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Gender and Health Major Requirements

Students majoring in Gender and Health are encouraged to develop individualized programs of study in consultation with a department advisor. Major requirements ensure that students are exposed to a wide variety of disciplines important to the study of gender and health through a feminist lens. 

The Gender and Health major requires a total of 33 credits. 27 credits must be taken in Women's Studies courses, while the remaining 6 are to be taken in cognate courses that provide complementary skills but are housed in a different department. Women's Studies 220: Perspectives in Women's Health, is a prerequisite for the major, and only two additional courses may be taken at the 200 level. Students should consult the worksheet for major requirements when planning their program. 

Feminist Theory

All majors are required to take a course that introduces them to some of the major debates and intellectual conversations in the field of feminist theory. Gender and Health students can take either a general introduction to feminist theory or an introduction focused specifically on gender and health.

Students choose one of the following to fulfill this requirement: 

  • Women's Studies 330: Feminist Thought
  • Women's Studies 331: Feminist Theoretical Perspectives in Gender and Health

Practicum

The practicum ensures that majors gain exposure to and participate in hands-on research or community service internships in which critical feminist approaches to gender and health are materially relevant.

Students choose one of the following to fulfull this requirement:

  • Women's Studies 350: Nonprofit Management, Community Engagement, and Feminist Practice
  • Women's Studies 351: Leading Feminism
  • Women's Studies 384: Independent Research (by instructor and department advisor approval)
  • Women's Studies 404: Gender Based Violence: From Theory to Action
     

Thematic Areas

Students are required to take at least one course from each of the following four areas. Courses cannot be double counted to meet more than one area requirement.

Please consult the links to the right for information about which courses count towards each area. 

LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) and Sexuality Studies in Health

These courses focus on sexual minority health and the contributions of feminist scholarship and queer theory as applied to the development of sexual identities, understandings of sexual health, and the experiences of LGBTQ people with healthcare delivery, health related policies, and social justice movements, as well as the history of sexuality more generally.

Critical Race and Ethnic Studies in Gender and Health

These courses will rely on a feminist perspective to examine how the intersections of gender, race, and ethnicity (and other salient categories of identity) impact health-related issues (e.g., conceptualizations of disease and well-being, social disparities in health and healthcare seeking, relations between healthcare providers and patients) with a primary focus on the United States.

Gender and Health in Bioscience

These courses present students with knowledge about basic biological processes, pertaining to healthy developmental periods, life transitions, or particular illnesses, in combination with critical feminist examinations about the process of conducting research in the biological sciences and the applications and societal impact of such work.

Gender and Health in Global, Transnational, or Historical Perspectives

In this thematic area, one set of courses offers a comparative cross-cultural perspective on health-related phenomena by relying upon feminist theories and global feminisms to place topics of study in a global, transnational context. Another set of courses provides students with the comparative vision promoted through in-depth understanding of the rich and complex historical background of many current health-related issues.

Senior Capstone

Women's Studies 440: Senior Capstone is offered in the winter term for students with senior standing. The course is designed to help graduating seniors look back, synthesizing what they have learned in Gender and Health, and look ahead, envisioning how they might apply their knowledge and experience in post-graduate lives and careers. This topic is explored through readings, discussions, arts-based work, writing assignments, and guest speakers from the university and larger community. This course serves as an opportunity for students to learn how to best use their Gender and Health education to make a life that reflects their values and has an impact on their community. 

Electives

Electives include any Women's Studies course at the 200 level or above, and can be used to bring the total credits of Women's Studies classes to 27. A select number of courses from other departments can also be used as electives (for more information, consult a Women's Studies advisor)

Gender, Culture, and Representation Requirement

One of the four thematic area courses or one of the elective courses must be a course that addresses “gender, culture and representation” on a health-related topic. These courses explore ways in which meanings about gender and health are produced through cultural images, artifacts, and performances.

Please consult the links to the right for information about which courses count towards this requirement. 

Cognate Requirements

Students are required to take two courses at the 300 or 400 level that are neither in Women's Studies nor cross-listed, but provide supporting skills or contexts for the study of gender and health. These courses should not, however, focus primarily on gender and health. In order to ensure that the interdisciplinary Women's Studies major is complemented by training in a single discipline, these courses will normally be in the same department. Cognate courses may be in a second major. 

Please consult with a Women's Studies advisor if you have questions about courses that will fulfill the cognate requirement. 

A Note Regarding LSA Distribution Requirements

If you have two majors, you may choose one of the majors to count for LSA distribution (HU, SS, ID credit).  If Gender and Health is your single major, you may not count any of those courses toward distribution. However the upper level writing requirement may be done in a single major. Courses in a single major may count for University requirements (R&E and upper level writing). Questions? Email wsp.advising@umich.edu