Kansas Beats Kentucky: $139,000 vs. $127,000 for a Degree in Gender Studies

Thomas Cloud | April 2, 2012 | 5:13pm EDT
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Kentucky head coach John Calipari talks with Kansas head coach Bill Self, right, before a television interview at the NCAA Final Four college basketball tournament Sunday, April 1, 2012, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(CNSNews.com) - You can spend four years earning a degree in “Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies” at the University of Kansas or a degree in "Gender and Women's Studies" at the University of Kentucky.

But the degree will cost you more at Kansas if you are an out-of-state student than it will at Kentucky.

At Kansas, according to the College Board, tuition plus room and board is currently $21,446 per year for an in-state student and $34,832 for an out-of-state student.

At Kentucky, it's $22,142 for an in-state student and $31,754 for an out-of-state student.

That works out to a cool $139,328 for an out-of-state student to earn an undergraduate degree in gender studies at Kansas versus just $127,016 for an out-of-state student at Kentucky. That's assuming the tuition and board and room costs don't increase--and the student finishes in four years.

Why spend so much time and money earning a college degree in gender studies?

KU’s Web site gives a very short explanation of why this is not only a major but a department which grants doctoral degrees (Ph.Ds): “Because much of what people think they know about women, gender, and sex is myth.”

Courses offered in this “myth-bustingl” major at Kansas include but are not limited to:

-- “Gender and Sexuality in Cyberspace” where “Students learn how the Internet helps produce new and alternative modes of expressing and experiencing sexuality and how sexual desires, fantasies, and identities are articulated in this cyberspace,” according to the school’s web site.

-- “History of Women and the Body” which “examines different notions about women and their bodies from a historical perspective.”

-- “Love, Sex and Globalization” where students learn among other things about “mail-order brides, child adoption, sex tourism, commodified romance, and emotional labor.”

If that’s not enough, students can chose from among a number of courses on “Feminist Theory.”

At Kentucky, you can take “Introduction to Feminist Theory.” This class, says the description in the Kentucky course catalog, “will examine what feminist and womanist theories are and the ways in which they analyze and explain the workings of our social world. The course will clarify basic concepts in feminist thought such as gender, difference, patriarchy, and post-colonialism and will provide students with tools to analyze these theories and explore contemporary applications.”

It can be followed by classes in “Feminist Theory,” and “Advanced Feminist Theory.”

Another offering at Kentucky is “Comparative Constructions of Gender and Sexuality.” This course, the catalog says, will “give students an understanding of an array of diversely situated theories and debates about gender and sexuality mainly outside of mainstream U.S. culture. Countries/communities of focus will vary.”

Kentucky also offers a course on “Women and ‘Madness.’” But it is not about the Final Four.

Students at either campus who are hoping for a “well-rounded” education can take some interesting courses outside the gender studies department. At Kansas, there is a grouping of classes in the “Fundamentals of Fiber Forms."

Kansas also offers a course on “Environmental Justice and Public Policy.”

Kentucky has a wide assortment of courses in the field of musicology, including the “History and Sociology of Rock Music.” The rock music course is under the section titled “Music History and Literature courses for non-majors.”

Kentucky also offers a course on “Drugs and Behavior”--which only goes to show that if you play your cards right at UK, you can spend four years studying sex, drugs -- and rock ‘n roll.

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