Towson University has a fully independent major in Women’s and Gender Studies. It also offers a minor, a master’s degree, and a graduate certificate program. Women’s and Gender Studies at Towson University was changed from a program to a department in spring, 2002. It is one of the nations oldest; courses were offered as early as 1971 and the program itself began in 1973. During the 1980s, major grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the Ford Foundation to advance “curriculum transformation” locally and nationally led to the creation of Institute for Teaching and Research on Women (ITROW) and NCCTRW. ITROW has been discontinued.
The Women’s and Gender Studies Department is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. Students choose an individually fashioned curriculum from interdisciplinary women’s studies (WMST) courses and from an approved list of courses selected from other disciplines, spanning several of Towson University’s departments and colleges. Several of our courses are also approved for the GenEd requirements.
Major in Women's and Gender Studies
The Women’s and Gender Studies major is interdisciplinary; it offers students the opportunity to study the status and roles of women as individuals and as members of society, and how these statuses and roles are shaped by social, political, and cultural forces. Courses emphasize both commonalities among women and differences according to race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class.
The major consists of 39 credit hours:
• 6 units of required core courses
• 3 units of a culminating experience
• 12 units in a selected focus area, 6 units of which must be departmental WMST courses
• 18 units wherein majors take 6 units in each of the three focus area other than the one selected
The Women’s and Gender Studies major is structured to provide students with both breadth (through the distribution requirement) and depth (through the selection of a focus area). The focus areas are curricular/career paths that allow students to develop expertise in a particular area. The culminating experience provides students the opportunity to integrate the knowledge acquired in their courses, and to apply this knowledge to real world problems.
Recommended Program of Study
Women’s and Gender Studies majors should include: WMST 231 Women in Perspective or WMST 232 Honors Seminar: Women in Perspective in their first semester. This is an introductory course that fulfills some General Education (GenEd) requirements. WMST 233 International Perspectives on Women or WMST 234 Honors International Perspectives on Women is recommended but not required and also fulfills GenEd requirements.
We also recommend that students majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies take the advanced composition course offered by women's studies, WMST 333: Women's Words, Women's Lives. A course on minority women (either a WMST course or a departmental one) is strongly recommended. WMST 496 Internship is also recommended.
Students should consult the Undergraduate Catalog for the most up-to-date information on electives, course descriptions and prerequisites.
Transfer Credit Policy
All Women's and Gender Studies majors must complete a minimum of 18 units toward the major at Towson University, with at least 12 units at the upper (300-400) level.
All Women's and Gender Studies minors must complete a minimum of 12 units toward the minor at Towson University, with at least 9 units at the upper (300-400) level.
Minor in Women's and Gender Studies
Students may wish to major in a traditional subject (history, english, sociology) but minor in Women's and Gender Studies. Some students plan to do graduate work in a traditional discipline, with emphasis on women within it.