DEPARTMENT OF GENDER AND RACE STUDIES (GRS)
Chairperson and Graduate Director: Professor
Office: 104 Manly Hall
The Department of Gender and Race
Studies (called Women's Studies until November 2009) offers a course
of study leading to the master of arts degree in Women's Studies.
The MA in Women's
designed to support feminist research. The program emphasizes
interdisciplinary and cross-cultural methodology. It provides a
conceptual framework, analytical training, and bibliography and
research tools for feminist studies. The program is designed for
students from a variety of humanities and social science backgrounds
with interest in gender studies and the status and roles of women in
society, past and present.
Graduates of the
MA program will have the skills to continue graduate work toward a
PhD in a humanities or social science discipline. Training in
feminist studies and research methods will also enable graduates of
the MA program to enhance their work in other careers, such as
law, health care, criminology, social work, public welfare, and
Graduate work in
Women's Studies and African American Studies is also available to students whose degree programs
permit them to select courses in other programs and divisions. A
master of arts concentration in Women's Studies may be taken through
the Department of American Studies of the College of Arts and Sciences and through other
cooperating departments and programs. Admission and programs of
study are subject to the guidelines presented by the appropriate
department or program.
detailed in the
section of this catalog. All applicants to the Department of
Gender and Race Studies must submit test scores from either the Graduate Record
Examination or the Miller Analogies Test in support of the
application. International students must submit results of the TOEFL
as well. It is preferred that each applicant to the MA program have
an undergraduate major or minor in Women's Studies, or the
equivalent, and a major in a humanities or social science
discipline. Each applicant should have a grade point average of at
least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and satisfy minimum requirements for
admission to the Graduate School. Students with deficiencies in
undergraduate preparation may be required to take additional credit
hours. Financial assistance is available in the form of
research/teaching assistantships and fellowships for qualified
students. Applicants who wish to be considered for research or
teaching assistantships or fellowships should file their
applications by February 15.
Degree Requirements for the MA in
must meet all requirements in the
Degree Requirements section of this catalog.
Students complete a minimum of at
least 30 hours in courses numbered 500 or above. All MA students
will successfully complete a 9-hour core program consisting of WS
530 Feminist Theory: Contemporary
or WS 535 Black Feminism; WS 532 Issues and Problems in
Womenís Studies Research; and WS 570 Gender, Race, and Class:
Cross-Cultural Approaches. Students have the option of writing a
thesis (Plan I) or passing a comprehensive exam described below
(Plan II). A grade of ďBĒ or better must be earned in all courses.
Plan I (thesis plan) requires
at least 30 hours of coursework which will include 9 hours of core
courses, 15 hours of elective courses, and 6 hours of thesis
research. Students must submit a proposal before writing the thesis
and defend the thesis before a committee of three graduate faculty,
including at least one from outside the department.
Plan II (comprehensive exam)
requires 30 hours of coursework which will include 9 hours of core
courses and a comprehensive exam. The masterís comprehensive exam
is an oral defense of a portfolio of three exemplary research papers
written during the studentís program. The papers should be selected
by the student and be prefaced by an original 10-page essay
introducing the portfolio. The 10-page preface should explain how
the three are reflective of the studentís program of study. To pass
the exam, the student will defend the portfolio and preface before a
three-member graduate faculty committee.
WS 530 Feminist Theory: Contemporary
or WS 535 Black Feminism
WS 532 Issues and Problems in Gender
and Race Studies Research
WS 570 Gender, Race, and Class: Cross-Cultural
WS 599 Thesis Research
Electives (departmentally approved)
WS 500: Independent Study in Gender and
Race Studies. One to six hours.
Independent study on any subject pertaining to women. Projects are
conducted under the supervision of a professor in the chosen field
and must be approved in advance by the program director.
WS 503: Seminar in Teaching Gender and
Race Studies. Three hours.
The student attends a section of WS 200 and works with one group.
Meetings with other discussion leaders and supervisors are required
in addition to written work.
WS 510 Special Topics. Three hours.
Seminar format. The course offers an interdisciplinary approach to
topics, which vary by semester. Active student engagement, such as
conducting an interview, is required. Sample topic: women in the
WS 520 Women and Work. Three hours.
A study of women and various work relationships, through
autobiographies of working women, novels, and essays.
WS 521 Gender and Race Studies Practicum. Three hours.
The class meets for seven weeks to discuss theoretical and
methodological issues concerning contemporary women, in preparation
for an eight-week internship with either an organization or
individual in the community.
WS 525 Feminist Theory: Major Texts. Three hours.
Seminar consists of close readings in feminist theory, with an
emphasis on primary texts. Intellectual, cultural, and political
WS 530 Feminist Theory: Contemporary. Three hours.
Considers major economic, social, psychological, and philosophical
approaches to the study of women. Emphasis is on the formulation of
theories and mastery of primary works in the field.
WS 532 Issues and Problems in Gender and
Race Studies Research. Three hours.
This seminar focuses on interdisciplinary research and problems in
methodology in Gender and Race Studies.
WS 535 Black Feminism. Three
Hours. This seminar exposes students to the
key figures, texts, and concepts that constitute Black feminist
WS 540/WS 541 Seminar in Gender and Race
Studies. Three hours.
Topics vary each semester. Graduate students are required to conduct
original research. The courses focus on such topics as language and
gender, Southern women's culture.
WS 550 Women in America. Three hours.
The cultural roles and experiences of American women; how they have
been perceived and how they have perceived themselves within
WS 560 Women and Public Policy. Three hours.
The systematic analysis of public policy formation at the federal,
state, and local levels as it relates to the status of women.
Strategies for change and the impact of the women's movement are
examined. Team and individual research projects.
WS 570 Gender, Race, and Class: Cross-Cultural Approaches. Three
Prerequisite: WS 530, WS 532,
WS 535 or equivalent.
The major focus of this seminar is a cross-cultural approach to the
study of gender, race, and class. Emphasis is placed on theories of
and research on gender, race, and class.
WS 590 Women and Law. Three hours.
This seminar's major focus is the impact of the law on the status
and lives of women.
WS 592 Women in the Labor Force. Three hours.
The historic and demographic changes of women's labor force
participation from colonial times to the present, and the economic
and social impact of their changing work roles.
WS 594 Sex Discrimination. Three hours.
This seminar is designed to survey sex discrimination law and issues
related to marriage and family life, employment, and educational
WS 599 Thesis Research. Three to six hours.
The focus of this research may involve traditional or
community-related research on the student's approved thesis topic in
Gender and Race Studies.
WS 635 Seminar in Feminist Literary Criticism. Three hours.
Intensive study in the writings of one critic, or exploration of the
theory and practice of feminist criticism involving works by several
critics. This course is the same as EN 635 Seminar in Literary
Criticism, when its subject is feminist literary criticism.