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As a student in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and African American Studies, you will have a number of opportunities to enhance and personalize your academic program through internships, independent studies, special topic courses, and participation in a wide array of programming. See below for more information about these opportunities.

The African American Studies program hosts the Midwest Regional African American Studies Biennial Conference (MRAASBC) in a hybrid format. The conference was first offered virtually in 2021 with the theme of Antiracism: Centering the Voices of Black Women. The keynote address that year was delivered by Dr. Irma McClaurin who discussed the Irma McClaurin Black Feminist Archive at UMass Amherst.

Each conference year, the program committee accepts abstracts for individual paper presentations and panel sessions that center the intended conference themes and questions. Proposals related to theory and practice, creative writing, and pedagogy are welcomed by scholars, students (both undergraduate and graduate), and non-academic professionals.

How to Get Involved

A call for abstracts and papers will be posted and shared widely in advance of the conference. Keep an eye on the African American Studies social media for updates! If you are interested in learning more about the conference please contact director, Kiesha Warren-Gordon.

Feminists for Action is an intersectional feminist student-run group sponsored by full-time WGS faculty Rachael Smith.

The group is dedicated to the empowerment of individuals from all walks of life through advocacy and education. They strive to educate others about issues of concern in the global, national, and community level. They encourage thought-provoking discussions and work to organize events to benefit intersectional feminist causes.

How to Get Involved

Email to express interest and receive future meeting information. You can get involved by coming to any meeting – newcomers are always welcome!

Women's and Gender Studies students may earn anywhere from one to three credits by completing an independent study.

If there is a topic that you’re curious about, you can pursue independent research and/or creative projects under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

Recent students have written papers, contributed to faculty research projects, presented lectures, or completed creative projects, including documentary films, zines, and photography projects.

How to Apply

If you have an idea for an independent study, the first step is to meet with a faculty member who has expertise in your topic area. (You’ll want to do this in the semester before you plan to do the independent study.)

Present your idea, and ask the faculty member to supervise your project. If the faculty member agrees, contact us in the program office. We’ll take care of getting you registered for credit.

Women's and Gender Studies students may earn anywhere from one to six credits by completing an internship, either in the office or with an outside organization.

Some of the organizations where students have interned in recent years are Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Planned Parenthood, women’s shelters like the YWCA, and domestic abuse agencies such as A Better Way.

Students who have completed internships in our office have created educational materials, developed marketing strategies, made presentations, planned events (such as Women’s Week), designed promotional materials, assisted with fundraising, and maintained our social media.

How to Apply

Start by meeting with us to discuss what you’d like to do.

If you are interested in an internship in the office, we ask that you reach out to us at to get started! 

Students in African American Studies or Women’s and Gender Studies may earn up to 6 credits by taking WGS 310 or AFAM 410 special topic offerings.

AFAM 410: This course examines contemporary issues and topics in African American studies. The specific course topic is faculty-selected and delivered through various platforms, including individualized study, reporting, group discussion, or field study and observation.
Prerequisite: AFAM 100 and AFAM 200, each with a C- or higher or permission of the director or chairperson.

WGS 310: Special courses developed by Women's and Gender Studies affiliated faculty. Course titles will be announced before each semester. May be repeated for different topics.

Past topics have included

  • Black Women and Justice
  • Women and Religion
  • Suffrage
  • The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Queer Identities & Communities
  • Men and Masculinities

Women’s Week is a 30-plus-year-old Ball State Women’s and Gender Studies tradition, scheduled each year in March to celebrate Women’s History Month. Every year, the dynamic week is filled with performances, films, lectures, discussions, marches, and workshops presented by students, faculty and guests.

See the Schedule

How to Get Involved

There are multiple opportunities for you to get involved, as a presenter, a planner, a participant, or spectator. If you’re interested in Women’s Week, contact us.