Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
College: Arts and Sciences
Women's, gender and sexuality studies (WGSS) is an evolving interdisciplinary field that examines how systems of oppression, resistance and privilege operate. It provides students with an understanding of the importance of gender and sexuality as categories of analysis and their intersections with race, ethnicity, class, age, nationality and (dis)ability. An education in WGSS brings together expertise in many fields, including literature, ethnic studies, philosophy, history, sociology, psychology, biology and media studies.
Students in this program become innovative thinkers and engaged citizens who understand the increasingly diverse world in which they live. Students develop research, communication and leadership skills that can be applied in a broad range of occupations. The interdisciplinary training and analytical skills students acquire through course work prepares them for graduate school in a number of fields.
Upon admission to the university, students can declare a major in women’s, gender and sexuality studies within the College of Arts and Sciences.
In addition to meeting General Education requirements of all majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, women’s, gender and sexuality studies students must meet the following requirements:
- At least nine hours at the 4000 level or above
- A minimum grade of C- and an average grade of C in all courses used to fulfill the major
- Three credit hours in prerequisite course WGSST 1110, Gender, Sex and Power
Core courses: (12 credit hours)
- WGSST 2300, Introduction to Feminist Analysis
- WGSST 2550, History of Feminist Thought
- At least one Women of Color course
- Senior Experience (choose only one of the following): WGSST 4575, Issues in Contemporary Feminist Theory OR WGSST 4999/H, Thesis/Honors Thesis
Nine credit hours are chosen from a particular concentration area:
- Race, sexualities and social justice
- Narrative, culture and representation
- Power, institutions and economies
- Global and transnational feminism
Nine credit hours in elective courses:
- Can be chosen from any women’s, gender and sexuality studies courses or approved related courses
- No more than six credit hours can be chosen from approved related course work
Students have the opportunity to test career possibilities by participating in WGSST 3191: Internship in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. This variable-credit-hour internship (one to three credit hours per term) can be used to fulfill certain course requirements in eligible programs. Students may work with agencies and organizations that focus on women, gender, sexuality, racial or other social justice causes.
Additionally, WGSST 3385: Women and Political Leadership Internship provides students with the opportunity to learn leadership and policy making skills by working with Ohio women lawmakers. Students participate in both classroom learning and internship site experience.
Students in this program can engage in a number of research opportunities. WGSST 5193: Independent Study is an opportunity for students to pursue their own research interests under the guidance of a WGSS faculty member. Often, this experience leads students to pursue a thesis (WGSST 4999/H).
Additionally, WGSST 5998: Undergraduate Research allows students to receive academic credit by assisting WGSS faculty with their research projects. This variable-credit-hour course (one to three credit hours per term) is a great opportunity for students to work alongside a professor and gain valuable transferable skills over the course of a semester.
Triota, the women’s, gender and sexuality studies honor society, welcomes women’s, gender and sexuality studies majors and minors who achieve at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA and who are committed to egalitarianism, inclusiveness and celebration of the diversity of students' experiences.
Students can also participate in various groups and activities facilitated by the department. Examples include FemUNITY, the department’s undergraduate feminist student group, and the monthly Feminist Film Series, where films are screened and discussion of major themes is facilitated afterward.
This program develops innovative thinkers and engaged citizens who understand the increasingly diverse world in which they live. WGSS majors develop research, communication and leadership skills that can be applied in a broad range of occupations. The interdisciplinary training and analytical skills students acquire through course work prepares them for graduate school in many fields. A WGSS education prepares students to make an impact both in their careers and communities.
Beyond teaching and graduate work, WGSS graduates are great candidates for:
- Legal, political and governmental offices
- Social work, counseling and advocacy work
- Writing, journalism and publishing
- Nonprofit work, social services and human rights work
- Nursing, psychology and health care settings
Students in this major can receive various writing awards that acknowledge critical thinking and explicative skills. Additionally, the Mildred Munday Scholarship ($3,000) is awarded annually to two women's, gender and sexuality studies majors who demonstrate excellence in scholarship and a commitment to women's, gender and sexuality studies.