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Women's and Gender Studies

The discipline of Women’s Studies examines women’s roles, achievements and experiences, both historically and across cultures. Women have been studied for a long time, but only recently have women significantly influenced the way they are studied and how that knowledge has been put to use. Women’s and Gender Studies brings to light valuable information about women in the family and at work, in the arts, in politics, and in the sciences — information that traditionally has been ignored. Women’s and Gender Studies also explores female behavior and the realities of women’s lives. It considers the ways gender, class, race, ethnicity and age shape experience. It examines how femininity and masculinity are socially and culturally molded rather than determined by biology alone.

Women’s and Gender Studies majors gain an understanding of women’s studies as a discipline, but they also gain valuable information literacy skills that are developed across the curriculum and through opportunities to pursue their own interests related to women’s studies in field experiences and independent study options.

Majors may join the Eta chapter of Iota Iota Iota, the women’s studies honorary, and FEM (Female Equality Movement), a student activist organization that sponsors events like the annual Take Back the Night march to protest violence against women. They may also participate in the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies’ many public events, like Fireside Chats (informal research presentations) and the annual fall residency for a visiting scholar.

Career Profile

Business, public administration, healthcare, communications, law, teaching, social work, counseling, creative arts, government and journalism are all fields in which a minor or major in Women’s and Gender Studies is a valuable professional credential. Over 2,000 students enroll annually in Women’s and Gender Studies courses available throughout WVU.

Sample Course Schedules

Wondering what your typical day might be like? We used students’ real course schedules to create these examples.

Freshman Year

MATH 126B College Algebra 4-Day WVUE 191 First Year Seminar WMST 170 Introduction to Womens Studies ENGL 101 Composition And Rhetoric BIOL 115 Principles of Biology

Senior Year

COMM 316 Intercultural Communication WGST 340 Gender and Violence COUN 400 Diversity and Human Relations WGST 495 Independent Study SOCA 302 Deviant Behavior

English Proficiency Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

Accreditation Information

WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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