Women's and Gender Studies, Bachelor of Science

Women's and Gender Studies Program

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The degree offers students a course of study that examines gender diversity across race-ethnicity, sexuality, class, nation, and the world. Students may choose from diverse coursework where they may learn about women's contributions and current multicultural, ecological, and post-colonial feminisms. Crucially, students become skilled at relating theory to practice in thematic specialties, such as Queer Studies and Transnational Feminism. This knowledge and practice prepares students to work with and for diverse peoples in the professions and as advocates for social justice.

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's diversity, liberal studies, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 36 units of major requirements
  • At least 18 units of minor requirements
  • Up to 9 units of liberal studies requirements can have the same prefix as the major. Contact your department for information about liberal studies courses that are specific to this major.

  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units.

Students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA 2.0
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
University Honors Program Optional
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan

Purpose Statement
The mission of the Women’s and Gender Studies program (WGS) at Northern Arizona University is to provide students with a deep and sophisticated understanding of feminist scholarship.  Interdisciplinary and intersectionality are at the core of the WGS educational mission and frame a variety of curricular offerings that emphasize women of color, indigeneity, transnational and queer/trans scholarship.

  • We analyze strategies for social change that students can use in any future career to create new possibilities for a more socially just society.
  • WGS empowers students with unique and distinctive training that allows them to evaluate a range of local, national, regional, and global issues.
  • Students have opportunities to research and participate in activist organizations and grassroots efforts by communities that are taking direct action toward a future that is regenerative and restorative. 
  • Discussion based classrooms support a critical understanding of politics, histories, literature, economies, and activism shaping the social construction of genders and the material condition of people’s lives in a globalized world.
  • In its focus on diversity, WGS is central to the university’s mission.
Student Learning Outcomes 
  • Identify and explain key topics, concepts, and issues in Women’s and Gender or Queer Studies, including intersectionality, reproductive health, sexuality and the body, and power, privilege, and violence.
  •  Interpret and compare key concepts of assigned sex, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, racialization, nation, social construction, hegemony, inequity, discrimination and social justice, and the intersections among them, in a variety of feminist theoretical traditions, texts, and frameworks, and then analyze and critically evaluate their assumptions, insights, oversights, and applicability to other texts, concepts, and real-world situations. 
  • Analyze variations in LGBTQIAP+ people’s experiences by using queer and trans theory to identify and describe gender and sexuality assumptions; also be able to articulate the applications, insights and oversights of queer and trans theory. 
  • Think through and apply feminist and queer studies concepts and theories in specific political, historical, geographic, and cultural contexts. 
  • Understand the intersectionality of women’s and/or queer and gendered identities, informed by hierarchies of race, ethnicity, ability, class, nation and so forth. 
  • Analyze women’s and/or queer experiences within gender systems of power, privilege, and violence. 
  • Apply theoretical frameworks of queer studies and feminisms to current issues in local communities, and at statewide and national levels. 
  • Understand the historical and contemporary variations of feminisms/queer theories in a global context and transnational framework. 
  • Write critically: write clear and well-reasoned prose that acknowledges complex and diverse points of view and methods of critical inquiry/research, especially those that address constructions of gender, sexuality, race, and class.  
  • Verbally express ideas effectively, tailoring arguments and presentation styles to audiences and interactive contexts. 
  • Develop skills of leadership, advocacy, organization, and community building to bring about social change.

Major Requirements
  • This major requires 54-60 units distributed as follows:

    • Women’s Studies Common Course Requirements: 15 units
    • Women’s Studies Interdisciplinary Requirements: 21 units
    • A Minor: 18-24 units

    Take the following 36 units with a Grade of "C" or better in each course:

Minor Requirements
  • You must complete a minor of at least 18 units from those described in this catalog. In consultation with your advisor, you should select a minor that is appropriate for your career aspirations and educational needs. Your minor advisor will advise you about this part of your academic plan.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may take these remaining courses from any of the academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Please be aware that we encourage you to consult with your academic advisor every term once you declare a major, usually after completing no more than 12 units of requirements.

  • Please be aware that a grade of "D" will not count for major credit.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.