Women’s and Ethnic Studies (WEST) is an interdisciplinary program that brings together faculty from across the campus. The WEST major and minor – as well as our certificate programs in Native American and Indigenous Studies, Latino/a Studies, Global Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies – center on the histories, experiences, and cultural expressions of women and racial or ethnic groups not only in the United States but also across the world. Our approach is intersectional in that it explores the connections among race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, and other socially constructed hierarchies. WEST emphasizes cultural responsiveness, critical and cross-disciplinary thinking, creative and innovative teaching, community engagement, and local and global awareness. We aim to create an equitable and sustainable world by analyzing structural inequality from a historical and cultural perspective and exploring strategies to achieve these goals. WEST offers one-on-one mentoring, small classes, travel courses, and a range of scholarship and internship opportunities.
- Interdisciplinary approach: To think critically about the intersections of race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, nationality and other hierarchies. Understanding history, culture and society from a range of perspectives, including those emanating from communities whose stories and lives have been marginalized or silenced.
- Scholarly sophistication: To write sophisticated self-reflective, analytical, and research papers; create artistic work; and express oneself with clarity and confidence.
- Developing knowledge: To develop consciousness about multiethnic and gender issues locally, domestically, globally and transnationally. To become well versed in the rapidly increasing scholarship on women and racial/ethnic groups with special focus on transnational studies; literary and artistic achievements; historical, social, political, and economic conditions; families and communities; and people’s strategies for liberation.
- Engaged teaching and learning: To excel in classes that allow students to claim an education, that value their contributions, and that challenge and incite students’ intellectual imaginations. To study with a multiracial/ethnic group of faculty.
- Community: To develop a sense of belonging to an intellectual field and community that is innovative, multiracial, and inclusive; learning to work with integrity and openness with people from diverse backgrounds. To build bridges across race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, nationality, age and religion and apply this knowledge to other disciplines and communities; to see a link between theory and practice.
- Social change: To develop skills to shape our collective future in ways that foster diversity and equity. To gain the preparation needed to earn graduate degrees and/or obtain employment in WEST-related fields and work with people from a range of backgrounds.
WEST requires four core courses: one course selected from each of the three substantive areas below, and three other WEST upper-level electives (30 credits total). Of the 30 credit hours, 21 must be upper-division courses, and 15 of those upper-division courses must be taken at UCCS. Students may complete a maximum of 54 credit hours in WEST. A minimum grade of C (2.0) must be earned for any course counted toward the major.
I. Each of the following four courses is required for the major (12 credit hours):
II. One class from each of the three substantive areas (9 credit hours):
At least one class must be selected from each of the following three substantive areas (a total of three courses). New classes are constantly being added to the WEST curriculum, so please consult the WEST website (www.uccs.edu/west) for an updated list of courses in each of these areas:
- Transnational and Global Studies
- Creative and Artistic Expression
- Social Movements, Communities and History
III. Select any three upper-level WEST electives (9 credit hours):
Electives may be selected from among any WEST offerings or WEST cross-listed courses (including additional courses from the above substantive areas).
All WEST students are required to complete an exit questionnaire as seniors.
The WEST major, with its low credit hour requirements, is designed to provide the ideal second major. A dual major in WEST and any other discipline provides skills to address issues of diversity relevant to every field. Today’s job market requires experience dealing with diverse and global populations.
Certificates through Women’s and Ethnic Studies are open to students from any major. Please click on the links below to see the requirements for each.