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Undergraduate Catalog 2015-2016

Women's Studies (WMST)

College of Arts and Humanities
2101 Woods Hall, 301-405-6877
Chair: S. Kim (Prof. and Chair)
Professors: A. Bolles, B. Dill, K. King, D. Rosenfelt, R. Zambrana
Associate Professors: E. Barkley Brown, M. Rowley, C. Schuler, A. Tambe
Assistant Professors: A. Lothian (Asst Prof)
Lecturers: J. Enszer (Lecturer)
Affiliate Professors: J. Chernela (Anthropology), T. Coletti (English), M. Collins (Comparative Literature), P. Collins (Sociology), S. Desai (Sociology), L. Doherty (Classics), J. Donawerth (English), E. Frederiksen (Germanic Studies), J. Freidenberg (Anthropology), J. Hallett (Classics), L. Kauffman (English), J. Lin (International Education Policy), S. Logan (English), H. Mahmoudi (Bahai Chair for World Peace), S. Michel (History), M. Milkie (Sociology), C. Mossman (French & Italian), K. O'Brien (Psychology), V. Orlando (French & Italian), R. Oster (Germanic Studies), M. Paolisso (Anthropology), S. Parry-Giles (Communication), S. Ray (English), L. Rosenthal (English), E. Scholnick (Psychology), M. Smith (English), E. Stehle (Classics), L. Steiner (Journalism), N. Stromquist (International and Comparative Education), N. Struna (American Studies), E. Toth (Communication), M. Washington (English), M. Zilfi (History)
Affiliate Associate Professors: L. Aldoory (Communication), H. Baer (German), J. Bianchini (History), F. Carpenter (Theatre), M. Chico (English), K. Coles ( English), S. Dwyer (Philosophy), C. Eades (French & Italian), J. Enoch (English), L. Felbain (Theatre), L. Frederik Meer (Theatre), M. Geores (Geography), M. Grossman (Jewish Studies), C. Hanhardt (American Studies), S. Harley (African American Studies), S. Jelen (English), S. Khamis (Communication), L. Leslie (Family Science), M. Lindemann (English), J. Liu (Asian & East European), C. Lyons (History), S. Madhavan (African American Studies), K. Marsh (Sociology), M. Mason (Languages, Literature and Culture), R. Muncy (History), Z. Nunes (English), K. O'Meara (Higher Education), R. Ontiveros (English), S. Parks (American Studies), A. Rodriguez (Spanish & Portuguese), K. Rosemblatt (History), M. Sies (American Studies), G. Strauch (Germanic Studies), P. Williams-Forson (American Studies), J. Wong (American Studies)
Affiliate Assistant Professors: L. Bruce (American Studies), M. Kleykamp (Sociology), J. Koser (Germanic Studies), M. Liu (Communication), T. Sangaramoorthy (Anthropology)
Professors Emeriti: E. Beck (Prof Emerita), C. Moses (Prof Emerita)

The Major

The Department of Women’s Studies sees itself as a force for change in the world, change which leads toward intellectual freedom, social justice, and equality for all people.  We do this by providing an outstanding education in Women’s Studies through excellent teaching, engaged mentoring, path-breaking research and scholarship, and dedicated community service. The Women’s Studies major offers students a coherent but flexible program of study examining scholarship and theory on the history, status, contributions, and experiences of women in diverse cultural communities, and on the significance of gender as a social construct and as an analytical category.  The B.A. degree prepares students for a wide range of fields, for example in government and in policy, research and service organizations that focus on issues concerning women, gender, and/or sexuality.  We seek to develop a new generation of scholars and leaders who, with us, will work to acknowledge, understand, and critically interrogate human differences such as those of gender, race, class, sexuality, nation, ability, ethnicity, and religion. To achieve these goals each student meets every semester with an academic advisor to plan a course of study tailored to individual interests and goals.  Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronyms: WMST, LGBT.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to fully engage with the curriculum and the opportunities presented for learning and research.  Having completed the Women’s Studies degree program, students should have acquired the following knowledge, skills, and practices:

  • An ability to critically analyze issues related to women, gender, sexuality, and power
  • A demonstrated engagement with the practices of feminist social action
  • An ability to do independent research using appropriate methods
  • An ability to use effective forms of communication

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

The Women’s Studies Multimedia Studio is a multi-purpose event space and lab dedicated to fostering connections between Women’s Studies and digital humanities by engaging issues of identity and difference through art, performance, media activism, and interdisciplinary scholarship.

Requirements for the Major

Students will earn a total of 39-42 credit hours, distributed as indicated below. Drawing from approximately fifty courses, many of which are cross-listed with other academic units, students will have the opportunity to design an emphasis within the major relevant to their special interests. A number of courses may count in more than one category. At least 30 credits must be at or above the 300 level. No course with a grade less than "C-" may be used to satisfy the major. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation. Students will design their programs in consultation with a Women's Studies advisor.

