WS Bachelor's Degree

Students who have academic interests and passions in women's, gender, and feminist issues can now major in Women's Studies. Women's Studies majors will take a variety of engaging courses that will prepare them for a wide range of job and career options and opportunities by providing rigorous training in a number of crucial skills that are marketable in the "real world" such as critical and analytical thinking skills and writing and communication skills.

With our curriculum focus on women's and minority's experiences in the Asia-Pacific region and faculty members with strong ties to local, national, and global networks of feminist intellectuals, activists, and academic and other professional organizations, students who study in our program are well positioned to pursue meaningful career paths and life choices upon graduation.

As Women's Studies majors, students may choose either:

A) General focus Women's Studies major

A general focus plan gives students an overview of the entire field of Women's Studies. It consists entirely of courses within the Women's Studies Program. Students may register for cross-listed courses (courses that have a Women's Studies course number and also that of one (or more) other department(s)) and still count the class as a Women's Studies class as long as the course is not being counted toward another major or certificate.


B) Special focus Women's Studies major

A special focus plan gives students an opportunity to tighten their focus onto a specific topic of interest, such as Gender and Law, or Women and Health. A special focus plan can include up to fifteen (15) outside (non-WS course) credits as long as the courses are pre-approved and match the special focus of the plan.

Both choices require 30 credit hours of coursework.

WS Undergraduate Certificate

The Department of Women's Studies invites undergraduates of all majors with interests in women and gender issues to apply for a Women's Studies certificate.

With a certificate in Women Studies, students will have the credentials to succeed in a wide range of careers including medicine, law, business, education, counseling, and social work, and to further pursue an advanced study of feminism, women and gender at the graduate level.


Students must complete 15 credits in Women's Studies. The 15 credits must include the following two requirements:

  1. Feminist Theory (WS 439/POLS 339).
  2. At least one course in gender, race, and ethnicity in transnational perspectives.

At least 9 credits must be at the 300 level or higher.

A cross-listed WS course can be counted regardless of the departmental designation under which you registered for the course.

Penny-Bee Kapilialoha Bovard

Undergraduate Major and Certificate Advising

Students who wish to major in women's studies need to contact Penny-Bee Kapilialoha Bovard, the undergraduate major advisor who can discuss department requirements and help review and complete either a General or Special degree checklist for undergraduate major. Additionally, please contact Penny-Bee regarding department requirements and forms to complete for an undergraduate certificate.