Women's and Gender Studies Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

The Women's and Gender Studies major provides students with the opportunity to explore a variety of topics with an interdisciplinary approach. Students are required to take core courses in the field, in order to establish a shared language and understanding of the world. This also equips students with new tools to see the world differently. Students are encouraged to claim their education and activate their knowledge during their academic careers at Castleton.

The Women's and Gender Studies major prepares students to engage in important and relevant issues; the courses encourage students to think across the curriculum. Students learn critical thinking skills, and other skills that cultivate their global citizenship. Faculty support student-initiated projects that reflect traditional research, as well as projects focused on activism and advocacy.

Upon completion of the Women's and Gender Studies major, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • The interdisciplinary characteristic of the field, and the ways that such interconnections enhance knowledge and knowledge production.
  • The "situated knowledge" that individual's possess as a reflection of their social locations and related experiences in the world.
  • The ways of seeing the world through the theoretical framework of "intersectionality," or the intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, and other social locations.
  • The construction of, and appreciation for, difference, within and across categories of gender, as well as race, class, sexuality, and other social locations.
  • The historical and contemporary relevance of activism, advocacy, and social justice within the field, and the importance of supporting such justice.
  • The importance of centering the experiences and voices of marginalized and oppressed groups of people and advocating for change to minimize existing social inequities.

Complete the following courses (24-27 cr):

Code Course Credits

WGS 1020

Introduction to Women's And Gender Studies

Take these 4 core courses:

This course enables students to understand and appreciate the rich and varied field of Women's and Gender Studies; to identify and explain ideas about gender and the ways that it has affected individuals; to understand how gender identity is shaped by race, class and culture, and what it means and has meant to be a gendered subject in the United States and abroad.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding or World View Frame of Reference.


WGS 3210

Feminist Thought

This course examines the various waves of feminist movements, as well as the many feminist perspectives that exist. Students will be exposed to the contributions of feminist thinkers and understand the key debates within Women's and Gender Studies.

Restrictions Junior or Senior standing

Prerequisite: WGS 1020


WGS 3310

Feminist Methods: Research and Action

This course provides an introduction to feminist research methods. Students will be encouraged to apply their understanding of feminist theories to the methods presented in this course. Students will examine various feminist epistemologies, or ways of knowing. This course will engage the following central questions: Is there a feminist research method? What are feminist research methods? Should there be feminist research methods? How do feminist research methods overlap with or differ from other research methods?

Restrictions Junior or Senior standing

Prerequisite: WGS 1020 recommended



WGS 4610

Senior Project in Women's and Gender Studies

And take one of the following:

This is a capstone course that allows a student to either write a senior theoretical thesis in Women's and Gender Studies or work on a creative art form, such as film, installation art, music, etc. Students will prepare and present their culminating research or creative project, which incorporates feminist theory and praxis.

Prerequisite: At least 12 credit hours of WGS related courses or senior standing.

Every Semester


SOC 2040

Race, Ethnicity, Class and Gender

An exploration of the historical and contemporary roots for discrimination (especially on the institutional level) on the basis of race, ethnicity, class, and gender. This course examines issues such as culture, identity, and oppression.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010 or consent of instructor.

Every semester


SWK 2040

Discrimination in American Society

And take one of the following:

An understanding of the dynamics and American history of prejudice and discrimination in relation to racial and ethnic minorities, women and the aged is developed. Special emphasis placed on issues relevant to Social Welfare.

Prerequisite: SOC 1010 or consent of instructor.



ENG 3610

Women Writers

This course examines American and world literature written by women, including such genres as the novel, biography, autobiography, poetry, and the essay. The course also investigates images of women as well as the intersection of genre, gender, race, socioeconomic class, and historical period.

This course counts towards the Aesthetic Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: Highly recommended: ENG 1310.

Fall, odd years


HIS 2210

History of Women in the U.S.

And take one of the following:

This course is a study of women's history. Using the United States as an example, this class will explore the roles that women have played historically and seek to question traditional narratives of history, in which women are often marginalized. What might colonialism, the Revolutionary War, slavery, the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression or the Civil Rights Movement look like through women's eyes?

This course satisfies the World Views frame of reference.

Spring, odd years


COM 2140

Race, Gender and Sexuality in Media

Media are among our primary sources of images of people, places and things we do not encounter ourselves in our everyday lives. This course examines the images of women and racial and sexual minorities who have been on the fringes of policy development and yet at the center of narratives created by mainstream media. It takes a detailed look at the symbolic and social power of commercial media's role in constructing social and cultural differences around age, gender, race, class and sexuality.

This course counts towards the Aesthetic Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: COM 1220 or consent of instructor.

Fee Fee $20



SWK 2030

Human Sexuality

And take one of the following:

An explanation of contemporary issues, theories and practices from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will analyze videos and a range of written content with respect to sexual messages and behavior. Aspects of sexual obstacles and conflicts with appropriate modes of intervention will also be highlighted.

This course fulfills the Social and Behavioral Understanding Frame of Reference.



WGS 4510

Activism and Advocacy Project in WGS

This course is designed to support student involvement in the community through activism and advocacy. Students must design a sustainable project that serves the university and broader communities, and demonstrates students' involvement and agency.

Restrictions Junior or Senior standing or permission of the WGS program coordinator.


WGS 4810

Field Experience in Women's and Gender Studies

Students design and conduct an activist project in close supervision with a WGS faculty member to get hands-on experience to bring social change. Unlike internships, this course includes a major research component.

Restrictions A maximum of 6 credits of WGS 4810 may be applied towards the major or minor.

Every semester


WGS 4820

Internship in Women's and Gender Studies

*Students double-majoring in WGS and Sociology or Criminal Justice may substitute SOC 3910 for WGS 3310. Students double-majoring in WGS and Psychology may substitute PSY 3151 for WGS 3310.

Students who are Women's and Gender Studies majors and minors undertake career placements with local, state, or national organizations that address needs and conditions in today's society from the perspective of gender. A signed contract is required at the time of registration. Students must have at least 12 credits in Women's and Gender Studies or permission of instructor.


And complete 12 additional credits in WGS or related disciplines

In selecting these courses, first consult with—and gain the approval of—the WGS Coordinator.

(Total credits required: 36-39 cr)

Note: At least 18 credits of the major must be at the 3000 level or above.

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Click here for General Education Requirements.