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Department of Women's Studies

Department of Women's Studies

Undergraduate Program
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Undergraduate Program

Our program is currently ranked #2 in the nation!

Why Women’s Studies?

Rainbow Lion Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary field of research and teaching that places women’s lives perspectives, and experiences at the center of inquiry. Women’s Studies asks questions regarding the diversity of women’s lives and experiences throughout history, contemporary problems from the perspectives of women and gender, and how changes in fundamental assumptions about the production of knowledge have transformed conventional areas of study such as psychology, sociology, history, art, philosophy, and more. Women’s Studies aims to ensure that women’s lives,interests, and talents will continue to be a vital force in scholarship, science, culture, and public life.

The Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) offers a BA and a BS degree, both of which can be combined with other disciplines for a multiple major.  WGSS offers two undergraduate minors, one in Women's Studies and one in Sexuality and Gender Studies.  The curriculum focuses on feminist analyses of women's lives, women's social, cultural, and scientific contributions, and the structure of sex/gender systems. Women's Studies students learn about the diversity of women's experience and study women's lives throughout history and across cultures. The Women's Studies major emphasizes the development of critical and analytical skills, creative approaches to problem solving, and the ability to articulate productive socio-political alternatives.

The Competitive Advantage

Women’s Studies students have a competitive edge in today’s job market, as employers are increasingly interested in successfully building diverse teams and serving diverse customers.  Women’s Studies teaches students how to develop creative approaches to problem solving and to negotiate diverse perspectives and priorities. Moreover, the Women’s Studies curriculum helps students to hone precisely the professional qualities that today’s employers are looking for,including effective verbal and written communication skills, the ability to work effectively as a member of a team, leadership skills, a strong work ethic, analytical thinking skills, and flexibility and adaptability to a variety of situations.  In a 2007 study, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) ranked these characteristics as among the most desirable for professionals. Our majors also have a distinct professional advantage due to the manner in which the interdisciplinary nature of Women’s Studies enables students to succeed in a wide range of careers.

Real World Experiences

Women’s Studies offers opportunities for experiential learning in order to enable students to obtain real-world experience, which appeals to prospective employers, as well as graduate and professional schools. Our internship requirement provides Women’s Studies students with the opportunity to earn academic credit while applying the knowledge and skills developed in our classes to the pressing issues and demands of today’s workplace.

Rewarding Careers

In addition to attending top-tier professional, law, and graduate schools, Women’s Studies graduates work in almost every professional field.  Our recent graduates work in professions as diverse as legal advocacy, counseling, public relations, journalism, management, non-profit administration, teaching, medicine, politics, and government. What can you do with a Women’s Studies degree? Here are some examples of where our graduates work:

  • PA State Police
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • US Department of Education
  • US Department of Health and Human Services
  • US Department of State
  • Duke University Medical Center
  • Eli Lilly
  • Glaxo SmithKline
  • AFLAC
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vanguard
  • Northwestern Human Services
  • GE Capital
  • Boeing
  • Deloitte
  • Random House
  • CBS Television
  • Peace Corps
  • McGraw-Hill Publishing Company
  • Teach for America
  • National Geographic
  • KidsPeace
  • University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Big Brother / Big Sister
  • Capital One