UMKC Catalog


Concentration in Women's and Gender Studies

The WGS concentration provides greater depth and breadth than the 18-credit minor while still preserving the flexibility and focus of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of women and changing notions of gender. The concentration also serves as a valuable complement to any major field of study leading to a bachelor of arts or science degree.

Unlike the traditional discipline-based major, the Women’s and Gender Studies Concentration encourages students to pursue their studies systematically across the Arts and Sciences curriculum by providing a broad range of courses on women, gender, girls and masculinities. The three required courses are designed to introduce students to:

  1. The study of women.
  2. Theories of gender.
  3. The diverse methods of inquiry employed by gender scholars.

The concentration also requires students to take classes in no less than three different disciplines (e.g., history, English and sociology) in order to:

  • Identify the parallels between disciplines.
  • Foster critical thinking about accepted categories and constructs.
  • Acquire key concepts and knowledge of fundamental issues.
  • Develop a basic vocabulary.
  • Expand familiarity with major works, thinkers and directions in the field of Women’s and Gender Studies.

Students may choose from an approved list of courses in which women and/or gender are the central category of analyses. Individualized readings courses on selected topics also may be arranged with WGS faculty members. And, as new courses with a significant Women’s Studies component are offered, students pursuing the concentration may request course approval from the UMKC Advisement Center.

Requirements for the Concentration

There are three required courses (nine credits):

  • WGS 201:  Introduction to Women's & Gender Studies
  • WGS 301:  Introduction to Feminist Theory
  • WGS 499:  Research Seminar (or other research course)

The remaining 15 credits must be selected from a variety of disciplines.  Students are also encouraged to take WGS 484: Women's & Gender Studies Internship and the Critical Issues in Women's and Gender Studies cluster course (offered through the departments of English and Sociology).