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Online Degrees in Women's Studies

A May 2003 message on WMST-L asked for information about
institutions offering online undergraduate or graduate degrees in
Women's Studies.  What follows are the query and the responses
received privately from WMST-L subscribers, including responses
to follow-up messages asking for more information.  If there are
other fully accredited institutions offering degrees in Women's
Studies that are not mentioned in this file, please contact Joan
Korenman; her email address is jskor AT umbc.edu .  New
information will be added to this file as it becomes available.
Last updated: April 12, 2017

Also, beware of diploma mills: see
https://www2.ed.gov/students/prep/college/diplomamills/diploma-mills.html .

Be wary, too, of some for-profit institutions: see
http://socialistworker.org/2012/08/27/college-inc . The U.S. Department of Education has a searchable database of postsecondary educational institutions and programs that are accredited: https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/ .
For additional WMST-L files available on the Web, see the WMST-L File Collection.
Date: Wed, 21 May 2003 20:00:04 -0400
From: Joan Korenman <jskor AT umbc.edu>
Subject: WS degrees online?
Hi, folks.  Earlier today, I received a message asking whether I knew
of any colleges or universities offering online M.A.'s in women's or
gender studies.  I've had similar requests in the past, sometimes for
undergraduate degrees and sometimes for M.A. or Ph.D. degrees.  I
realize that I simply don't know whether there are opportunities to
earn degrees in WS online at any level.  I'm thinking that perhaps I
should add a section to my listing of Women's Studies programs to
highlight the existence of online degree possibilities, if in fact
they exist. [NOTE: For now, this file serves that purpose.]

I would thus be most grateful if you would let me know PRIVATELY if
you know of institutions offering online degrees in WS at either the
undergraduate or graduate level.  I'll be happy to compile the
responses and post whatever information I receive on WMST-L.  If
there's enough information to warrant a separate section of my online
listing, I'll consider making one.

Please respond privately to jskor  AT  umbc.edu .  And please tell me only
about opportunities for degrees, not just isolated online courses.

Many thanks.


Joan Korenman                  jskor  AT  umbc.edu
U. of Md. Baltimore County     http://www.umbc.edu/cwit/
Baltimore, MD 21250  USA       http://www.umbc.edu/wmst/

The only person to have everything done by Friday is Robinson Crusoe
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 01:01:04 -0500
From: Tom Head <tom AT tomhead.net>
Subject: Re: WS degrees online?

Just so happens that I did the subject index for the 15th edition of 
Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning (Ten Speed Press, 
2003), so I can tell you that there are distance learning women's 
studies programs offered by American Military University (B.A., no 
residency), Athabasca University [Canada] (bachelor's, no residency), 
the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (master's with short 
residencies), Laurentian University [Canada] (bachelor's, no 
residency), Murdoch University [Australia] (bachelor's, no residency), 
Queens University [Canada] (bachelor's, no residency), Simon Fraser 
University [Canada] (bachelor's, no residency), and the University of 
New England [Australia] (bachelor's and master's, no residency).  There 
are also low-residency research Ph.D. programs available at various 
universities in the UK, Australia, and South Africa.  More detailed 
information can be found in the book itself, but this might be enough 
to go on.  If there are any accredited distance learning programs in 
women's studies that the researchers overlooked, or that have come 
about since the book was published, an inquiry on the Degreeinfo 
message board ( www.degreeinfo.com ) would probably yield more results.

Good luck!


[A follow-up message from Joan Korenman elicited the following response:]

Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 23:10:18 -0500
From: Tom Head <tom AT tomhead.net>
Subject: Re: WS degrees online?

On Wednesday, May 28, 2003, at 07:29  AM, Joan Korenman wrote:

> Hi, Tom.  Belated thanks for the goldmine of information you offered 
> in response to my query about online WS degrees.  My only reservation 
> concerns distinguishing accredited from unaccredited institutions.  
> Indeed, even within accredited institutions, some accreditation 
> carries more weight than others.

This is definitely a biggie, and a major issue in the guides I've been 
involved in.  My co-author on those two books--John Bear--has been the 
FBI's expert witness on diploma mills since 1976, and has done various 
segments on the subject for 20/20 and Good Morning America.  With U.S. 
schools, the situation is relatively simple: the best option is a 
school accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies, and 
the second-best option is a school accredited by a national accrediting 
agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or the 
nonprofit Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or both.  
But there are also some unrecognized and blatantly phony accreditors out 
there that exist only so that unaccredited schools can describe 
themselves as "accredited."

>  I'm not really in a position to address this issue in detail, but I'd 
> like to be sure I don't steer people to an institution whose credits 
> won't transfer or whose degree won't be accepted.

