Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

UW-Eau Claire’s Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program creates a community of scholars and activists consisting of students, faculty, staff, and community members. Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that draws from the humanities, social sciences, arts, and natural sciences to examine the lived experiences of marginalized groups impacted by systems of power. The goal of the field is to develop critical feminist methodologies, theories, and epistemologies. These provide students with the tools to effectively employ intersectional and transnational analyses that interrogate exploitation, imperialism, cis-heteropatriarchy, and white supremacy. 

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Through the WGSS program, I have had abundant opportunities for both personal & professional growth. From organizing during the 2016 Presidential election, to becoming more aware of how institutional inequality appears in facets of daily life – the WGSS program at UWEC has taught me so much. I feel 100% prepared & confident that I will do important activist work after graduating in December.

Kessa Albright, WGSS major and Communication minor


  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


  • LGBTQ Studies
  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Contact Info

Rose-Marie Avin, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Hibbard Humanities Hall 384
124 Garfield Avenue

Department website

Prepared for success

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies courses prepare students to think critically while developing open-mindedness. Diverse topics in both the program courses and elective classes in other departments make the breadth of a Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies degree uniquely wide. Students explore in depth the intersections among sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, cisgenderism, ableism, ageism, and other forms of oppression. This makes our courses socially and personally relevant, and a great way to prepare students for meaningful work after graduation.

The interdisciplinary and critical perspectives learned in the program enrich all fields of study, so graduates of this program are well-prepared to do work in a variety of fields. Some students choose to continue their schooling, pursuing graduate degrees in law, social work, or within the field of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. 

Where are our grads?


  • Production Controller, Target
  • Community Case Manager, AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin
  • Women's and Gender Studies Professor, Winona State University
  • Public Health Nurse, Eau Claire Health Department
  • Sexual Educator, Deschutes County, OR
  • Volunteer, Peace Corps

Why UW-Eau Claire

Experiential Learning

Enacted as a discipline, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is a site of social change and activism as much as theory. We provide many ways for students to expand their world view, from rigorous, rewarding classes on campus to hands-on learning experiences in the Eau Claire community and across the nation and globe. Below are some examples:

  • Learn about LGBTQ social movements and plan the Eau Queer Film Festival through a travel seminar in San Francisco.
  • Interact with women leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement and study their achievements through a class featuring a 10-day experiential learning excursion to significant southern locations where the movement unfolded.
  • Go on a study abroad trip with UW-Eau Claire faculty to Nicaragua, site of arguably the most dynamic women’s movement in Latin America. Students get a first-hand account of the struggles, creativity, and resiliency of women in the developing world.
  • Take a winterim course with students and faculty at the world renowned Miranda House College, New Delhi, India. Students learn about gender in relation to Indian law and public policy.

In addition to developing critical feminist perspectives through their coursework, our students apply the theoretical frameworks they learn in the classroom to real-life work and activist situations. Through their capstone seminar, all WGSS students undertake an internship experience. Capstone students gain experience working with community non-profit agencies such as Bolton Refuge House, Planned Parenthood, the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW), Family Support Center, and Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing (EXPO). Other students gain experience interning at the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center on campus. 

Course Work / Pre-Professional Courses

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major requires 36 credits and the minor requires 24 credits selected from several core courses. The certificate programs are designed for students who have a strong interest in studying women/or LGBTQ issues but are not able to complete the requirements for a major or minor. The certificates are also appealing to those students in comprehensive majors who have limited opportunity to explore academic areas outside of their discipline. 

Below are some examples of courses:

  • Introduction to Feminist Theories
  • Women and the Mass Media
  • Studies in Women’s Literature
  • Psychology of Women
  • American Women's History
  • Women and World Religions
  • Women in Spanish American Literature
  • Transnational Feminism
  • Queer Theories and Sexual Politics
  • Topics in LGBTQ Studies
  • Culture of Third Wave Feminism
  • Gender, Sex and Science in European History
  • Women and Gender in Global Politics
  • Gender and Violence

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Academic Program Sheets
Academic Program Sheets