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Women's Studies

Women's Studies at the University of Waterloo reflects a new understanding of the study of "humankind," the study of women and men with a special focus on gender-based experiences.

Women's history and lives, as well as feminist approaches to them, provide a rich field for scholarship and teaching in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. This scholarship and teaching is the foundation of the Women's Studies Programs.

Our Programs offer opportunities for study at the undergraduate and graduate levels, a three-year General Major, an Option and a Diploma at the undergraduate level, and advanced, theoretical courses at the graduate level. At both levels, we explore such topics as the construction of femininity; social expectations for women; feminism as a social and political movement; medical, philosophical and religious assumptions about female capabilities; women's self- perception; biological functions; sexuality; questions of gender identity; and women's achievements in the arts, literature and science. As well we sponsor activities and speakers relevant to women's lives and studies.

Close co-operation between the Women's Studies programs at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University increases the variety of courses and other esperiences available to students.

W S course offerings can help to prepare students, in a very practical way, for careers in such areas as law, medicine, personnel work, business, teaching and research, politics, community action, social policy and planning, child care, and fine arts.

We invite both women and men to join us in a quest to discover the bountiful history, culture and accomplishments of women.


Women's Studies Three-Year General Major

Students interested in the Women's Studies Three-Year General Program will ordinarily be admitted at the beginning of Year Two. Admission will be based on academic performance in at least ten term courses in Year One including at least one course listed as a Women's Studies Approved course. Application for admission to the program is usually made at the time of preregistration for Year Two or after completion of ten term courses. Criteria for admission will normally include an overall Year One average of at least 65% and an average of at least 70% in Women's Studies approved courses. Because of limitations on resources, however, the student's fulfilment of minimum entrance requirements may not guarantee admission to the Women's Studies Three-Year Major. Decisions on admission will be based upon a consideration of academic record and/or other relevant experience.

A total of 30 courses, which must include:

14 required courses including:
W S 200, W S 300, W S 365 or W S 475, SOC 101 and SOC 206

Nine other courses from the Women's Studies Approved List below which must include:
at least two of the following Humanities Courses: CLAS 292; ENGL 108E, 208E, 492B;
FR 485; HIST 202, 215, 241; MUSIC 334; PHIL 201, 202, 220, 402; "" 236, 292A, 292B, 329 or SPAN 387
at least one of the following Social Science Courses: PSYCH 236; SMF 204, 205, 206, 207, 304, 305, 306, 307; SOC 378 or 401
at least one of the following courses with significant Cross-Cultural Content Courses:
ANTH 210/310, 350, 404 or GEOG 326 or SPAN 387

16 elective courses to be chosen in consultation with advisors. Arts Faculty Group A and B and all other Arts Faculty requirements must be met. Students' programs must be approved by both the Director of Women's Studies and the academic advisor from the Faculty of Arts.


  1. It is strongly recommended that students take both ENGL 108E and HIST 215.
  2. W S 365 or W S 475 may count as social science, humanities or cross-cultural content courses, according to the subject matter, with the approval of the Director.
  3. Students may substitute courses from Wilfrid Laurier University which are listed in the calendar as equivalent courses to UW courses. They may also use Wilfrid Laurier courses from the Approved List of Women's Studies courses as "humanities,S Rsocial sciences," and Rcross-cultural contentS courses as follows:
  4. If Spanish 387 is counted as both a "Humanities" and a RCross-Cultural ContentS course, one additional Women's Studies Approved Course must be taken.

WLU Humanities Courses: CL 218; EN 225, 226, 325; FI 310, 311; HI 325, 326; PY 233;
RE 103, 224, 346, 348, 372 and WS 201.
WLU Social Sciences Courses: SL 201, 202, 302; SY 201, 204, 233, 234, 403, 452t.
WLU Cross-Cultural Content Courses: SY 338, AN 221 and EN 325



The Women's Studies Option may be taken in combination with any General or Honours program.

Approved courses at either UW or WLU can be used to fulfill requirements. If a course at one university is substantially the same as a course at the other university, credit is given for only one course. Such courses are identified in the lists below.

Students normally enter the Option program in second year. Appropriate courses taken in first year can be counted toward the Option.


A minimum average of 65% in the following courses.

Required Courses

W S 200 Introduction to Women's Studies
W S 300 Seminar in Women's Studies

Approved Courses

Select six from the "Approved Courses List" below.

General or Honours Program

The Women's Studies Option can be taken in combination with any General or Honours program. Students in the Arts Faculty can double count courses on the WS "Approved" list. For example, English 108E can be counted as a course to fulfill the WS Option and as a course that meets the Group A(i) requirement in the Faculty of Arts.

At this time Women's Studies does not offer any courses that meet the Group a (ii) requirement.

General or Non-Major Degree

Students in a General Non-major Degree program can either sign up for the Option or assemble a package of courses emphasizing Women's Studies.



