Students in UIS’ Women and Gender Studies minor and graduate certificate explore the construction, experience and questioning of gender and sexuality as key facets of human identity. Students investigate history, culture, society, psychology, science, communication, or art to see how human activities are produced, experienced, and interpreted by gendered subjects of different races, classes, nationalities, sexual orientations, religions, generations, and historical periods. Our interdisciplinary approach works well in combination with majors and master’s degrees. The particular strengths of our department are our feminist and queer approaches to women’s studies; critical men’s studies or masculinities; LGBTQ studies; critical race studies; and social class studies from both US and global perspectives.
In the classroom, WGS faculty are committed to creating participatory learning environments. We emphasize student-centered and cooperative learning, critical thinking, openness to ideas and discussion, and respect for others. Students are encouraged to make connections between thought and action, the academy and the community, theory and practice. The department provides interested students with opportunities for internships, community-based projects, and research.
Minor and Certificate Opportunities
Students in all programs may take WGS courses as electives or they may pursue a minor. We also offer a graduate certificate, which may be incorporated into a graduate degree or taken as a free standing certificate. For more information, please refer to the Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies section of this catalog.
Graduate students enrolled in 400-level WGS courses will be expected to demonstrate graduate-level competencies (especially in communication, research, analysis, and integrative skills) and to complete extended and advanced projects and/or readings.
WGS minor and graduate certificate students must select an academic advisor from among the department faculty and should regularly consult that advisor as they move toward their degree.
Students can design their own degrees focusing on sex, gender, and sexuality through the Liberal Studies Department (B.A.) or the Liberal and Integrative Studies Department (M.A.). Students create their own curriculum by working with a degree committee that includes WGS, LIS/LNT and other faculty and peers. Students have designed degrees combining the study of gender and sexuality in areas such as media, arts, social services, law, criminal justice, and mental health.