Minor in Women and Gender Studies

Who Should Minor? The Minor in Women and Gender Studies is an excellent complement to a number of Major degrees offered at UIS and a smart career choice! Students planning careers in Law, Medicine/Healthcare, Counseling, Criminal Justice, Public Policy/Affairs, Political Science, Journalism, Psychology, Business/Management, and other fields will greatly benefit from the content and approach in Women and Gender Studies courses. Our graduates tell us that the WGS Minor helped them land that great internship or first job; graduate school admissions committees tell us they look positively on students with a WGS background.

Students must complete at least fifteen semester hours for the minor. Seven to eight hours must be upper division (300- to 500-level) course work. The WGS program may approve the transfer of a maximum of eight hours of lower-division courses. Students may use work and life experience to gain credit through the Credit for Prior Learning Program. There are no prerequisites for WGS core courses, but students are strongly encouraged to take WGS 301: ECCE: Intro to Women and Gender Studies as their first WGS course as it lays the foundation for understanding sex, gender and sexuality topics.

Students seeking a minor in Women and Gender Studies must select an advisor from among the WGS faculty. The WGS advisor will assist you in designing a program of study appropriate to your needs and approve course substitutions or transfers. Please contact WGS for an advisor.

Students seeking a minor in Women and Gender Studies must submit a ‘Request for Change of Curriculum (Major, Certificate, and/or Minor)’ Form from the Office of Records & Registration.

Required Courses

The minor consists of courses in four areas, for a total of 15-16 credit hours. You must take at least one course in each area.

Subject Area Course Choices
  • WGS 133: Women & Gender in Mexico & the US (3 hr; Comparative Societies) OR
  • WGS 301: Intro to Women & Gender Studies (formerly Women, Gender and Society) (4 hr; ECCE: US Communities)
Diverse Voices
  • WGS 322: ECCE: Gay and Lesbian Studies (4 hr)
  • WGS 324: Working Class & Poor Women
  • WGS 403: Women of Color and Minority Women (4 hr)
  • WGS 453: Women Across Cultures (4 hr)
  • WGS 457: ECCE: Masculinities (4 hr)
  • WGS 411: Feminist Theories (4 hr)
  • An elective approved by your WGS advisor (3-4 hr)

All substitutions must be approved by your WGS faculty advisor and may require a petition. Some WGS courses are offered BOTH online and onground. Consult with your advisor for details.

Scheduling the WGS Minor:

Students who enter UIS as freshpersons or sophomores can complete the minor at their leisure over three or four years. Junior (transfer) students can complete the minor in four semesters, following this schedule:

Year One
Diverse Voices OR Elective
Year Two
Diverse Voices OR Elective

WGS courses are generally not offered in the summer, but some electives may be available. Please note that a single course cannot be used to fulfill two requirements toward the minor BUT courses crosslisted with other departments will be counted toward the WGS Minor. WGS courses may or may not fulfill other departments’ requirements. Check with your major advisor!

Choosing your Elective Courses:

WGS offers a wide range of electives that are crosslisted with many departments at UIS. We recommend taking an elective on women and gender in the student’s major field of study, although students can also use the minor to expand their academic horizons. WGS offers new classes fairly often, so be sure to check this web site and the UIS Course Descriptions for updated course listings. For complete course descriptions by semester, please consult the UIS Course Descriptions web site.

Elective Courses offered by WGS faculty

  • WGS 201: Human Sexualities
  • WGS 338: ECCE: Sex, Gender and Popular Culture
  • WGS 418: Queer Theory
  • WGS 453: Women Across Cultures
  • WGS 460: Special Topics in Women & Gender Studies
  • Wgs 484: History of Sexuality in America
  • WGS 501: Advanced Feminist Theories (open to undergraduates after completion of WGS 411)

Approved Cross-Listed Elective Courses by Major:

Art, Music Theatre

  • WGS 402: Gender and Sexuality Issues in Art
  • Art 465: Women in Art


  • WGS 424 Gender and Communication

Criminal Justice:

  • WGS 422 Violence Against Women and Children
  • WGS 443 Women and Criminal Justice


  • WGS 461 Major Women Writers
  • WGS 462 Images of Women in Literature
  • WGS 463 Native American Women’s Literature & Culture
  • WGS 464 Women’s Spirituality
  • WGS 465 Woman-centered Literature
  • WGS 466 Multicultural American Women’s Literature


  • WGS 454 The History of the Family
  • WGS 455 Women in American History
  • WGS 481 Women in Chinese and Japanese History

Legal Studies:

  • WGS 446 Family Law
  • WGS 447 Women in American Law


  • WGS 452 Sociology of Gender
  • WGS 453 Women Across Cultures

Social Work:

  • WGS 421 Diversity, Culture and Social Work