  Foundation Courses (18 credit hours) Credits
WMST200Introduction to Women's Studies: Women and Society, OR 3
  WMST250Introduction to Women's Studies: Women, Art & Culture 3
WMST300Feminist Reconceptualizations 3
WMST350Feminist Education Practicum and Analysis, OR 6
  WMST380Women's Studies Field Work and Analysis 6
WMST400Theories of Feminism 3
WMST488Senior Seminar 3
 Distributive Courses 
 Area 1: Arts and Literature (3 credit hours) 
WMST241Women Writers of French Expression in Translation (X-listed as FREN241) 3
WMST250Introduction to Women's Studies: Women, Art, and Culture 3
WMST255Introduction to Literature by Women (X-listed as ENGL255) 3
WMST275World Literature by Women (X-listed as CMLT 275) 3
WMST281Women in German Literature and Society (X-listed as GERM281) 3
WMST348Literary Works by Women (x-listed as ENGL348) 3
WMST408Special Topics in Literature by Women before 1800 (X-listed as ENGL 408) 3
WMST444Feminist Critical Theory (X-listed as ENGL 444) 3
WMST448Special Topics in Literature by Women of Color* (X-listed as ENGL448) 3
WMST458Special Topics in Literature by Women after 1800 (X-listed as ENGL458) 3
WMST466Feminist Perspective on Women in Art (X-listed as ARTH466) 3
WMST468Feminist Cultural Studies 3
WMST481Femmes Fatales and the Representation of Violence in Literature (X-listed as FREN481) 3
WMST496African -American Women Filmmakers*  (X-listed as THET496) 3
FREN482Gender and Ethnicity in Modern French Literature 3
 Area II: Historical Perspectives (3 credit hours)  
WMST210Women in America to 1880 (X-listed as HIST 210) 3
WMST211Women in America Since 1880 (X-listed as HIST 211) 3
WMST212Women in Western Europe, 1750-present (X-listed as HIST212) 3
WMST320Women in Classical Antiquity (X-listed as CLAS 320) 3
WMST453Victorian Women in England, France, and the United States (X-listed as HIST 493) 3
WMST454Women in Africa* (X-listed as HIST 494) 3
WMST455Women in Medieval Culture and Society (X-listed as HIST495) 3
WMST456Women in the Middle East* 3
WMST457Changing Perceptions of Gender in the US: 1880-1935 (X-listed as HIST 433) 3
AASP498WBlack Women in United States History* 3
AMST418JWomen and Family in American Life 3
HIST309Proseminar in Historical Writing: Women's History 3
 Area III: Social and Natural Sciences (3 credit hours)  
WMST200Introduction to Women's Studies: Women and Society 3
WMST313Women and Science (X-listed as BSCI 313) 3
WMST324Communication and Gender (x-listed as COMM 324) 3
WMST325Sociology of Gender (X-listed as SOCY 325) 3
WMST326Biology of Reproduction (X-listed as BSCI 342) 3
WMST336Psychology of Women (X-listed as PSYC 366) 3
WMST360Caribbean Women* 3
WMST410Women in the African Diaspora* 3
WMST420Asian-American Women* 3
WMST425Gender Roles and Social Institutions 3
WMST430Gender Issues in Families (X-listed as FMST 430) 3
WMST436Legal Status of Women (X-listed as GVPT 436) 3
WMST452Women and the Media (X-listed as JOUR 452) 3
WMST471Women's Health (X-listed as HLTH 471) 3
WMST493Jewish Women in International Perspective* 3
WMST494Lesbian Communities and Difference* 3
AASP498FSpecial Topics in Black Culture: Women and Work* 3
CCJS498 Special Topics in Criminology and Criminal Justice: Women and Crime  3
SOCY498WSpecial Topics in Sociology: Women in the Military 3
 *Fulfills Women's Studies Multi-Cultural Requirement 
 Courses in Cultural Diversity (6 credit hours) 
  Approved courses are noted with an asterisk in Distributive Courses section above. Courses in this category may overlap with other requirements. 
 Student-Developed Emphasis (9 credit hours) 
  Each student, with the help of the Academic advisor, will design an emphasis relevant to their special interests. Courses will ordinarily be drawn from the more than 50 courses approved for the major; in some instances, students may secure permission to include other courses. 
  Students should select their electives from the full list of courses for the major. The number of credit hours will vary depending on the individual student's program, but should bring the total number of semester credit hours to at least 39. 


Requirements for the Minor

Joint Minor in Black Women's Studies

College of Arts and Humanities
2101 Woods Hall, 301-405-6877

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
2169 Lefrak Hall

See African American Studies Department or Women's Studies Department for faculty roster.

