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Gender and Health Major Requirements


Prerequisite to Major: WS 220/NURSING 220 Perspectives in Women's Health

Major Program: 33 credits


1. Feminist Theory Seminar. One of the following:

  • Womenstd 330: Feminist Thought
  • Womenstd 331: Feminist Theoretical Perspectives in Gender and Health

2. Practicum course requirement is intended to ensure 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. By approval of both the relevant instructor and the WS undergraduate office, students may satisfy this requirement with courses that allow them an immersive experience with gender and health-related research, service learning, or mentorships focused on gender and health issues. 

Four courses that will satisfy the practicum requirement are:

  • Womenstd 350: Nonprofit Management, Community Engagement, and Feminist Practice
  • Womenstd 351: Leading Feminism
  • Womenstd 384: Independent Research (by department advisor approval)  Students obtain approval from the instructor and the department advisor to do so via their participation in appropriately focused research or an apprentice-based research project that focuses on gender and health issues.
  • Womenstd 404 / HS 404: Gender Based Violence: From Theory to Action.

3. Thematic Area Requirements

At least one course from each of the following four areas must be taken. A course cannot be double counted to meet more than one thematic area requirement. 

LGBTQ 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.

4. Senior Capstone. Womenstd 440 (must be taken in residence). Normally elected the last winter term the student is in residence.

Gender and Health Electives

Electives must bring the total number of credits in the major up to 27 (excluding cognates). Select at least two courses. 

  • Any of the courses in “thematic areas” section
  • Womenstd 225 / PSYCH 225: Psychology of Human Sexuality
  • Womenstd 291 / PSYCH 291: Introduction to the Psychology of Women and Gender
  • Womenstd 313: Special Topics in Gender and the Humanities, sections titled “Gender, Autobiography and the Medical Body”, “Disability Culture”
  • Womenstd 342: Special Topics in Gender and Health
  • Womenstd 402: Gender and Health Policy
  • Womenstd 410: Reproductive Justice: Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Womenstd 421 / SM 421: Gender and Sport
  • Womenstd 432: Advanced Topics in Gender and Health, sections titled “Movements for Sexual and Reproductive Justice”, “Introduction to Global Health”
  • ENGLISH 313: Topics in Literary Studies, section titled “Gender, Autobiography and the Medical Body”
  • ENGLISH 317: Literature and Culture, section titled “Disability Culture”

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.

  • ENGLISH 317: Literature and Culture, section titled “Disability Culture”
  • WOMENSTD 233 / AMCULT 233: Genes and Society: Comparative and International Perspectives
  • WOMENSTD 239 / AMCULT 239: Gender, Sexuality, and Health in America
  • WOMENSTD 296 / HISTORY 296 / PSYCH 296: Gender, Sex Differences, and Addiction: Girls Gone Wild
  • WOMENSTD 313: Special Topics in Gender and the Humanities, sections titled “Gender, Autobiography and the Medical Body”, “Disability Culture”
  • WOMENSTD 314 / ENGLISH 314: Gender and Sexuality Studies in Literature, section titled “The Culture of AIDS”
  • WOMENSTD 342: Topics in Gender & Health, section titled "Histories of Women, Medicine and Reproduction" (F17)
  • WOMENSTD 432: Advanced Topics in Gender & Health, section titled "Race, Gender, and Mental Health in the 19th Century" (F17)

Cognate Requirement

Two courses (for a total of six credits), neither in WS nor cross-listed, are required. In order to compliment the interdisciplinary major in Gender and Health with training in a single discipline, students should take six cognate credits within the same discipline. Cognate courses should not be courses on gender and health but should provide supporting skills or contexts for the study of gender and health. Cognates are by Women’s Studies advisor approval. A preliminary list of suggested cognate courses follows:

  • AMCULT 284 / HISTORY 284: Sickness and Health in Society: 1492 to the Present
  • AMCULT 365: AIDS and America
  • ANATOMY 541 / PHYSIOL 541 / PSYCH 532: Mammalian Reproductive Physiology
  • ANTHRBIO 342 / ANTHRCUL 342: Nature/Culture Now!
  • ANTHRCUL 354 / HISTART 354: Art, Science, and Technology
  • ANTHRCUL 437: The Anthropology of Death, Dying and the Afterlife
  • ANTHRCUL 447: Culture, Racism, and Human Nature
  • CHEM 210: Structure and Reactivity I
  • CHEM 215: Structure and Reactivity II
  • HISTART 354 / ANTHRCUL 354: Art, Science, and Technology
  • HISTORY 234: History of Medicine in the Western World from the 18th Century to the Present
  • HISTORY 284 / AMCULT 284: Sickness and Health in Society: 1492 to the Present
  • HISTORY 285 / RCSSCI 275: Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society
  • HMP 200 / PUBHLTH 200 / PUBPOL 210: Health and Society: Introduction to Public Health
  • PHYSIOL 541 / ANATOMY 541 / PSYCH 532: Mammalian Reproductive Physiology
  • PSYCH 337: Hormones and Behavior
  • PSYCH 532 / PHYSIOL 541 / ANATOMY 541: Mammalian Reproductive Physiology
  • PUBHLTH 200 / HMP 200 / PUBPOL 210: Health and Society: Introduction to Public Health
  • PUBHLTH 305: The Environment and Human Health
  • PUBHLTH 350: Global Public Health: Challenges and Transformations
  • PUBPOL 210/ PUBHLTH 200 / HMP 200: Health and Society: Introduction to Public Health
  • RCSSCI 275 / HISTORY 285: Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society

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

Interested in Declaring or Learning More?

Students interested in declaring or learning more about this major (as well as the Women's Studies major or one of the minors), must first attend an information session, held throughout the term in Lane Hall. Sign up for an information session on the advising calendar.

WALK-IN ADVISING is held on Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30pm in 1122 Lane Hall , 204 S. State St.when classes are in session.

Worksheet for major requirements

See purple and blue bars on the very top of this page to see what courses meet area requirement.