Go to USC home page USC Logo College of Liberal Arts
graduate bulletin index

Women's Studies

Lynn Weber, Director

Lynn Weber, Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1976
Laura Woliver, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1986
Associate Director

Associate Professor
Wanda A. Hendricks, Ph.D., Purdue University, 1990
Graduate Director
DeAnne Messias, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco, 1997

Assistant Professors
Deborah Parra-Medina, Ph.D. University of California, San Diego/San Diego State University, 1998
Ann Ramsdell, Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina, 1996
Ingrid Reneau, Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1999

Suzanne Swan, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997


The Women's Studies Program at the University of South Carolina promotes understanding of the diverse array of women's experiences through a complete program of teaching, research, and service to the University, the local community, the state, and the nation. Through its research mission, women's studies reconceptualizes knowledge, creates new knowledge, and reinterprets existing knowledge through the lens of gender and the prism of diversity. Its teaching mission is to share this knowledge with students so they learn to think critically, to communicate effectively, to solve problems, and to interpret human experience. Emerging from an activist tradition, women's studies serves university, local, state, and national communities by acting as a resource and guide for issues related to women and gender. Our research, teaching, and service missions interweave as we create, share, and apply the knowledge, skills, and values that promote the full participation of women in society.

Certificate of Graduate Study in Women's Studies

The Certificate of Graduate Study in Women's Studies is open to the graduate student seeking an interdisciplinary program in women's studies in addition to the master's or doctoral degree that the student is pursuing in a traditional discipline. The program is also intended for postbaccalaureate working professionals such as psychologists, social workers, nurses, librarians, and teachers who wish to obtain information and skills in women's studies to aid them in their professions.


Applicants will need to submit a completed application together with official transcripts, GRE or Miller Analogies Test scores, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Minimum entrance requirements will be the same as those for The Graduate School. Applicants with GRE scores above 1050 (verbal and analytical)--or a comparable score under the new grading scale for the analytical section--or Miller Analogies Test scores above 50 will have the best opportunity of being awarded a graduate assistantship. For more information, contact the Women's Studies Program.

Program Requirements

The Certificate of Graduate Study in Women's Studies is interdisciplinary and requires a total of 18 graduate credits within a six-year period in prescribed and elective courses. All students must take the two core courses: WOST 701 and 702. Each student must take at least 9 credits in elective courses chosen from an approved list to meet the student's own interests. A final required seminar, WOST 797, serves as a capstone experience to help integrate the elective courses with the material learned in the introductory core. Courses taken as part of another graduate degree program may, if appropriate, be applied also to the certificate program. The Certificate of Graduate Study in Women's Studies is awarded upon completion of the student's approved program of courses.

For more information, contact the Women's Studies graduate director at 803-777-4007.

Course Descriptions (WOST)

  • 535 -- Ecofeminism. {=PHIL 535} (3) (Prereq: 3 hours in philosophy beyond the 100 level or instructor's consent) An exploration of the connections between oppression of women and oppression of nature.
  • 541 -- Issues in Women's Health. {=NURS 541} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) An exploration of women's health and health care concerns from multiple perspectives.
  • 554 -- Women and Crime. {=CRJU 554} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Impact of gender-based relations on crime and the criminal justice system.
  • 555 -- Language and Gender. {=ANTH 555, LING 541} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Approaches to gender and language emphasizing the social grounding of both; how language reflects sociocultural values and is a tool for constructing different types of social organization.
  • 701 -- Feminist Theory. (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) A critical examination and analysis of feminist theory across disciplines and in comparison with other contemporary critiques.
  • 702 -- Issues and Methods in Women's Studies Research. (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Analysis of issues and methods in women's studies research. Application of methods to specific research problems.
  • 704 -- Political Theory and Feminism. {=GINT 704} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) How contemporary feminist theory has responded to and reformulated traditional theories about the role and nature of women.
  • 705 -- Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality. {=SOCY 705} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Historical and contemporary dimensions of social inequality centered in race, social class, gender, and sexuality.
  • 708 -- Women in American Politics. {=GINT 708} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Impact of gender in American politics; elections, representation, rights, social movements, legal institutions, and public policy. Explores class, race, and sexuality issues within gender.
  • 709 -- Women Explorers and Travelers. {=GEOG 709} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Examines in geographical and historical contexts the activities of various women travelers and explorers.
  • 714 -- Nutrition in Women's Health. {=FPMD 714} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) An examination of the particular nutritional needs of women through the life cycle with emphasis on disease prevention and how nutrition is related to a woman's health and wellness.
  • 716 -- Women's Studies Workshop. (1) (Prereq/coreq: none) Selected topics in women's studies that are grounded in community concerns with an emphasis on individual action-research. May be repeated for a total of 2 hours credit.
  • 736 -- Women, Work, and Health: Global Perspectives. {=NURS 736} (3) Intersections of women's work and women's health in diverse social, cultural, economic, geographic, and political contexts.
  • 737 -- British Women Writers. {=ENGL 737} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Significant works by British women authors from various historical periods.
  • 738 -- American Women Writers. {=ENGL 738} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Significant works by American women authors from various historical periods.
  • 750 -- Psychology of Women. {=PSYC 750} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Women's diversity explored through research on personality, stereotypes, status and power, biological aspects, socialization, sexuality, relationships, mothering, work and achievement, violence against women, psychological disorders, and feminist therapies.
  • 764 -- History of American Women. {=HIST 764} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Selected research topics on the cultural, social, economic, and political roles and contributions of American women.
  • 767 -- Feminist Perspectives in Social Work Practice. {=SOWK 767} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Examines the application of feminist theories, concepts, and principles to social work practice. Assesses women's experiences in society and the impact of social, political, and economic structures. Investigates feminist interventions pertaining to individuals, families, organizations, communities, and the larger social environment.
  • 772 -- Gender and Culture. {=ANTH 772} (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Different cultures' ideas about gender and use of gender to organize social groups in a wide range of societies, including American subcultures.
  • 790 -- Directed Reading and Research. (1-3) (Prereq/coreq: none) Directed research and reading in subjects to be individually assigned. Prior written approval of professor and director of Women's Studies required.
  • 796 -- Special Topics in Women's Studies. (3) (Prereq/coreq: none) A special topic focusing on an area within women's studies not usually covered in other graduate courses in women's studies.
  • 797 -- Seminar in Women's Studies. (3) (Prereq: WOST 701 and 702) A capstone seminar applying women's studies theories and methodologies to professional or discipline-based research projects.

Other Courses Offered From Other Disciplines

ANTH 747 {=LING747} Language as Social Action
EDFN 845 Seminar in Foundations of Education
EDLP 739 Understanding Sexual Diversity on Campus
EDLP 822 Women, Curriculum, and Educational Leadership
ENGL 757 20th Century African American Literature
HPRE 621 Maternal-Child Health Education
LAW 781 Diversity and the Law
NURS 739 Conceptual Base for Women's Health Nursing
NURS 768 Women's Health Care
NURS 776 Advanced Health Care for Women
SPAN 769 Hispanic Women Writers

Return to College of Liberal Arts