The program in Women's & Gender Studies at William Paterson University is over 30 years old, making it one of the oldest such programs in the country.


Mission Statement

Women's & Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary department that foregrounds 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 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 development of conceptual, analytical and critical thinking skills, the WGS program seeks to engage students in their personal, professional and public lives with issues of social change, activism and citizenship.

Progam Goals

  1. Offer an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary academic program that engages students with community, civic issues and citizenship
  2. Develop conceptual, analytical and critical thinking skills and opportunities for experiential learning for the study of gendered lives and experiences
  3. Engage feminist analyses that foregrounds 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
  4. Employ 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
  5. Promote a social justice approach to issues of systemic oppression, resistance, change and activism locally and globally
  6. Enhance student professional skills through in-class activities and civic engagement


Expanding Perceptions

As an interdisciplinary course of study, students are encouraged to double major or minor in another discipline which then provides them with a better preparation in careers like education, social services, business, communication, law, politics, medicine, psychology, sociology, criminal justice, and the arts and science.  Graduates work in diverse occupations as academics, communication consultants, community and union organizers, and advocates for social, health and human services programs.