What students say about NIU Women's Studies:

Women's Studies courses and activities "present opportunities that meaningfully challenge and change the way you think about and interact with the world." -Alex (undergraduate student)


Women's Studies is "tremendously valuable to both male and female students alike as it involves the study of issues that have relevance and resonance to all of us." -Ashley (graduate student)


"Women’s Studies...has given me a voice. I feel comfortable expressing my views, and calling myself a feminist because of the support I have received from the wonderful people in Women’s Studies at NIU.” -Heather (undergraduate student)


"Taking classes in Women's Studies has been one of the best parts of my experience at NIU." -Jillian(graduate student)


Minor in Women's Studies

The minor in women's studies is recommended for all students interested in examining historical and contemporary roles, perceptions, and contributions of women and in exploring other gender-related issues. Such exploration should broaden students' understanding of current societal expectations for both women and men, thereby increasing their effectiveness and sensitivity in a variety of interpersonal and professional settings. The minor is particularly appropriate for students preparing for advanced study in a variety of disciplines or careers in business, communications, education, health, humanities, and human services. Elective courses for the minor are chosen to complement the student's background, interests, and career plans and, in some instances, also help satisfy distributive studies area requirements in the general education program. Faculty members from a wide variety of departments participate in the core and special topics courses of the minor.

Students interested in declaring this interdisciplinary minor should contact the Women's Studies Program early in their college careers for information and advisement.

Requirements (18)

Students must complete 18 semester hours from the courses listed below. These 18 hours must include all three core courses and 9 hours from the list of approved electives below. Students are urged to complete the core courses in the minor as early as possible. Independent study and topics courses in a variety of departments may meet the minor requirements, with the approval of the director of the women’s studies program, when substantial treatment of women’s studies is included in the course. (NOTE: Six or more semester hours in the minor must be taken at NIU.

Core courses (9):)

  • WOMS 230*, Women, Sex, and Gender Today (3)
  • WOMS 235*, Women across Cultures and Centuries (3)
  • WOMS 4321 , Feminist Theory (3)

9 credit hours of electives, such as:

*Visit the Undergraduate Catalog for a more complete list of electives and course descriptions.

    • ANTH 361, Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Women (3)
    • ANTH 422, Gender in Southeast Asia (3)
    • ARTH 485D, Topics in Art History: Images of Women (3)
    • BIOS 324X, Women in Science (3)
    • BKST 402, The Africana Woman (3)
    • COMS 410*, Communication and Gender (3)
    • ENGL 382, Women Writers: The Tradition in English (3)
    • ENGL 383, Gay and Lesbian Literature (3)
    • FCNS 384, Asian American Families (3)
    • FLFR 445, French Women Writers (3)
    • FLSP 380, Gender and Hispanic Business Practices (3)
    • HIST 353, Women in African History (3)
    • HIST 402, Gender and Sexuality in History (3)
    • ILAS 350, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (3)
    • MGMT 498, Equal Opportunity and Employment (3)
    • PHHE 306, Human Sexuality (3)
    • PHIL 355, Philosophy and Feminism (3)
    • POLS 373, Women and Politics (3)
    • PSYC 474, Psychological Basis of Sexuality (3)
    • SOCI 357, The Sociology of Gender (3)
    • SOCI 487, Gender and Crime (3)
    • WOMS 240, Issues in Women's Studies (3-6)
    • WOMS 324, Women in Science (3)
    • WOMS 332, Growing Up Female (3)
    • WOMS 3902, Internship in Women's Studies (1-3)
    • WOMS 424, Topics in Gender and STEM (3)
    • WOMS 4303, Special Topics in Women's Studies (3-6)
    • WOMS 4394, Independent Study in Women's Studies (3)

* Available for general education credit.

**May be counted toward the minor when topic is appropriate

1 PRQ: WOMS 230 or WOMS 235, or consent of program director.

2 Work as an intern in activities related to Women’s Studies. Reading and paper preparation under the supervision of a faculty member in the university. May be repeated once. S/U grading. PRQ: Consent of program director; junior or senior standing.

3 PRQ: junior or senior standing or by permission of the program director.

4 PRQ: 9 hours in the minor, including WOMS 230 and WOMS 235.



Program Requirements (2014-2015 catalog)

Program Requirements (2013-2014 catalog)

Program Requirements (2012-2013 catalog)

Program Requirements (2011-2012 catalog)

Engaged Learning in Women's Studies

Research Opportunities

What to do with a Women's Studies Degree


Download the WOMS 390: Internship in Women's Studies approval form (Approval required at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the semester)

Download the WOMS 439: Independent Study in Women's Studies approval form (Approval required at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the semester)


Transfering Courses

To transfer a course you will need to fill out this form.

More information is available at the Transfer Center.

You may also want to visit the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) website.

For more information, contact
Women's Studies Program
Reavis Hall, Room 103
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115