Women's Health (Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration)

Students earning a graduate degree in the College of Nursing, the School of Public Health, or the Department of Sociology may complement their courses by enrolling for a concentration in Women’s Health after consulting with their graduate advisor.

Graduate Program Level
NursingMS, PhD
Public Health MPH, MS, DrPH, PhD
SociologyMA, PhD

Students from the above programs pursuing this concentration must elect the concentration by submitting a letter to the director of the Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Women’s Health, and obtain approval of a course of study from a concentration advisor. Students should enroll in a minimum of 12 hours of course work; all students must enroll in NUSP 550. Of the 12 hours, at least 6 hours must be taken outside of the students’ primary school or college in approved Women’s Health related courses. At least one course must be through the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, and at least one course must be in the health-related sciences, such as through the School of Public Health or the College of Nursing. Up to 3 semester hours may be taken in independent study or thesis research as approved by the student’s concentration advisor after development of and submission of a plan of work to the director of the concentration.

Admission Requirements

A student intending to participate in the Interdepartmental Graduate Concentration in Women’s Health must be admitted or enrolled at the University of Illinois in one of the designated degree programs in order to elect this concentration. Designated degree programs include the MS and PhD in Nursing, and the MS, MPH, PhD, and DrPH in Public Health, and MA and PhD in Sociology. Students must formally elect the concentration by submitting a plan of work, which is developed with the assistance of a concentration advisor, to the director of the concentration and by informing their home department. The plan of work is a 500-word proposal to the concentration director indicating their interest in the concentration, what they hope to learn from this concentration, the relation of the concentration to their future career goals, and their anticipated course of study in the concentration.

Degree Requirements

  1. Relation to primary program requirements: Students must meet all of the requirements of their primary department or school and of the graduate program. This concentration does not alter those requirements in any manner.
  2. Advisor selection: Students must select a concentration advisor from a list of designated or affiliated faculty.
  3. Total concentration hours, core and elective hours, listing of core course numbers: This is a minimum four-course concentration totaling a minimum of 12 hours. It is composed of three core courses, with one course being an introduction to the field of Women’s Health, one Women’s Health issues course, and one theory/methods course. Students also take one elective course for a minimum of 3 semester hours. A maximum of 3 semester hours may be in independent study. Students may obtain a list of approved courses in each area from their concentration advisor.
  4. Interdepartmental requirement: At least one course must be through the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, and at least one course must be in the health-related sciences, such as through the School of Public Health or the College of Nursing. A minimum of 6 semester hours must be outside of a student’s home area. Home area refers to the sponsoring academic unit. For cross-listed courses, the primary academic unit controlling the course is considered the home area.
  5. Selection options for electives: Electives comprise at least 3 semester hours in this concentration and may be in independent study.
  6. Independent study or thesis research: Students may choose independent study or thesis research as an elective in this concentration for a maximum of 3 hours. The student, in consultation with the concentration advisor, develops a plan of work for the independent study or thesis research. This plan of study specifies the goals for the semester, a reading list, and any expected product. A copy of this plan is submitted to the director of the concentration. For thesis research to count toward the concentration, it must also be approved by the student’s primary academic unit.
  7. Students must obtain an A, B, or Satisfactory grade for all courses in this concentration.