Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies is an evolving interdisciplinary field that views and analyzes intellectual problems and issues of current concern through the perspectives of gender, class, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, and ability. Students think about challenges faced by marginalized (or not) individuals in both domestic and foreign spaces, and work to conceptualize solutions that can be applied in communities around the world.
WGSS questions the status quo. We encourage critical thinking across disciplines, including art, history, politics, family life, science, literature, and other cultural domains. Our course frameworks include classes within the department and across the university and beyond, taking full advantage of the world-class thinkers and scholars across the UMass Amherst campus and throughout the Five College system.
WGSS majors have the rare opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty sponsor. Classes are usually small and encourage discussion. Writing, research, and communication skills that are important in students' future careers are emphasized.
Major in WGSS
Core courses for the major introduce an integrative analysis; consider developments in feminist theory; explore new methodologies in feminist scholarship; and study critical race feminisms, transnational feminisms and sexuality studies. Many students decide to double major in WGSS and another discipline.
The major is 36 credits, with required courses, foundational courses, integrative theory courses, a required Integrative Experience course, and at least two courses (total) chosen from two of the following three categories: critical race feminisms, transnational feminisms and sexuality studies. Majors are required to apply at the start of their program and complete a brief report at the end.
Minor in WGSS
The minor is an 18 credit concentration with two required courses: WGSS 201 and at least one course from the following three categories: critical race feminisms, transnational feminisms and sexuality studies.
The remaining credits for the major and minor can be chosen from elective courses in the department, at other departments and in the Five Colleges, internships, independent studies and/or honors projects.