I can definitely understand this.  A summary of where the institutions 
I mentioned got their accreditation:

  American Military University -- Accredited by the Distance Education 
and Training Council (DETC) [ www.detc.org ], a USDE/CHEA-approved 
national/vocational  accreditor.  There's talk that AMU will apply for 
regional accreditation at some point (it's been around for a good while 
and has done a few programs in conjunction with regionally accredited 
schools), but right now all it has to show for itself is DETC.  This 
would probably be fine for a second bachelor's, but I wouldn't 
recommend it for a first bachelor's because most U.S. regionally 
accredited master's programs require a regionally accredited bachelor's 
for admission under most circumstances.  (Exceptions are frequently 
made in cases of nationally-accredited degrees, but who wants to be an 

Athabasca University -- Canadian public university; equivalent to 
regionally accredited.

Institute of Transpersonal Psychology -- Regionally accredited, through 
(I believe) the Western Association.

Laurentian University -- Brick-and-mortar Canadian private university 
(Roman Catholic); equivalent to regionally accredited.  Home to 
psychologist of religion Michael Persinger, who does those 
geomagnetic-fields-and-religious-experience experiments.

Murdoch University -- Brick-and-mortar Australian public university, 
approved by the Australian Qualifications Framework [ www.aqf.edu.au ]; 
equivalent to regionally accredited.

Queens University -- Brick-and-mortar Canadian university; equivalent 
to regionally accredited.

Simon Fraser University -- Ditto.

University of New England -- Brick-and-mortar Australian public 
university; approved by the AQF; equivalent to regionally accredited.

> I don't know whether you've dealt with this issue in your guide.

I actually did what I humbly consider to be the world's best two-page 
description of how to check out a school's accreditation for "Bears' 
Guide to the Best Education Degrees by Distance Learning" (it's one of 
the appendices), but the book itself doesn't list any unaccredited 
programs.  The more general "Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by 
Distance Learning" lists both accredited and unaccredited schools, but 
clearly separates them by chapter (and puts the blatant degree mills in 
a separate appendix, which doesn't include contact information).  This 
discussion isn't quite as pithy as mine (and it's a little dated--the 
UNESCO International Handbook of Universities has listed a few 
questionable schools and is no longer a reliable source), but it might 
be a useful page to link to:

> At any rate, I GREATLY appreciate all the information you've so 
> generously provided. I'll happily credit you in whatever listing I 
> create.

You're most welcome!  Please feel free to contact me about this issue 
again in the future--I'm not quite as involved in distance learning as 
I used to be, but I've co-written two books on the subject and earned 
both my bachelor's (NYSED's Regents College program) and master's 
(California State University, Dominguez Hills) that way.

Have a good weekend!


Tom Head

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
-- Walt Disney
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 10:15:37 -0700
From: Priscilla Stuckey <pstuckey AT california.com>
Subject: Re: WS degrees online?
Hi, Joan,

I am a Graduate Advisor for an M.A. student in feminist theory at 
Prescott College, Prescott, AZ.

Technically, the M.A. program there (they call it "MAP") is a 
"nonresidential" program, not an online one. The school offers an 
M.A. in Humanities or Psychology or Environmental Studies. The school 
then recruits an advisor for each individual student, matching the 
student's interest and field. Students and advisors may live 
anywhere. The school gathers students and advisors together for a 
colloquium 2 times each semester, or 4 times a year.

So when a student comes along who wants to do gender or women's 
studies (usually in the Humanities program), the school looks for 
someone in that field. That's how I was recruited. My student and I 
do most of our work online, and we meet 4 times a year in person at 
the colloquium.

Here is the URL for Prescott's MAP program: http://map.prescott.edu

Priscilla Stuckey, Ph.D.
Oakland, CA
pstuckey  AT  california.com
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 14:16:25 -0700
From: "David, Rachel" <rdavid AT shore.ctc.edu>
Subject: RE: WS degrees online?
A staff member in our women's center received her master's in a
distance learning program.  Here's what she said about it: My school
was Prescott College in Arizona ( www.prescott.edu ). It's a
design-your-own degree program based in distance learning, but it's
not necessarily all online. Some people do it all via paper (I have no
idea how.)  Hope this helps!

Can you let me or the list know when you add this to your website?  Thanks!
Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 01:16:59 -0700
From: "Rebecca Bailey" <b123beck AT netzero.net>
Subject: Masters online
I believe the CIIS in San Francisco offers BA and MA W/ST degrees online 
but limited areas of focus.

Becky Bailey
[A follow-up message from Joan Korenman elicited the following response:]

Date: Fri, 30 May 2003 19:46:36 -0700
From: "Rebecca Bailey" <b123beck AT netzero.net>
Subject: CIIS Distance Learning
CIIS Distance Learning

Joan- A fellow W/ST student I know is getting her 
degree from CIIS. As I looked more closely, the programs incorporate 
areas of W/ST although the degree itself is not in W/ST. They do offer a 
Master's Degree and PH.D program online.... The program has changed from 
the last time I checked into it.

