Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is the multidisciplinary study of gender and women's lives and experiences. Course work explores women's realities in such areas as the political and social sciences, health, psychology, history, literature, and the arts. Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies programs grew out of the women's movement, involving understandings of discrimination in society and a need to celebrate different women's strengths, contributions, and forms of resistance.
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies can be elected as a primary and/or secondary field for the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree (MAIS) and as a graduate minor. The master's program requires a thesis or research report (nonthesis option) and the completion of a core curriculum. This curriculum includes an understanding of how issues of gender, race, class, and other differences among women affect their status in Western and global perspectives. It also emphasizes the relationship between theory and strategies for social change.
An internship or field placement in an agency that is concerned with gender issues or women's role and status in society is required and is designed to help students integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. The graduate program is beneficial for any work experience in which gender is negotiated or women are affected. Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies graduates are employed in human service agencies and programs, advocacy organizations such as battered women's shelters and women's resource centers and community organizing, teaching, business, administration, and cultural work. Many students have used their degree as a preparatory base for doctoral work.