Women’s and Ethnic Studies (WEST) is an interdisciplinary program that brings together faculty from across the campus. The WEST major centers 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, disability, 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, critical or analytical, and research papers; promote creative expression; and express oneself with clarity and confidence.
- Developing knowledge: To develop consciousness about a range of socio-political 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 develop their critical voices, value their contributions, and challenge and inspire their intellectual imaginations. To study with a multiracial/ethnic group of faculty.
- Community: To develop a sense of belonging to an intellectual, scholarly field and community, which is innovative, multiracial, and inclusive, and learn to work with integrity and openness with people from diverse backgrounds. To build bridges across categories such as race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, nationality, age, disability, and religion, and to 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.
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 cultural proficiency and experience in working with diverse and global populations. A Sociology and Women’s and Ethnic Studies (WEST) Double Major is also available.
The major requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of WEST coursework, 21 of which must be upper division (3000+ level). 15 of the 21 upper-division credit hours must be taken at UCCS. No more than 54 credit hours of WEST courses can be applied toward the degree. All WEST courses must be completed with a grade of C or better.