Women's and Gender Studies

What is Women's and Gender Studies?

Women's and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary program that examines gender as a category of analysis and its intersections with race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual identity, and (dis)ability. The program presents a critical analysis of gender and traditional social institutions such as family, religion, arts, law, and education in domestic and global contexts.

Women's and Gender Studies raises questions that have often been ignored or marginalized, and demonstrates the need to recognize new models of knowledge, as well as the need to be critical of theories and approaches that do not take gender into account. The program introduces students to the history of feminism, as well as its contemporary theories and methods.

Why Minor in Women’s and Gender Studies?

In our ever-changing world, Women's and Gender Studies provides an excellent foundation for virtually any career. Whether in the fields of academia, healthcare, law enforcement, non-profit work, human resources, business, public service, art or international relations, a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies will broaden your appeal to potential employers and graduate/professional programs. Women’s and Gender Studies is one of the most useful, flexible, and marketable minors that Wilkes offers. It demonstrates to a potential employer or graduate school that you are well-rounded, having studied a wide variety of topics and that you are able to think more globally than many other applicants.

There are many practical applications for Women's and Gender Studies training on the job. For example, many businesses and corporations are working towards more sensitivity to gender issues such as sexual harassment, family leave, pay equity, and equal employment opportunities. Similarly, Women's and Gender Studies specialists are increasingly being used as consultants in industry, higher education, insurance companies, and personnel firms.

What Does the Women’s and Gender Studies Program Offer?

The interdisciplinary nature of our program allows Women’s and Gender Studies students to sample many topics and learn through a variety of intellectual experiences such as reading literature, creating visual artwork, or visiting a prison for women.

Our flexible program allows you to customize your course of study to fit your specific interest while meeting the requirements for your major or other minors. In fact, you may find that many of the courses you’ve already taken or are required to take for your chosen programs have Women’s Studies Eligible Sections.

Can’t find the Women’s and Gender Studies course you want to take? Check out the Women’s Studies and Gender Studies Courses offered at King’s College. You can take them for free and they count towards your minor at Wilkes! You may also undertake independent research projects with a professor in your major degree program or with the director of Women’s and Gender Studies.

Many Women’s and Gender Studies courses incorporate group-based projects, discussion, and community service learning experiences that give students opportunities to develop essential skills and a commitment to civic engagement. The program offers unique opportunities to apply and evaluate the research and theories that you are studying as well as the creative exchange and development of ideas at our Annual Women’s and Gender Studies Conference.

Our program has outstanding faculty members, many of whom are highly recognized in their fields of study. They are eager to share their enthusiasm about women's studies with their students and are dedicated to creating an environment that fosters critical thinking, supports student activism, and emphasizes faculty/student and peer mentoring.

Women's and Gender Studies students come from a variety of majors, so each brings something unique to the program. These students are knowledgeable on current topics involving women and society, leading them to be more sensitive to and aware of gender-related issues in many aspects of life. Moreover, Women’s and Gender Studies students are some of the most active on campus, serving as advocates for numerous social justice causes as a result of their in-depth look at Women’s Studies.

What Students Have to Say

Julia Cikota | Psychology Major with minors in Women's and Gender Studies and English - Class of 2013

"The WGS minor has provided me with a great opportunity to be involved on the Wilkes campus. Besides learning about various feminist issues, I have also had the chance to meet like-minded professors, students, and community members. Thanks to the WGS minor, I am more prepared to tackle the various challenges facing women today!"

Alysha Bixler - Psychology and Sociology double major with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies - Class of 2014

"Women's and Gender Studies courses have allowed me to see that society is structured around gender. As a woman, I desire to live equally among men; however, change cannot occur without awareness. The WGS minor provides the awareness needed to illicit change."

Catelyn Sofio - Education major with minors in Women's and Gender Studies and English - Class of 2014

"WGS classes, especially Women’s Studies 101, expose you to gender and equality issues of the past and present and challenge you to think of solutions.  The best part of this minor is that it has changed how I think.  It has opened my mind to new ideas and helped me in ways, academic and personal, that I would have never expected."       

Kyle Wolfe - Communications Studies major with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies and History.  Class of May 2013. 

"WGS classes have really opened me up to new ways of viewing the world and approaching issues. I encourage students to add the minor not only to learn more about gender issues, but to become involved and to find out how they can make a difference."

  • Dr. Mischelle Anthony, English
  • Ms. Naomi Baker, Theatre
  • Dr. Anne Batory, Business
  • Dr. Robert Bohlander, Psychology
  • Dr. Helen Davis, English
  • Dr. Jane Elmes-Crahall, Communications
  • Ms. Maria Grandinetti, Nursing
  • Dr. Thomas Hamill, English
  • Dr. Sean Kelly, English
  • Dr. Larry Kuhar, English
  • Dr. James Merryman, Anthropology
  • Dr. Gina Morrison, Education
  • Dr. Chad Stanley, English
  • Dr. Janet Starner, English
  • Dr. Wagiha Taylor, Business
  • Dr. Jennifer Thomas, Psychology
  • Dr. Robert Tuttle, Sociology
  • Dr. Diane Wenger, History

WGS Students support these local and global programs:

  • Magnolia Project
  • Gina Morrison’s Blog
  • Dean Winkler’s Tanzania Project
  • Dress for Success
  • WGS Conference
  • National Love Your Body Day
Frequently Asked Questions:
  • What are the minor requirements?
    • 18 credits
    • At least 9 credits completed at Wilkes
    • Women’s Studies 301 (WS 301)
    • 5 additional WGS courses
      • WGS courses have the "WSM” designation at the end of the course name
      • E.g., PSY 221 Developmental Psychology/WSM

  • Can men minor in Women’s and Gender Studies?
    • Absolutely! Anyone interested in issues concerning gender, sexuality, and human rights will find WGS a great addition to their major field of study.
  • Who do I contact for more information about Women's and Gender Studies?