The Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary field of research that focuses on gender. Students learn about the ways in which gender functions as a socially and culturally constructed phenomenon that affects personal lives, artistic expression, social relationships, politics, and the ways individuals think about themselves and the world. Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies considers the ways that class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and age shape women's and men's experience. The Department integrates scholarship and methodology from the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and legal studies in order to teach students how to approach questions from multiple perspectives.
The M.A. in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies is a two-year program that prepares students for careers in agencies and institutions that serve women, for Ph.D. work in women's, gender and sexuality studies or a traditional discipline with a focus in women's, gender and sexuality studies, or for advanced professional training in such fields as law and public policy. Students who have completed the M.A. degree have gone on to Ph.D work in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies as well as East Asian languages and literatures, English, history, film studies, anthropology, and sociology. Other recent graduates have taken such positions as editors, directors of women's programs, researchers, and community TV producers.