Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary department offering an undergraduate major and a minor, a 5-year B.A./M.A., a Master of Arts (M.A.), and a 4-course Graduate Certificate. Women’s and Gender Studies courses examine women’s lives, conditions, and contributions within their historical, social, cultural, national and transnational contexts and they explore how gender is constructed and negotiated within and across societies. Women’s and men’s identities and experiences are examined through the constructs of gender, race, class, age, ability, sexuality, culture, religion, nation, etc. within broader historical, social, and global contexts, such as colonialism, globalization, among others.
Through feminist and gender-based theories and methodologies, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies offers critical analyses, reflections, and contributions to knowledge regarding interlocking systems of oppression and privilege, thereby addressing issues of power, resistance and social transformation. In addition, the emphasis on critical theory and analysis allows for work that interrogates feminist discourses as well as those of other disciplines in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
The interdisciplinary Women's and Gender Studies major and minor combine courses taken in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies with approved elective courses offered in other departments and programs around the university. Courses are offered regularly by many departments in the college of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences –in the social sciences, the humanities, philosophy, and religion—as well as by the College of Communication and the College of Education.
In addition, many students decide to combine a Women's and Gender Studies major with a second major in another discipline. A double major is a rich educational experience and is actually easy to accomplish. To do so, you can double count courses that fulfill both Women's and Gender Studies and Liberal Studies requirements, and you can double count half of the courses that fulfill the requirements of both majors. And we now have a 5 Year B.A./M.A. Program that allows you to get both an undergraduate and graduate degree in five years. Students must apply their junior year for the program.
A major, double major, minor, and/or M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies prepares students for graduate study in many fields (law, social work, sociology, psychology, history, art and art history, communication, Latin American/Latino Studies, African and Black Diaspora Studies, International Studies, among many others) as well as for careers in the public and private sectors, including social services, social justice, public policy, education, media and popular culture, advocacy, creative arts, counseling, and more.
Students who would like to know more about the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies are invited to speak with the department chair, and other faculty members of the department (5th Floor of Schmitt Academic Center) and/or visit the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies website.