Commonly Asked Questions
What is WMGS | What's in it for me? | What will I learn in WMGS class? | What are the classes like? | Do I have to be a feminist to take a WMGS class? | Will there be people like me in WMGS classes? | What if I already have a major? | Does the WMGS program have Internships?
· Our program offers courses that focus on women in many subjects where they have previously been invisible or underrepresented (Women in American History, Women’s Health, Psychology of Women, etc.)
· A critical focus on gender allows us to examine a broad range of gender and sexual identities and expressions as well as power dynamics.
· Our goal is to give you a deeper understanding of the way society works by exploring how sex, race, class, sexuality and nationality—among other factors—shape our world, experiences and ways of thinking.
· The program offers courses in many different subjects including WMGS, History, English, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Family and Child Studies, Justice Studies, Education, and Health. This variety allows you to develop a strong interdisciplinary lens of analysis.
· In our classes, topics include: eco-feminism; domestic violence; immigration; feminization of poverty; GLBTQ history and activism; globalization; women’s human rights; responses to trafficking in women and children; overlapping of racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia; plus many more!
· With WMGS, you will find connections between personal and political concerns enabling you to use your knowledge to create social change. Gender and sexuality make a difference in our lives—so can you!
What’s in it for me?
A degree in WMGS looks great on a resume since many employers are looking for those who are knowledgeable about issues of race, class, and gender. You gain personal strength and empowerment as you learn to think about the world in a different way.
Also, WMGS makes a great concentration for your other interests. For example, WMGS students interested in Criminal Justice can pursue sexual assault, human trafficking, and hate crime cases. WMGS students interested in biology can pursue reproductive technologies or breast cancer research. WMGS students interested in English can focus on LGBT or feminist literature.
What will I learn in a WMGS class?
You will learn about ideas and strategies for changing systems and institutions that disenfranchise people and how to make our world a better place for everyone. You will learn about the hidden inequities that marginalize those around us, and ourselves, and navigate social systems to create new solutions that will leave a lasting effect on our lives and the lives of others.
What are the classes like?
Most students agree that WMGS classes are fun, interactive, and eye-opening. Our small class sizes have lively discussions and interesting lectures. But don't take our word for it...hear from some of our students!
Jessica McCabe graduated as a major in both Sociology and WMGS in Spring 2013. She says that “choosing to take part in the Women and Gender Studies program was one of the best decisions that I have made in college.” She plans to pursue her Women’s and Gender Studies education post-graduation. “I couldn't have chosen a better program to be a part of. It is truly like no other!”
Whitney Shields graduated from the WMGS and Theatre programs in 2010 , and has been immersed in social activism ever since. She is an RPCV from Togo, West Africa where she implemented projects on Food Security and Women’s Empowerment. She recently has been accepted into the D&F Academy’s Fellowship program where she will be living in Hamburg, Germany for 10 weeks to focus on how to create a project on theater and social change. With her return, she will execute this project in the U.S.
Alex Horowitz graduated as a WMGS major and GLBTQ minor in Spring 2013. When faced with the question, “Why study women?” he replies, “I don't take courses about women. I take courses about feminism. I study justice and inequality; how sexism, racism, homophobia, and other forms of ‘ignorance + power’ still exist today.” He currently runs a facebook page dedicated to renouncing the offensive phrase “that’s so gay” which is approaching 7.000 likes. (facebook.com/NSTSG.) After he finished getting his degree, he wants to get his Master's in social work, and become a counselor for LGBTQ teens and young adults.
Suzanne Joblonski says that the WMGS major affirmed her beliefs in doing good in the world. As a survivor of domestic violence, her goal was to let others know that they are never alone and to share and extend resources. She was an avid participant in the fight to reauthorize VAWA so everyone affected by domestic violence are protected and provided with services that will allow them to live a life free from abuse. “I shared my experiences through the new WMGs club I helped found, in a series of articles for The Montclarion, and at an off campus rally for the organization Action21.”
Maria Roumiantseva graduated in 2010 with a degree in WMGS and English. She says, “the program allowed me to be both an intellectual and activist.” Today, she is attending law school and is focused on advocating for LGBT homeless youth.
Do I have to be a feminist to take a WMGS class?
No, but you need to have an open mind and a willingness to learn about perspectives not often represented in mainstream society. All of our students come in with their own perspectives and ideas; what we do is help to shape those perspectives and open students' eyes to different possibilities. We then give them the tools to put their new ideas to work in ways that they consider feminist.
Will there be people like me in WMGS classes?
Yes, we encourage and welcome students from different religious, economic, and ethnic backgrounds as well as all sexual orientations, and genders. It is important that the critical thinking on the subject of women and gender be done by a diversity of thinkers to enrich the education of all students in the WMGS classroom.
What if I already have a major?
Because our classes overlap with some of the courses in other majors, it’s easy to double major in Women’s & Gender Studies; or you can have a WMGS minor or GLBTQ Studies minor to complement your major. Some of our most popular double majors are English, Social Justice, Education, and Sociology.