Becky Bailey
Date: Wed, 03 Sep 2003 10:28:39 -0700
From: "Wendy Burton" <Wendy.Burton AT ucfv.ca>
Subject: Re: Women's Studies Online
The University of Athabasca (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) offers an
M.A. in Integrated Studies, with a focus on Women's Studies. This
program is offered entirely online. M.A. Integrated Studies are
programs that can be designed specifically to meet the education
requirements of individual students. Athabasca also offers B.A. in
Women's Studies, but I don't believe this program is online.

Wendy E. Burton
Adult Education/UCFV ONLINE
University College of the Fraser Valley
45635 Yale Road
Chilliwack, British Columbia  V2P 6T4  CANADA
wendy.burton  AT  ucfv.ca
Date: Sat, 4 Oct 2003 01:18:24 -0700
From: "Rebecca Bailey" <b123beck AT netzero.net>
Subject: online degrees
I found another online degree offering Master's degrees in
Women's Spirituality from the New College of California Women's
Spirituality. It is a feminist based program with a female
faculty. It is located in San Francisco and the email address is
www.newcollege.edu. Core faculty includes Rose Wognum Frances,
Judy Grahn and Ani Mander. Some of the teachers/professors
include Starhawk, Z. Budapest, Max Dashu, Vicki Noble, Mary
Thunder and others......

Becky Bailey
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2005 10:27:32 EDT
From: Christine Dilkes. <CDilkes AT WMCONNECT.COM>
Subject: Women's Studies Online Graduate Certificate
Hello Joan,

While researching Women's Studies graduate degrees offered online, I came
across Western Kentucky University's Women's Studies graduate certificate, and
thought it would be useful to add to your Online Degrees in Women's Studies

The certificate is worthwhile for those students who are either pursuing, or
have, a graduate degree in another discipline, and would like to enhance their
education with a certificate in Women's Studies, but their institution does
not offer one.

Western Kentucky U. is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools, and offers the Women's studies grad certificate entirely online via
the Kentucky Virtual University (KYVU).  Although admission into the grad
program is required, students do not have to be enrolled in a
master's program to obtain the certificate.

Furthermore, although the requirement for the certificate is 15
hours/credits, those seeking university-level accreditation, can
opt for an 18 or 21 hour/credit certificate.

Here are the URLs for both KYVU and the Western KY U's Women's Studies




Christine Dilkes
Pequannock, NJ
cdilkes AT wmconnect.com
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2010 11:51:41 -0400
From: "Juli L. Parker" <jparker AT UMASSD.EDU>
Subject: Online WMST
UMass Dartmouth has an online major and minor in Women's Studies. 

Celebrating 40 Years of Educating and Empowering Women 

Juli Parker, Ph.D. 
Director, Women's Resource Center 
Affiliate Faculty, Women's Studies Program 
UMass Dartmouth 
285 Old Westport Rd. 
N. Dartmouth, MA á02747 
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 2010 13:37:40 -0400
From: "Stephanie O'Hara" <sohara AT UMASSD.EDU>
Subject: Online WMST degree programs
In reply to Jennifer Tuttle's query re: online WMST degree programs, I would
like to draw your attention to our program at the University of Massachusetts
Dartmouth. For more details, please see the website:
All best wishes, 
Stephanie O'Hara 
Asst. Professor of French 
Affiliate, Women's Studies 
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 
285 Old Westport Rd 
N Dartmouth MA 02747 
sohara  AT  umassd.edu
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 13:55:25 -0300
From: Ann Braithwaite <abraithwaite AT UPEI.CA>
Subject: WS on line
and in Canada, check out:
Athabasca University -- http://www.athabascau.ca/wmst/index.htm
Thorneloe University federated with Laurentian University --
you can complete WS degrees online or through distance ed at both
hope that helps
Ann Braithwaite, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Coordinator
Women's Studies
University of Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3
abraithwaite  AT  upei.ca
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2010 11:10:37 -0700
From: "Shaw, Susan" <sshaw AT OREGONSTATE.EDU>
Subject: Re: Online WMST degree programs?
Oregon State University has just put its WS major online this year. For more information, go to 
http://ecampus.oregonstate.edu/online-degrees/undergraduate/women-studies/. Thanks.

Susan M. Shaw, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Women Studies
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
Date: Mon, 12 April 2017 7:18 AM -0600
From: "Ange DuBois" <outreach.asuonline AT GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Online Women and Gender Studies BA Program at ASU
Arizona State University has an online BA program in Women and Gender Studies. More information is available at 

Ange DuBois

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