Undergraduate Director: Dr. Ethel Brooks
The Women's & Gender Studies undergraduate program, founded in the early seventies, is one of the oldest in the nation. Currently the program has over 300 majors and minors and serves over 3,500 students annually in a wide array of core and cross-listed courses. The major, approved in 1984, introduces students to significant issues and debates in feminist scholarship, theory, and activism.
“Women’s & Gender Studies seek to enrich traditional disciplinary approaches not simply by including women but by transforming the categories, through which knowledge is produced and disseminated.”
All of the program's courses are interdisciplinary. Each course considers the complex dynamics linking race, ethnicity, locality, class, gender, and sexuality. The readings and discussions in each class represent a wide variety of perspectives concerning issues such as: the conceptualization of difference, the production and recreation of femininity and masculinity, language and gender, the division of labor, women and poverty, sexual violence, reproductive rights, gay and lesbian theory, gender and popular theory, and contemporary feminist politics. Ultimately, we strive to ground both research and theory in the everyday realities of feminist activism around the globe. Women’s & Gender Studies program faculty, students, and staff are both active members and leaders of academic and community women’s organizations.
WGS alumnae pursue their professional career in various fields. One fifth of our graduates continue their education in graduate programs in different fields (political science, English, law) around the country. Many alumnae also engage in work in the area of health and pharmacy (about one fourth). Others choose law (one fifth of the alumnae), education (one fourth), and media or computer studies. Many WGS graduates continue their activist work in non-governmental organizations that engage with women and work, international politics and women’s leadership.