences:3
WGS 381Honors Seminar in the Humanities:3
WGS 497Study Abroad:1-12
AFRIC 250Black Women and White Women in the Contemporary United States3
AFRIC 344Global Black Social Movements3
AFRIC 350The Black Family3
AFRIC 351Sexuality, Gender, and Health in Africa and the Diaspora3
AFRIC 352Extended Families in Black Societies3
AFRIC 414The Black Woman in America, Africa, and the Caribbean3
AFRIC 417Race, Class and Gender in Southern Africa3
AFRIC 418Race, Class, and Gender in Latin America and the Caribbean3
ANTHRO 250Women's Roles in Cross-Cultural Perspective3
BIO SCI 206Biology of Women3
BUS ADM 441Diversity in Organizations3
COMMUN 401Communication in Marital and Family Relationships3
COMMUN 402Gender and Communication3
COMMUN 474Rhetoric of Women's Rights in the US3
CRM JST 385Women and Criminal Justice3
CRM JST 416Intimate Partner Violence3
ECON 248Economics of Discrimination3
ED POL 624Gender and Education3
ENGLISH 243Introduction to Literature by Women:3
ENGLISH 295Women and Film 13
ENGLISH 395Feminist Media Criticism and Theory: 23
ENGLISH 465Women Writers:3
ENGLISH 628Seminar in Literature by Women:3
ENGLISH 629Seminar in Literature and Sexuality:3
ETHNIC 255Migration and Gender: Starbucks, Sex Trafficking, and Nannies3
ETHNIC 275Queer Migrations3
ETHNIC 325Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in Milwaukee:3
FILMSTD 295Women and Film 13
FILMSTD 395Feminist Media Criticism and Theory: 23
FILMSTD 669Screening Sexuality:3
GEOG 410Gendered Geographies3
HIST 141Global History of the Family, Gender, and Sexuality3
HIST 241Women and Gender in Europe: 1350 to 17503
HIST 242Women and Gender in Europe: 1750 to the Present3
HIST 243History of Women in American Society3
HIST 271The 1960s in the United States: A Cultural History3
HIST 355Modern and Contemporary France3
HIST 373Topics in Gender and History:3
HIST 468The American Feminist Movement3
JAMS 111Gender and the Media3
JEWISH 332Women in the Bible3
LGBT 200Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies3
LGBT 275Queer Migrations3
LGBT 290Topics in LGBT Studies:3
LGBT 599Selected Topics in LGBT Studies:3
LINGUIS 212Language and Gender3
MUSIC 449Women in Music:3
NURS 204Global Maternal and Child Health: From Evidence to Action3
NURS 327Nursing Science III: Health Concepts-Women & Children4
NURS 620Global Food Security and Systems3
PHILOS 235Philosophical Aspects of Feminism3
POL SCI 110Sex and Power3
POL SCI 368Gender and Politics in Developing Nations3
POL SCI 425Women in Politics3
POL SCI 464Sex, Gender, and the Law3
PSYCH 319LGBTIQ Psychology3
PSYCH 320Psychology of Gender3
SOCIOL 250Sex and Gender3
SOCIOL 255Sociology of Sexuality3
SOCIOL 260Blood, Sex, Money, Power: Families and Intimate Relationships3
SOCIOL 442The Work-Family Intersection3
SOCIOL 444Sociology of the Body3
SOC WRK 630Families and Poverty3
1

ENGLISH 295 and FILMSTD 295 are jointly offered. In other words, they are the same course offered under different subjects. Only one can be taken for credit.

2

ENGLISH 395 and FILMSTD 395 are jointly offered. In other words, they are the same course offered under different subjects. Only one can be taken for credit.

Letters & Science Advising

During your time at UWM, you may have multiple members of your success team, including advisors, peer mentors, and success coaches. Letters and Science students typically work with at least two different types of advisors as they pursue their degrees: professional College Advisors and Faculty Advisors. L&S College Advisors advise across your entire degree program while departmental Faculty Advisors focus on the major.

College Advisors are located in Holton Hall and serve as your primary advisor. They are your point person for your questions about navigating college and completing your degree. College Advisors will:

  • assist you in defining your academic and life goals;
  • help you create an educational plan that is consistent with those goals;
  • assist you in understanding curriculum, major and degree requirements for graduation, as well as university policies and procedures;
  • provide you with information about campus and community resources and refer you to those resources as appropriate; and 
  • monitor your progress toward graduation and completion of requirements.

Faculty Advisors mentor students in the major and assist them in maximizing their development in the program. You will begin working with a Faculty Advisor when you declare your major. Faculty Advisors are an important partner and will:

  • help you understand major requirements and course offerings in the department; 
  • explain opportunities for internships and undergraduate research and guide you in obtaining those experiences; and 
  • serve as an excellent resource as you consider potential graduate programs and career paths in your field.

Students are encouraged to meet with both their College Advisor and Faculty Advisor at least once each semester. Appointments are available in-person, by phone or by video. 

Currently enrolled students should use the Navigate website to make an appointment with your assigned advisor or call (414) 229-4654 if you do not currently have an assigned Letters & Science advisor. Prospective students who haven't enrolled in classes yet should call (414) 229-7711 or email let-sci@uwm.edu.

Honors in the Major

Women's and Gender Studies majors who have maintained at least a 3.000 GPA overall, 3.500 GPA in all courses attempted for the major, and a 3.500 GPA in advanced-level (numbered 300 and above) courses that count toward the major are eligible to graduate with honors in the major. Students who believe they may qualify to graduate with honors in the major should apply to the Assistant Chair of Women's and Gender Studies.

College of Letters and Science Dean's Honor List

GPA of 3.750 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.

Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction

Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.

Commencement Honors

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).

Final Honors

Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.