Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major and Minor
An interdisciplinary exploration of gender and sexuality as central formations in human interactions, social institutions, creative endeavors, and scientific inquiry. The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) program provides tools to unlearn systems power and address critical 21st century sociopolitical and economic issues.
WGSS emphasizes how to sustain equitable access to health and food, education and work, and political processes and justice.
Led by an ethics of care and transformation, WGSS at Allegheny emphasizes how unlearning sexism, racism, classism, ableism, and xenophobia are essential for addressing climate change, health disparities, political policies, violence, and women's & LGBTQ+ rights.
Understanding gender and sexuality provides critical tools for addressing 21st century issues.
Students are introduced to key concepts in the field, learn to ask new questions about gender, race, class, disabilities, and nationalities, and explore ways to contribute to social change.
Through courses on social movements or queer lives, students learn to connect history with contemporary issues and reflect on their everyday experiences as a part of a global community. Students also begin to build their own interdisciplinary program in consultation with their advisor.
Students are introduced to the role theory plays in weaving activism and research while further developing their areas of interest.
Students focus on global conditions and transnational dimensions in the field, take a capstone course that is deeply connected to relevant social issues, and with their mentors build a Senior Project that is meaningful to their lives and future endeavors.
Approaches to Learning
Understanding Through Social Justice Analysis
Intersectional and Transnational Approaches to Knowledge Production and Social Issues
Emily Eckert, Alumna
Class of 2014; Manager, Health Policy at American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
“ The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program helped launch my career in women’s health policy. The program taught me to think critically, ask difficult questions, and challenge my own biases and privilege. It also taught me that my voice and perspective has value. Since leaving Allegheny, I continue to integrate the lessons I learned from the curriculum into my professional and personal life. ”
Jesikah Leeper, Alumna
Class of 2016; University of Wisconsin Law School
“ My experience in WGSS has made me a more critical and compassionate scholar, providing tools which informed my career as a government advocate for Planned Parenthood and ultimately lead me to law school. Furthermore, my ongoing relationships with department faculty continue to provided invaluable guidance and friendship. ”