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University at Albany Undergraduate Bulletin - 2004-2005

Department of Women's Studies


Distinguished Teaching Professor Emerita

Judith Fetterley, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
Indiana University

Professor Emeritae/i

Francine W. Frank, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
University of Illinois

June Hahner, Ph.D.
Cornell University


Edna Acosta-Belin, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
Columbia University

Judith E. Barlow, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
University of Pennsylvania

Iris Berger, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin

Roberta M. Bernstein, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
Columbia University

Christine Bose, Ph.D.
John Hopkins University

Judith E. Johnson, B.A.
Barnard College

Marjorie Pryse, Ph.D.
University of California, Santa Cruz

Glenna Spitze, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
University of Illinois

Associate Professors Emeritae/i

Joan E. Schulz, Ph.D. (Collins Fellow)
University of Illinois

Associate Professors

Vivien W. Ng, Ph.D.
University of Hawaii

Bonnie Spanier, Ph.D.
Harvard University

Assistant Professor

Maia Boswell, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina

Virginia Eubanks, Ph.D.
Rensselaer Poly Institute University

Janell C. Hobson, Ph.D.
Emory University

Senior Assistant Librarian

Deborah LaFond, M.L.I.S.
University of California, Berkeley (Near Eastern Specialization)

Internship Director

Bonnie Spanier, Ph.D.
Harvard University

Affiliated Faculty (estimated): 10
Adjuncts (estimated): 3
Teaching Assistants (estimated): 2

Women's Studies encourages students to reexamine their own lives and the world around them in relation to gender, race, class, and sexuality. The curriculum reflects new subjects, theories, and methodologies based on a cross-cultural, multidisciplinary approach to the study of women. In the creation of new knowledge, Women's Studies provides a critique of social, cultural, and institutional structures that include the traditional disciplines. Women's Studies sees itself as connected to the social and political environment outside the university. Opportunities are available for internships, independent study, and innovative teaching for undergraduates. Students may take a major or minor in Women's Studies or may enroll in individual courses.


A concentration in Women's Studies prepares students for graduate and professional training in a variety of fields. Like other B.A. graduates, Women's Studies majors may enroll in professional study at the graduate level in law, social welfare, education, public administration, and health care; they also find employment and continue on-the-job training in business, social services, public affairs, publishing, and private nonprofit organizations. Experience in critical thinking and writing and intensive reflection concerning issues of diversity and multiculturalism prepare Women's Studies graduates with qualities that employers actively seek. Some Women's Studies graduates find employment with community agencies (women's centers, counseling centers, battered women's shelters, rape crisis centers, women's health centers, women's vocational agencies), in affirmative action and diversity education (in schools, government agencies, and business), and with campus-based women's programs.

Degree Requirements for the Major in Women's Studies

General Program B.A.: A minimum of 36 credits distributed as follows. A course may not be used to fulfill more than one requirement:

  1. 9 credits introductory course requirement: Both A Wss 220M or A Wss 220G and A Wss 240; select 1 additional course from the following: A Wss 101 or A Wss 101Z, A Wss 109N, or A Wss 202.
  2. 3 credits women in historical perspective requirement. One history of women or history of feminism course selected from among A Wss 260, A Wss 412, A Wss 440, A His 256, A His 293, or other history course when approved.
  3. 3 credits women in a global, international, or cross-cultural context requirement. Select at least one from among A Wss 308, A Wss330 or 330Z, A Wss 381 or 381Z, A Wss 412, A Wss 451, or other course when approved.
  4. 3 credits feminist theory requirement. A Wss 360 is required of all members of the Women's Studies Teaching Internship. All other majors select at least one from A Wss 360, A Wss 465, or other course when approved.

  5. 6 credits feminist research and internship. Two-semester sequence, usually taken during the fall and spring of the senior year: A Wss 490Z, and A Wss 492.

  6. 12 credits of electives, at least 9 or more credits at the 300 level or above, to be selected from Women's Studies courses, cross-listed courses, or courses listed in other departments and approved by the Women's Studies Department.

Honors Program

Students may file an application for admission to the honors program in the department office in the second semester of the sophomore year or in the junior year. Junior transfers may apply at the time of their admission to the University.

The minimum requirements for admission include completion of at least 12 credits of course work applicable to the major, a minimum overall grade point average of 3.25, and a minimum 3.50 grade point average for all courses applicable toward the major.

Students in the program are required to complete all of the requirements for the major in Womenís Studies. As part of their elective credits for the major, students must also complete 3 credits of intensive work culminating in an independent research or creative honors project. Typically the project begins as a paper the student writes for an upper-division Womenís Studies course no later than spring of the junior year. During the senior year, honors students fulfill the requirements for the honors program by enrolling in AWSS 495 Honors Project during the fall semester concurrently with AWSS 490Z, Research Seminar in Womenís Studies. Alternatively, students who have been admitted into the honors program during their sophomore year may enroll in AWSS 490Z in the fall semester of their junior year in preparation for completion of the honors sequence during the subsequent two semesters.

Students in the honors program are required to maintain overall grade point averages of 3.25 or higher during the junior and senior years and overall grade point averages of 3.50 or higher for all courses applicable toward the major. Students not meeting the above standards may be unable to complete the honors program.

After completion of the above requirements, the records of the candidate will be reviewed by the department, which will recommend candidates for the degree with honors in Womenís Studies.

Combined Bachelor's/Master's in Women's Studies

The combined B.A./M.A. program provides an opportunity for students with outstanding academic abilities to receive both a B.A. and an M.A. degree in five years (ten semesters).

The combined program demands a minimum of 142 credits, of which 32 must be graduate credits. Students must fulfill all university, college, and department requirements for both the undergraduate major and the M.A. in Womenís Studies.

Students accepted into the combined B.A./M.A. program apply up to 10 credits of graduate work toward both their undergraduate and graduate degree requirements. Students take two 4-credit graduate courses in addition to WSS 510 (2 credits), ďAdvanced Feminist Pedagogy and Theory,Ē to fulfill this requirement.

Undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 60 credits with a GPA of 3.2 or above are eligible to apply. Students submit applications for the B.A./M.A. program in Womenís Studies directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Students will be admitted upon the recommendation of the departmentís Graduate Admissions Committee, whose decision will be based on the studentís grade point average, statement of purpose, writing sample, and supportive letters of recommendation from faculty.

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