The Department of Women’s & Gender Studies offers students an interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on the diverse experiences of women in both national and international contexts. The Department also examines the meaning of gender as a socially constructed category that shapes personal identities, beliefs, opportunities, and behaviors. The wide range of classes explores the intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality; the institutional structures that have an impact on women’s and men’s lives; and the broad range of feminist theory that seeks to explain and influence women’s status in society. Among the areas of emphasis in Women’s & Gender Studies are gender and sexuality, queer studies, third world feminism, cultural representation and literature, women and labor, feminist theory, critical race feminism, immigration and citizenship, and social activism.
Core and affiliated faculty in the Department come from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives including history, literature, anthropology, sociology, geography, environmental studies, ethnic studies, philosophy, religious studies, architecture and fine arts, music, romance and Germanic languages, political science, public policy, and law.
Many WGS courses satisfy group and multicultural requirements. For courses approved to fulfill these requirements, see the current list on the registrar’s website.
No specific high school preparation is necessary. Students who transfer to the University from other colleges may apply up to 8 credits of WGS courses to the major or minor program.
Since women comprise more than half of the world’s population, an understanding of their experiences, abilities, and needs is an asset to careers in such fields as education, social service, government, business, law, medicine, the ministry, journalism, counseling, and childcare. In addition, a Women’s & Gender Studies background can be used as a basis for entering a growing number of graduate programs that emphasize the study of women or gender.