Why Study Gender and Women's Studies

The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies offers a rigorous and encouraging intellectual environment in which to pursue an undergraduate GWS major or GWS or Queer Studies minors.  We teach interdisciplinary perspectives on gender in our philosophical, political, aesthetic, economic, social, and scientific worlds, and on gender as foundation for those worlds.  In doing so, we also illustrate and investigate gender and its intersections with other relations of power, such as sexuality, race, indigeneity, class, nationality, religion, and ability.

GWS classes draw on a wide range of disciplines, including anthropology, history, philosophy, political science, sociology, and literary studies, among others.  Students learn to identify limitations and expand possibilities for how these disciplines study and speak about knowledges, communities, institutions, populations, movements, and cultures in our world.  As a student in our department, you will develop skills in critical thinking, analytical research, writing and other forms of communication; and you will contribute to intellectual and creative inquiry and social change. In Gender and Women’s Studies, we give students the knowledge and the tools to transform the world.

Our innovative and challenging courses offer students a small college experience with all the advantages of a large research university; smaller class sizes give students more opportunities to participate in discussion and apply their lessons, and work closely with award-winning faculty as well as their student peers. Whether a GWS major, minor, or a learner in one of our courses, GWS students develop the knowledge and language to dismantle taken-for-granted assumptions about the world around us, and acquire a deeper understanding of social justice.

Majors and Minors

The Department of Gender and Women's Studies offers a number of undergraduate and graduate degrees, reflecting our faculty's areas of research and the strong foundations as well as new directions in the field. 

  • GWS Major
  • GWS Minor
  • LGBT/Queer Studies Minor
  • Graduate Minor in Gender and Women's Studies
  • Graduate Minor in Queer Studies

To speak with the GWS Advisor, email Jacque Kahn.