Face the world with confidence, competence and conviction.

Simmons was founded over a century ago for the purpose — radical at the time — of enabling women to earn their own livelihoods through access to education. Today, we continue that legacy in all that we do.

Women's & Gender Studies courses, whether taken as part of the major or to enrich another discipline, invite students to understand past and present experiences in order to prepare for challenges and opportunities in their future personal and professional lives.

Our students develop theoretical, empirical and methodological perspectives for studying the status and experiences of women. By considering gender in diverse national and international contexts, you'll study the multiple and contested meanings and roles of gender to develop an understanding of how gender is related to other social categories such as race, class, age, sexuality, religion and nationality.

Our students find fulfilling careers in management, law, academia, counseling, education, library, museum or archival work, as well as health care, social services, public administration, writing, publishing and the media.

Program Requirements

Requirements for the Major (Nine Classes):

Required Intro Course
Select one from:

  • WGST 100 Introduction to Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies
  • WGST 111 Introduction to LGBT Studies
  • WGST/ECON 125 Women and Work
Three Required WGST Courses
  • WGST 214 Women in the World Economy
  • WGST 204 Roots of Feminism
  • WGST 354 Feminist Theory

Required Race/Ethnicity Course
Select one from:

  • WGST 210 Sisters of the African Diaspora
  • HIST 213 Race and Ethnicity in U.S. History
  • WGST 232 Race, Gender and Health
  • SJ 220 Working for Social Justice
  • SOCI 249 Inequality: Race, Class, and Gender in Comparative Settings
  • PHIL 232 Philosophy and Diversity
  • Three Required WGST Courses or Electives
    Select from list below.

    • A course taken to fulfill the race/ethnicity requirement may not count toward this requirement.
    • WGST majors who are minoring in Social Justice may only count one of the required SJ core courses as an elective toward the WGST major.

    Advanced Course Work
    Select one from:*

    • ENGL 308 The Postcolonial Novel
    • ENGL 398 Feminist Film Studies
    • HIST 360 Seminar in the History of Women and Gender
    • SOCI 311 Critical Race Legal Theory
    • WGST 350 Independent Study
    • WGST 353 Special Topics Seminar
    • WGST 355 Thesis
    • WGST 365 Intimate Family Violence
    • WGST 370 Internship
    • WGST 380 Gender and Queer Theory

    * A course taken to fulfill the race/ethnicity requirement may not count toward this requirement.

    *Any WGST course numbered 350 and above will satisfy half of the College Independent Learning requirement. Two such courses will satisfy the entire Independent Learning requirement.

    WGST COURSES

    • WGST 100 Introduction to Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies
    • WGST 111 Introduction to LGBT Studies
    • WGST/ECON 125 Women and Work
    • WGST/ENGL 193 Women and Literature
    • WGST 204 Roots of Feminism
    • WGST/AST 210 Sisters of the African Diaspora
    • WGST 211 Gender and Sexuality
    • WGST/ECON 214 Women in the World Economy
    • WGST/HIST 215 Women and Gender in U.S. History Before 1890
    • WGST/HIST 216 Women and Gender in U.S. History Since 1890
    • WGST/AST/SOCI 232 Race, Gender and Health
    • WGST 258 Special Topics in Women's and Gender Studies
    • WGST 350 Independent Study
    • WGST 353 Special Topics Seminar
    • WGST 354 Feminist Theories
    • WGST 355 Thesis
    • WGST/AST/SOCI 365 Intimate Family Violence: A Multicultural Perspective
    • WGST 370 Internship
    • WGST/PHIL 380 Gender and Queer Theory

    WGST ELECTIVES

    • AST 300 Seminar in Selected Topics in Africana Studies (as appropriate)
    • ART 248 Women and Art
    • BIOL 109 Biology of Women
    • ENGL 308 The Postcolonial Novel
    • ENGL 320 American Women's Poetry
    • ENGL 354 Studies in Film Genre: The Melodrama
    • ENGL 398 Feminist Film Studies
    • HIST 213 Race and Ethnicity in U.S. History
    • HIST 219 History of Sexuality and the Family
    • HIST 230 Women and Gender in Europe
    • HIST 360 Seminar in the History of Women and Gender
    • HON 302 Sexuality, Nature and Power
    • MGMT 224 Socially-Minded Leadership
    • PHIL 390 Seminar (as appropriate)
    • POLS 219 Gender and Politics
    • PSYC 220 The Psychology of Women
    • SJ 220 Working for Social Justice
    • SJ 222 Organizing for Social Change
    • SPAN 336 Latin American Women Writers (offered in Spanish)
    • SOCI 210 Body Politics: A Sociological Perspective
    • SOCI 249 Inequality: Race, Class, and Gender in Comparative Settings
    • SOCI 311 Critical Race Legal Theory
    • SOCI 347 Antiracism and Justice Work
    Minor Requirements

    A minor in Women's and Gender studies includes 20 semester hours (5 courses). 

    1. Four semester hours (1 course) in one of the three 100 level courses:

    • WGST 100 Introduction to Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies
    • WGST 111 Introduction to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
    • WGST/WCON 125 Women and Work

    2. WGST 204 Roots of Feminism

    3. Three elective courses selected from the list of WGST offerings.

    Customize Your Program

    You'll work with an advisor to plan a course of study related to your interests and career plans. Simmons students have many opportunities to personalize their education through dual majors and complementary minors, and by taking advantage of our accelerated degree programs.

    We also offer a minor in Women's and Gender Studies for students pursuing other majors. The requirement for the minor is five courses, which includes two required courses and three electives. See catalog for details.

    Internships and Research

    We encourage our students to conduct research and seek internships that will enhance their studies, increase their skills and help guide their future career paths. You'll also find mentors and have access to the robust Simmons alumni network of accomplished individuals working in diverse fields around the country and the world. 

    Faculty
      Diane Grossman
      • Diane Grossman
      • Professor of Philosophy and Chair of Women's and Gender Studies
      • Phone: 617-521-2212
      • Office: C310A
      Carole Biewener
      Kelly Hager
      • Kelly Hager
      • Associate Professor, English
      • Phone: 617-521-2173
      • Office: C301F
      Laura Prieto
      • Laura Prieto
      • Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Department Chair of History
      • Phone: 617-521-2253
      • Office: C319F
    All faculty »
    How to Apply
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