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.

In 1974, the Office of Women's Studies opened its doors at UWM, becoming the first university in Wisconsin to establish a Women's Studies program. Today, undergraduate students at UWM can pursue a Women's and Gender Studies major or minor, and graduate students can choose from among three different Women's and Gender Studies MA options or a certificate to complement a different graduate degree program. Undergraduates benefit from the MA program's strength by working with and learning from graduate students and taking classes with the same exceptional faculty.

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

Students who are interested in the minor should consult with Women’s and Gender Studies to make a formal declaration. For additional information, please contact Women's and Gender Studies, located in CRT 535, by phone at (414) 229-5918, or on the web.


Students who minor in Women’s and Gender Studies are required to take 18 credits drawn from Women’s and Gender Studies and cross-listed courses, at least 9 credits of which must be completed in upper-division (numbered 300 or above) courses in residence at UWM. In addition, students must attain a 2.0 GPA in all minor courses attempted, including any transfer work. The following courses are required for the minor:

Select one from 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 401Global Feminisms3
WGS 410Feminist Theory3
Select 9 credits (see below)9
Total Credits18

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


Students must take an additional 9 credits of elective courses to reach a total of 18 credits. Approved electives include WGS courses and courses offered by other programs and departments; see the list 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 411Women's and Gender Studies Research Methods:3
WGS 489Internship in Women's and Gender Studies1-3
WGS 497Study Abroad:1-12
WGS 500Advanced Social Science Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies:3
WGS 501Advanced Humanities Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies:3
WGS 699Independent Reading1-3
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 Film3
ENGLISH/FILMSTD 395Feminist Media Criticism and Theory:3
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 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 History (WGS voted to approve cross-listing this course in spring 2023.)3
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

Letters & Science Minor Advising

Advising for the minor takes place within the department by a faculty member or staff member. Follow the steps using the "Declare a Minor" button on the department’s website which may include instructions on how to select a faculty advisor if there is more than one to choose from.

Students who already have an L&S college advisor because their degree plan is in L&S can discuss the minor with them as well since they will be familiar with any minor in L&S. Students who are working on a degree from a UWM college other than the College of Letters & Science will not need an L&S college advisor for just a minor and one will not be assigned. These students should work with the faculty or staff advisor they receive as part of the minor declaration process or contact the department directly for assistance.

Applicants who have not started classes at UWM yet who wish to declare a minor should wait until they are registered for their first UWM classes and then can declare the minor using the “Declare a Minor” button on the program’s website. If you have questions about the minor before then, contact let-sci@uwm.edu.