The joint minor in Black Women's Studies focuses on the lives and experiences of women of Africa and the African Diaspora. As a specialty in the fields of Women's Studies and African American Studies, it will provide students with tools for understanding the social and cultural contexts in which race, gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, nation and other dimensions of difference intersect to influence the lives and experiences of Black women.

Fifteen (15) credits of coursework are required, distributed below. A number of courses may count in more than one category. No course with a grade less than "C-" may be used to satisfy the minor. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor is required for graduation. Students will design their program in consultation with the Women's Studies or African American Studies advisor. No more than two courses may count toward a major in African American Studies or Women's Studies.

Foundation courses (6 credits)
WMST263/AASP203 Introduction to Black Women's Studies or
WMST265/AASP213 Constructions of Manhood and Womanhood in the Black Community
AASP313/WMST314 Black Women in U.S. History

Distributive Requirements (9 credits)
Area I - Comparative or Non-US Course - indicated by a * below (3 credits)
Area II - Humanities (3 credits)

WMST263/AASP203 Introduction to Black Women's Studies
THET240 African Americans in Film and Theater
*ENGL362 Caribbean Literature in English
*FREN478B Themes and Movements of French Literature in Translation: Francophone Women Writers

Area III - Social Sciences (3 credits)

WMST265/AASP213 Constructions of Manhood and Womanhood in the Black Community
HIST319 Women and the Civil Rights Movement
*WMST360 Caribbean Women
*WMST410 Women of the African Diaspora
WMST488 Senior Seminar: Black Women in the Public Eye
AASP493 Feminist and Nationalist Thought in the Black Community
WMST498 Black Feminist Thought WMST498 Womanisms and Feminisms: Theories and Methods
AASP483 Gender, Sexuality and the Black Family

To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor, go to www.arhu.umd.edu/undergraduate/academics/minors


The Department of Women’s Studies offers two undergraduate certificate programs. Any student in good standing in the university may enroll in either certificate program by declaring their intention to the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Women’s Studies.

The Women's Studies Certificate Program consists of an integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum on women and gender.  To qualify for this certificate, a student will be required to earn 21 credits in Women's Studies courses, nine of which must be at the 300/400 level.  

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Certificate Program provides students an opportunity for interdisciplinary study of the lives, experiences, identities, and representations of LGBT people.  To qualify for this certificate, a student will be required to earn 21 credits in LGBT or related courses.

No grade below the grade of "C-" may count toward a certificate. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the certificate program is required for graduation. 


Advising is mandatory for all majors each semester. Please call 301-405-6827 for an appointment.


As part of the major, students are required to complete a hands-on, practical learning experience.  They may do so through an internship or a feminist pedagogy course. 

Students seek internship opportunities in local, state and federal governments, non-profit organizations, policy and research institutions as well as agencies committed to social change.  Student internship sites have included: League of Women Voters of Maryland, National Organization for Women, Washington Jewish Women's Project, Institute for Women's Policy Research, Asian Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, State of Maryland Lt. Governor's Office, D.C. Rape Crisis Center  and the District Alliance for Safe Housing.

Students who complete this requirement through the feminist pedagogy course work closely with a faculty member in an undergraduate course in Women's Studies, studying feminist theories of learning and assisting in the planning and delivery of the course.

Honors Program

The Honors Program is designed to give students the opportunity to pursue an area of passionate academic interest in greater depth than that allowed by formal classes.  Honors students engage in rigorous interdisciplinary research under the close supervision and mentorship of a Women's Studies faculty member. Students can be expected to gain a deeper understanding of some aspect of women's, gender, and/or sexuality studies and to develop habits of self-reliance, individual initative, and critical analysis.  The culminating thesis may be a sustained piece of writing or a substantial creative or activist project. 

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

Iota, Iota, Iota (Triota) is the Women's Studies Honor Society.  This organization strives to maintain feminist values of egalitarianism, inclusiveness, and the celebration of the diversity of women's experiences that are central to Women's Studies.  Triota works to promote student research and activism in socio-political issues that affect all minority groups and aims to recognize and promote the academic achievements of Women's Studies students.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Novak Family TerpStart Endowed Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate student participating in the department's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Program.  For information and requirements, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies (301-405-7710).

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

Awards and Recognition

The Women’s Studies Department administers a variety of awards and grants to encourage and recognize outstanding scholarship, research, leadership and service. 

Each fall the department awards travel funds to support the participation of undergraduate students in the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference.  Any student in the university who has completed 12 credits of WMST and/or LGBT courses is eligible to apply for the NWSA travel award.

Majors are eligible to apply for Academic Enrichment funds for research travel, participation in academic or leadership conferences and workshops, or other activities that will enhance their education in women’s, gender, and/or sexuality studies.

Additionally, at its commencement ceremony the department recognizes graduates who have excelled in academics or in service to the campus and community.

For information on any of these awards, including how to apply, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

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