Our Mission Statement

Gender and sexuality are fundamental categories of social organization and power. Our program examines gender and sexuality as they intersect with race, ethnicity, class, nationality, ability, and other sites of social inequality. Our students critique and evaluate these relations of power within a transnational context. As a discipline grounded in women’s studies, we seek to make visible women’s contributions and struggles. We affirm a feminist commitment to social justice and engaged citizenship. Feminist and queer theories inform our work as we collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to transform knowledge, practices, and institutions.

Our Department Partnership Initiative helps forge pathways between WGS studies and other programs of study by radically expanding what counts as WGS electives. Through identifying courses in Partnering Departments that already include gender-related content and/or feminist approaches, what we are calling “double-dipped” courses now can count twice–once  towards the student’s primary major and then a second time as WGS electives. These courses thus can serve as pathways into the WGS minor or double-major. See here for our list of “double-dipped” courses offered this spring.  (See below Q &A)

Q and A’s you might have about our new initiative:

1. WGS has historically offered cross-listed courses as electives. What is the difference between these courses and the new “double-dipped” course? Most of our cross-listed courses are offered at the 200 or possibly 300 level and were originally designed to meet program objectives for WGS studies; additionally, many fulfill General Education Requirements. By contrast, “double-dipped” courses are generally the sort of upper- level undergraduate courses that require specialized knowledge in that particular field of study. Some of these courses are restricted to students in that particular major.
2. What makes a course a good candidate for “double-dipping?” Whereas most WGS courses take as their central content issues of gender and/or sexuality, the double-dipped courses inclusion of gender-related content and or feminist methods enhances the content while not usually being itself the central course of study. Students taking WGS courses benefit from the material and in ways that will help them draw connections between what they are learning in WGS and in that particular course.
3. I might be more interested in learning about gender and sexuality studies, but how might a double-major or minor in WGS assist me in my future career plans? Along with exploring 

issues related to sexuality, gender, and women’s lives, WGS courses provide students with feminist perspectives and research methods that can enhance work that they do in other fields of study. These include:

 Bringing personal investments and aspirations to academic work, and in ways that often spark a sense of ownership over and investment in one’s own learning;
 Producing new knowledge through dialogue and collaboration; These perspectives and methods of analysis directly apply to a variety of fields such as:
 Health care (recognizing how and why gender, sexuality, and other identity factors might impact the care people receive)
 The sciences and any field involving data-collection (considering the operative questions or assumptions that might inform any data collection set, so as to explore potential blind- spots)
 Computer programming and engineering (drawing more women and people from minoritized communities into these fields of study, and weighing how this might impact design choices and product creation)

What is WGS?


WGS Students


WGS Program Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze the workings of sex, gender, and sexuality using a variety of disciplinary approaches.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the commonalities and differences among feminist theory, gender theory, and queer theory.
  • Critique social institutions, organizations, and practices using feminist, gender, and queer theories.
  • Recognize women’s contributions and struggles in a transnational and historical context.
  • Articulate the ways in which gender and sexuality intersect with other sites of social inequality, such as race, ethnicity, class, nationality, and dis/ability.
  • Engage in experiences that apply theoretical frameworks to social action.

“We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”
Malala Yousafzai