The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's women's, gender, and sexuality studies bachelor's degree program will encourage you to think critically about the intersections of sex, gender and sexualities with other hierarchies of power and privilege such as ability, age, class, ethnicity, nationality and race.
Rooted in volunteer work, community engagement and travel, the major encourages you to explore the world around you. You may learn about LGBTQ social movements and plan the Eau Queer Film Festival through a travel seminar in San Francisco. Or study the achievements of women leaders involved in the American Civil Rights Movement through a 10-day excursion to significant southern locations. Study abroad opportunities may take you to Nicaragua, site of arguably the most dynamic women’s movement in Latin America. There, you'll get a firsthand account of the struggles, creativity and resiliency of women in the developing world.
To further prepare you for your chosen career, all women's, gender, and sexuality studies majors and minors are required to participate in a final capstone experience. Named the “Social Justice Practicum," this course will require you to work closely with a local organization and develop and implement a plan of action that addresses a community need. You may work collaboratively with community nonprofits, such as Planned Parenthood, Bolton Refuge House and Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing (EXPO), conducting critical research along the way.
Graduates of the program go on to pursue a variety of careers, from writing for women’s publications to owning a small business to organizing community outreach programs for diverse and marginalized populations. No matter your path, you'll find that a degree in women's, gender, and sexuality studies benefits both you and your community.
UW-Eau Claire has built a supportive community and alumni network that can help students pay for college. For example, the Helen X. Sampson Memorial Scholarship awards a number of scholarships (up to $500) to students pursuing a degree in women's, gender, and sexuality studies.
Helen X. Sampson was an outstanding teacher and strong advocate of women's rights on campus and in the community. She joined UW-Eau Claire's English faculty in 1955 and retired in 1976. She was an early promoter of women's studies at the university, where the Women's Studies Resource Center was established in her name.
Learn more about additional scholarships and resources available to you by checking out our scholarships page.
Financial aid at UW-Eau Claire
Working to make your college education affordable is very important to us. We are here to walk you through the financial aid process and make applying for aid and paying your bill as easy as possible.
To get this process started, please contact our staff at Blugold Central — our one-stop shop for tuition and financial aid. They will help you learn how to pay for your education and minimize debt, freeing you up to focus on academics and your women's, gender, and sexuality studies degree.
Learn more about our financial aid process at UWEC.
Women's, gender, and sexuality studies program details
- Program length: four years
- Offered: in person
- Campus: Eau Claire
- This major requires a minor or certificate.
- This program is also available as a minor.
Internship and volunteer opportunities. Students majoring in women's, gender, and sexuality studies have the opportunity to gain real-world experience — while helping others — through local internships and volunteer work. You may choose to assist students on campus through the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center or the Center for Awareness of Sexual Assault. Or work on various community initiatives with local organizations like the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, Family Service Center and Hmong Mutual Assistance Association.
Collaborative student-faculty research. All UWEC students are highly encouraged to participate in undergraduate research. You may choose to study topics that relate to your career goals or those that need to be better understood or addressed. Past research projects conducted by women's, gender, and sexuality studies students include Rape Culture and Heteronormativity, Human Trafficking: Levels of Acceptance and Willingness to Help, and An Examination of Mothers, Mothering and Motherhood.
Meaningful studies. Throughout the major, you'll explore the intersections among sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism, cisgenderism, ableism, ageism and other forms of oppression. Courses are socially and personally relevant and will prepare you for meaningful work following graduation. The program is known for creating engaged citizens and producing successful agents of change.
Careers held by grads with a degree in women's, gender, and sexuality studies vary widely. The goal of the field is to develop critical feminist methodologies, theories and epistemologies and provide you with the tools to effectively employ analyses that interrogate exploitation, imperialism, cis-heteropatriarchy and white supremacy.
Career paths include those related to social work, community advocacy, public policy, governmental and nonprofit agencies work and healthcare education.
Where are women's, gender, and sexuality studies alumni now?
- Prevention specialist, AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin
- Assistant director, Hoard Historical Museum
- Director, UWEC's Gender and Sexuality Resource Center
- Domestic violence program director, Family Support Center
- Professor, Winona State University
- Sexual health educator, Deschutes County
- Youth advocate, Rainbow House
Women's, gender, and sexuality studies careers
- Community case manager
- Partnership coordinator
- Communications coordinator
- Business owner
- Program director
- Public health educator
Being a WGSS student helped me 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, which empowers me to be a part of the solution in addressing complex social issues.
Women's, gender, and sexuality studies is an interdisciplinary major that draws from the humanities, social sciences, arts and natural sciences. Curriculum within the program will help you to make important connections between your learning, your own life and the globally interconnected world. Coursework will encourage you to advocate for gender and other forms of social justice — both on campus and in the larger community — and examine the lived experiences of marginalized groups impacted by systems of power.
Half of the credits required to complete the degree come from course electives, giving you the ability to customize your education. Explore courses related to women and religion, history, health, literature, psychology and politics. This flexibility allows you to study the topics that interest you and align with your career goals.
Classes for women's, gender, and sexuality studies majors may include:
- Examining Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
- Introduction to Feminist Theories
- Feminist Research Methodologies
- Transnational Feminism
- Feminist Analysis and Practices: Interdisciplinary Themes
- Capstone: Social Justice Practicum
Learn more about the women's, gender, and sexuality studies major in the UWEC course catalog.
Learn more about the women's, gender, and sexuality studies minor in the UWEC course catalog.
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