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Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major and Minor

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. Instructors from a wide variety of disciplines aim to help students expand their knowledge base, improve critical thinking and communication skills, and make important connections between their learning and their life.

Students learn to think critically about the intersections of sex and gender with other hierarchies of power and privilege, such as ability, age, class, ethnicity, nationality, race, and sexuality.

Transnational feminist theory and practice are also at the core of our interdisciplinary program, which offers critical tools for understanding and analyzing the exercise of power in a globalizing world. Transnational feminism offers new ways of looking at inequalities both locally and globally, highlighting the ways in which geographically distant places are intimately connected through present politics and past histories.

Contact Info:
Dr. Rose-Marie Avin, Women's Studies
Schneider Social Science Hall 473
124 Garfield Avenue

Department Website


  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


  • Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


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

Where you'll find our grads

  • Youth Advocate, Rainbow House
  • Technical Services, Epic
  • Production Controller, Target
  • Women's and Gender Studies Professor, Winona State University
  • Director, Women's and Gender Equity Center
  • Assistant Director, Hoard Historical Museum
  • Communications Coordinator, Hennepin County

Being a Women's Studies student helped to create a social justice framework to better understand how the world works, and how it doesn't work. Every day I am able to apply this framework, empowering me to be a part of the solution in addressing complex social issues.

Catherine Emmanuelle | Eau Claire City Council

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.

Typical positions held by Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies graduates include those in social work, community advocacy, governmental and non-profit agencies, health care education, editing and writing for women’s publications, community outreach programs, and other programs requiring experience working with diverse populations. 

Why UW-Eau Claire

Hands-On Experience

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 in 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 Indian 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 these and other opportunities, students are required to complete a capstone externship (WMNS 496: Social Justice Practicum). Through such experiences students learn to connect feminist theory with social practice, becoming a knowledgeable and engaged citizen in our interconnected world.

Research Opportunities

Through the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, students begin to make a positive difference in society during their undergraduate years. All majors and minors participate in a capstone experience where students collaborate closely with a community partner to develop and implement a plan of action or research. Some students also gain workplace experience through an internship or volunteer work on campus (e.g. the Women's and LGBTQ Resource Center) or in the community (e.g. Bolton Refuge House, Wisconsin AIDS resource Center, Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office Victims Assistance Programs, and local women’s magazines). 

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
  • Women and the Liberal Market
  • Studies in Women’s Literature
  • Psychology of Women
  • American Women's History
  • Women and World Religions
  • Women in Spanish American Literature
  • Transnational/Global Feminisms
  • 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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