Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies courses examine how ideas and beliefs about gender affect many aspects of the world in which we live, such as literature, art, history, political structures, social relations, and economic institu-tions. The curriculum provides opportunities to explore the specificity of gendered experiences, concerns, and per-spectives and to see how these vary among different social groups and at different points in time. The Department has four areas of focus around which courses are organized: literature/theory/history; sexuality/the body/health; race, gender, and sexuality; nonwestern transnational feminist and gender studies. The curriculum supports the critical study of race, non-normative sexualities, and popular culture in relation to gender and sexuality.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University
Among the first in the nation (est. 1972), the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 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 archaeology, anthropology, political science, inter-national studies, African and African American Studies, American Culture Studies, and studies in culture and languages. The department also offers a range of service learning courses to link academic work to social issues in the St. Louis community.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies students are often leaders in campus organizations that deal with issues concerning gender relations, sexuality, and social justice. They also participate in a wide spectrum of extracurricular organizations available to undergraduates, including Students for Choice, Pride Alliance, 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 discus-sion, and emphasize interaction between faculty and students. Courses in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 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 opportuni-ties to apply theory and research to real social problems, including gender violence, women in prisons, LGBTQ communities, and youth studies. Theory and methods courses prepare students to conduct research, to challenge narrow disciplinary perspectives, and to analyze a wide range of gender issues.
The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Academic Department
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 department 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 a 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 Department offers the Andrea Biggs Summer Research Internship Scholarship and coordinates with the Career Center in encouraging internships in a variety of policy, government, and service organizations concerned with gender, women's health, and sexuality and sexual behavior. The Department sponsors a small number of those each summer for our majors.
The Department also offers study abroad summer internship support; see application information on the website.
Careers in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies can help prepare you for a career that involves issues around gender or sexuality. Many graduates who continue their schooling choose to focus on such issues in medical school, law school, in public health programs, or social work. Some students envision a career in college or university teaching, where they can apply a gender studies focus. Other students find jobs in social agencies focused on women's, gender, or sexuality issues. Still others are currently employed in such areas as healthcare, business, technology, education, the arts, media, politics, and law.