Courses in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program examine how gender affects many aspects of the world in which we live, such as literature, art, history, political structures, social relations, and economic institutions. The curriculum provides opportunities to explore the specificity of women’s and men’s experiences, concerns, and perspectives and to see how these vary among different social groups and at different points in time.
The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program has three areas of focus around which courses are organized: literature/theory/history; sexuality/the body/health; and global and transnational feminist and gender studies. The curriculum also examines nonnormative sexualities and global and transnational issues of gender and sexuality.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University
Among the first in the nation (est. 1972), the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Washington University has emphasized the importance of gender to such disciplines and interdisciplinary programs as philosophy, psychology, history, education, law, architecture, art history and archeology, anthropology, political science, international studies, American Culture Studies, and studies in culture and languages. The program also offers a range of service learning courses to link academic work to social issues in the St. Louis Communities.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies students are often leaders in campus organizations that deal with issues concerning women and gender relations. They also participate in a wide spectrum of extra-curricular organizations available to undergraduates, including Students for Choice, Uncle Joe’s Peer Counseling, Student Forum on Sexuality, and SARAH.
Many Washington University students are involved in volunteer activities in the St. Louis community. If you are interested in volunteer work, you can choose among several community service groups that work with programs and agencies supporting women and men. You can earn academic credit for some internships.
Why Take Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Classes?
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies encourages you to think critically and to participate actively in your education. Most classes are small, rely heavily on classroom discussion, and emphasize interaction between faculty and students. Courses in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program can be taken as electives, toward a primary or secondary major, or toward a minor. Graduate students can pursue a certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Service learning courses offer opportunities to apply theory and research to real social problems.
The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Academic Programs
A Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Major or Second Major in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies consists of nine courses or 27 units in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, 21 of them in courses numbered 300 or above. See program website for requirements.
The Honors Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is open to senior majors who have maintained a cumulative 3.65 grade point average through five semesters and have at least 3.65 in the major.
A Bachelor’s Degree with a Minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies requires 18 units in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, 12 of them in courses numbered 300 or above. All minor courses must be home-based or cross-listed in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Increasingly, educational institutions abroad offer programs focused on women, gender, and sexuality; Washington University students often participate in these programs. The Program also offers study abroad summer internship support; see application information on the website.
The Program offers the Andrea Biggs Summer Research Internship Scholarship and coordinates with the Career Center in encouraging internships in a variety of organizations concerned with gender, women’s health, and sexuality and sexual behavior. The Program sponsors a small number of those each summer for our majors.
Careers in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies can help prepare you for a career that involves women’s and men’s concerns or issues around gender or sexuality. Many graduates who continue their schooling choose to focus on such issues in medical school, law school, public health programs, or social work. Some students envisage a career in college or university teaching, where they can apply a gender studies focus. Other students often find jobs in social agencies focused on women’s or gender issues. Still others are currently employed in such areas as healthcare, business, education, the arts, media, politics, and law.