Department of Women's and Gender Studies

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The Department of Women's and Gender Studies provides the opportunity for a degree at the BA level. An interdisciplinary department, Women’s and Gender Studies focuses on feminist analysis, intersectionality, and social justice as key elements of an integrated approach to the study of social relations, cultural identities, and economic and political institutions that shape the human experience. The program emphasizes the study of race, gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity and nationality, and a social justice approach for the analysis of diversity and multiculturalism, inequality, and oppression in local and global contexts. Through the development of conceptual, analytical, and critical thinking skills, the program seeks to engage students in their personal, professional, and public lives with issues of social change, activism, and citizenship. 

Learn more about each of our programs:

  • BA in Women's and Gender Studies
    This interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary academic program engages students with community, civic issues, and citizenship. Students develop conceptual, analytical, and critical thinking skills and opportunities for experiential learning for the study of gendered lives and experiences. They engage in feminist analyses that focuses on the centrality of gender relations, emergence and reproduction of sexism and patriarchy, production of feminist knowledge and theories, women’s movements, and feminist methods of doing research. Students use an intersectional framework for the analysis of gender, race, class and sexuality (concepts), racism, sexism, homophobia/heterosexism (processes), and the organization of these processes in social institutions. They learn a social justice approach to issues of systemic oppression, resistance, change, and activism locally and globally, gaining professional skills through in-class activities and civic engagement.
  • Minor in Women's and Gender Studies
    In the women's and gender studies minor, students complete 18 credits. The minor complements all majors by providing conceptual, analytical, and critical thinking skills and opportunities for experiential learning for the study of gendered lives and experiences. The minor teaches a social justice perspective which serves in all professions, bringing awareness of diversity and oppression, thus creating citizens who are better informed as critical thinkers who can assess conditions that enable or inhibit individual and group resistance, agency, and activism in local and transnational contexts.
  • Minor in Social Justice Studies
    The goal of the 18-credit social justice studies interdisciplinary minor is to provide students with the opportunity to study the concept of social justice through a concentrated set of core and elective courses. By choosing courses from a variety of disciplines, the minor encourages intellectual inquiry from multiple perspectives with the goal of enhancing students’ understanding of social inequities and to encourage informed citizenship.
Many students find positions in social services and work as advocates for women, children, and LGBTQ+ people. Students with a double major in education often pursue careers in teaching, while others attend graduate school for a degree in education and then find teaching positions in K-12 schools or colleges. The diversity of opportunities for graduates is vast and wide ranging; graduates of the program have found employment in public health, public housing, accounting, Homeland Security, and business. Others have built careers as sexuality educators, fundraisers, and in private counseling. About 30 percent of our graduates go on to professional or graduate school. Popular areas of graduate study for students in this major include the master’s degree in women’s and gender studies, the master’s in social work (MSW), as well as medical and nursing degrees.