Why Women’s and Gender Studies
Our current students tell us that in their WGST courses, they cultivate the knowledge and skills they need to live in a complex world. In addition to their core classes, our majors study politics, health, literature, history, sociology, and psychology. They find themselves asking questions they’ve never posed before and addressing big life challenges with specific new ideas and frameworks for solving problems.
It’s all about women. And it’s not only about women. One of the first terms you learn in the major is “intersectionality,” which is a speedy way to name our layers of identity and the places they intersect on the road of life. How are gender differences important to understanding other identity experiences based on race, sexuality, religion, language, or nation? Asking these questions prepares WGST majors to be agents acting in the world and not just acted on by the world.
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science
Women’s & Gender Studies Minor
Women’s and Gender Studies is a flexible interdisciplinary program devoted to the critical analysis of gender and the pursuit of knowledge about women throughout history and around the world. Combining the methods and insights of traditional liberal arts disciplines with the special insights of scholarship on women’s and gender studies, our courses yield fresh perspectives on the nature of gender as it intersects with race, ethnicity, class, religion, and nation, and encourage students to look beyond their own culture and era in examining gender’s role in shaping society. Through interdisciplinary breadth and an emphasis on critical thinking, women’s and gender studies prepares students to employ critical learning in their private lives as well as in public roles as citizens and members of a diverse and complex workforce.
Minors in women’s and gender studies receive training in both humanities and social sciences approaches and are required to complete coursework that focuses on material beyond dominant U.S. culture; core courses have both theoretical and applied focuses.
Because gender has far-reaching influence on daily life, world culture, and public policy, this minor supports students in a wide range of fields. As a liberal arts degree, women’s and gender studies is attractive to employers looking for recruits trained in critical thinking, organizational skills, reading, writing, and presenting in a wide range of subject areas. Expertise in women’s and gender issues is increasingly important to businesses, governmental agencies, and other organizations dealing with matters such as sexual harassment, flex-time, parental leave, and pay equity, just as specialists in women’s and gender studies find opportunities in education, law, health care, social work, counseling, media, public policy, and a wide range of other fields.
Gender & Health Minor
The Gender and Health minor provides students with knowledge, skills, and experience utilized in various careers related to the intersection of gender, health, healthcare, and health policy in both domestic and transnational realms. Students develop critical thinking, writing, teamwork, and analytical skills as they explore a wide range of topics that allow for an intricate and nuanced understanding of the social determinants of health. Many of our courses include case-study and experiential learning components, allowing students to engage in learning through direct contact with organizations, professionals, and clients in the healthcare community.
The healthcare industry is an area of continued growth, and health care professionals and related occupations are in high demand. The Gender and Health minor helps students recognize and understand the complex intersections of gender, race, sexuality, and class in relation to health, healthcare, and health policy in preparation for related graduate education and careers.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Studies Minor
The undergraduate minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer plus (LGBTQ+) Studies prepares students to examine the ways in which gender and sexuality are socially constructed and offers a critical understanding on how sexuality and sexual orientation shape gender roles, identities, and social statuses in societies. Focusing on the history and practice of social activism and the now extensive scholarship on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, this minor also examines homophobia and transphobia’s relationship to racism, colonialism, sexism, ableism, classism and other forms of power. Students develop critical thinking, writing, and analytical skills as they explore a wide range of topics that provide an intricate and nuanced understanding of LGBTQ+ lived experiences, histories, and social movements.