Independent Study

The purpose of an independent study is to provide the student with an opportunity to pursue a study a topic that is not offered in the regular curriculum. Women's and Gender Studies majors and minors, as well as LGBTQ minors, may use the independent study course as the "capstone" course for their studies. The student should choose a topic in consultation with the Director of WGS, who serves as an instructor of record for the course. Students may develop a topic that the Director agrees to supervise directly or in consultation with another faculty member who supervises the independent study.

Students have chosen a wide variety of topics for their independent study:

  • An in-depth study of women and religion in various traditions. This independent study course led this student to her honors thesis on this topic.
  • A study of the development of the concept of intersectionality in feminist theory, and a final research paper on the topic.
  • A project that involved reading a set of guides to women's "manners" and appropriate behavior for "ladies" from 1950s U.S. women's magazines and then attempting to practice those manners for two weeks, keeping a diary on the experience.

Whatever topic the student chooses, the amount of reading and writing required should be equivalent to a 3 credit class.