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Gender and Women's Studies Program


The Gender & Women's Studies Program is housed in the Department of English. Our mission is to broaden knowledge of gender dynamics, globally and historically, with an emphasis on issues central to women's lives. Through an interdisciplinary classroom experience, community outreach, and special events, the Gender & Women's Studies Program advances understanding of the social and cultural institutions and practices that affect us.


  • sharpen ability to critically analyze gender issues
  • encourage the practice of feminist scholarship
  • enhance intellectual and personal growth
  • foster an atmosphere in which diversity and sustainability are valued
  • advocate ethical conduct, social justice, and responsible global citizenship

 Why a Gender & Women's Studies minor?

Drawing on historical perspectives and cultural analysis, Gender & Women’s Studies examines the social construction of gender and the intersections of gender with race, ethnicity, class, nationality, dis/ability, age and sexuality. The GWS minor addresses the ways in which these factors shape our daily lives.
Gender & Women's Studies builds on the critical thinking, speaking, writing, and organizational skills that you acquire in your major. Because GWS is an interdisciplinary program, we help you learn how to make connections and to understand the "bigger picture" in ways that will enhance your educational program.

Gender & Women’s Studies is one of the most important fields of inquiry to emerge in higher education in the past forty years or so.  Founded in 1990, Western Kentucky University’s Gender & Women’s Studies program seeks to enrich the lives of all students with learning that is truly transformative. Our students often say that our classes and program provide a supportive, intellectually stimulating, and inspiring environment that provides the potential for personal and professional growth. 


A recent survey conducted through the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that the areas in which graduates were least prepared, in terms of functioning in their careers, ranged from global knowledge, self-direction, adaptability, ethical judgment, and self-knowledge to such skills as writing, critical thinking, oral communication, and intercultural sensitivity.

Such skills appear to be increasingly needed, as our worlds become more and more complex, interconnected, and global. As important as it is to be appreciated for your skills, it's just as crucial to know how to interpret the world and your experience in it. Gender & Women's studies helps you gain that kind of breadth of knowledge and experience.

After graduation, Gender & Women's Studies graduates often find meaningful work in the following areas: (click here for list)

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 Last Modified 8/29/23