Women's and Gender Studies - BS

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.

Majors 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 in Women's and Gender Studies have both theoretical and applied focuses; upper-division core courses in Women's and Gender Studies emphasize writing and research skills. Students enrolled in the BS are directed to complete several science and social science-focused courses in Women's and Gender Studies, while also selecting their coursework in social sciences or humanities for their electives within their major. Students in the WGST BS also complete numerous science courses in their degree, allowing them to compare traditional perspectives with feminist critiques of science.

Because gender has far-reaching influence on daily life, world culture, and public policy, this major equips students to enter 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, flextime, parental leave, and pay equity. The BS in Women's and Gender Studies is particularly useful for students interested in science-oriented fields such as health and medicine, environmental studies, urban planning, food security, or data science, and also excellent preparation for engaging in public policy, law, and education in science fields.