This program is designed for students who wish to explore women's issues but are not seeking a degree, and for those already with a degree who want to upgrade their understanding of the dynamics of gender in social institutions, the workplace, government policy, and cultural and normative values.

Especially relevant for students interested in the health care, teaching or counselling professions, in social work, or in personnel and management fields.


Same as for Option (see above).
Students without a university degree must achieve a 65% average in W S 200 and 300 to continue.
Students with a university degree will be admitted and registered as post-degree students.


Registration Option/Diploma

Indicate "Women's Studies Option," or "Women's Studies Diploma" on your UW registration form and fill out a "Women's Studies Registration Form" available from the Women's Studies Office.

Check with the W S Director/Admin. Assistant about which courses are offered in a particular term and make your selection.

Declare the W S Option (or Diploma) as early as possible to ensure that you will have enough academic terms in which to fulfill requirements and that you will receive the appropriate W S designation on your graduation documents.


Approved Course List

University of Waterloo

ANTH 210/310 Anthropology Through Science Fiction/The Anthropological Imagination
ANTH 350 Culture and Sexuality
ANTH 404 Human Development in a Cross-Cultural Perspective
CDN ST 311 Canadian Women and Religion
CLAS 292 Modern Issues in the Ancient World (=WLU Classics 218)
ENGL 108E Women in Literature (=WLU English 225)
ENGL 208E Women Writers of the 20th Century
ENGL 492B Theory and Practice of Feminist Criticism
FR 485 French Women Writers
GEOG 326 Gender Roles and Development Alternatives in the Third World (=WLU Sociology/Anthropology 338)
HLTH 220 Health and the Family
HIST 202 The Individual and the Family in History
HIST 215 The Proper Sphere: Canadian Women in Historical Perspective
HIST 241 Society and the Sexes in Early Modern Europe
MUSIC 334 Women and Music
PHIL 201 Love
PHIL 202 Philosophy of Women and Men
PHIL 220 Moral Issues
PHIL 402/670m Modern Feminism
PSYCH 236 A Psychological Analysis of Human Sexuality
RS 236 Human Sexuality and Christian Morality
RS 292A Women and the Church 1
RS 292B Women and the Church 2
RS 329 Mothers of the Church
SMF 204 Introduction to Sexuality and Sex Education 1
SMF 205 Introduction to Sexuality and Sex Education 2
SMF 206 Introduction to Marriage and the Family 1
SMF 207 Introduction to Marriage and the Family 2
SMF 304 Advanced Study of Sexuality and Sex Education 1
SMF 305 Advanced Study of Sexuality and Sex Education 2
SMF 306 Advanced Study of Marriage and the Family 1
SMF 307 Advanced Study of Marriage and the Family 2
SOC 206 Gender Relations (=WLU Sociology 234)
SOC 378 Sociology of Women (=WLU Sociology 233)
SOC 401 Theoretical Perspectives on Gender
SOC WK 357R Family Violence
SPAN 387 Latin American Women Writers
W S 365 A-D Special Topics in Women's Studies
W S 475 A-D Directed Readings in Women's Studies

Wilfrid Laurier University

Anthropology 221 Kinship, Marriage and Gender
Classics 218 Women in Greece and Rome (= UW CLAS 292)
English 209X Feminist Theory and Cultural Practice: Fiction by Minority Women
English 225 The Woman Writer: Theory and Practice (= UW ENGL 108E)
English 226 Women in Fiction
English 325 Feminist Theory and Cultural Practice: Fiction by Minority Women
Fine Arts 310 Images of Women in Art
Fine Art 311 Women as Artists
History 325 History of Gender Roles up to the Industrial Revolution
History 326 History of Gender Roles from the Industrial Revolution to the Present
Philosophy 233 (= UW Philosophy 201) Philosophy of Sex, Love and Friendship
Religion and Culture 103 Love and Its Myths
Religion and Culture 224 God as Goddess
Religion and Culture 346 Religion and the Crises of Daily Life: Wisdom Literature in the Old Testament
Religion and Culture 348 Psychology and Religion
Religion and Culture 372 Women's Lives and Religious Values
Social Welfare 201 Income Security in Canada
Social Welfare 202 Social Services in Canada
Social Welfare 302 Selected Issues in Social Welfare
Sociology 201 Sociology of the Family
Sociology 233 Sociology of Women (=UW SOC 378)
Sociology 234 Sociology of Gender (=UW SOC 206)
Sociology 204 Social Inequality
Sociology/Anthropology 338 (= UW Geography 326) Women and Development
Sociology 403 Feminist Theory
Sociology 452 Feminism and Education
Women's Studies 201 Women and Identity
Women's Studies 390 Directed Studies

Further Information

Please contact H. Lyons, Director, PAS 3010, ext. 2880 or M. Clare, Administrative Assistant, PAS 3011, ext. 6886.

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