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.
Our program focuses on women of color feminisms, transnational feminisms, and queer feminist studies, offering MA and Ph.D. students critical foundations in both theory and practice. We offer our students both the intellectual and applied skills to serve as activist-scholars and global citizens, prepared to engage matters of social justice within public, private, and academic spheres.
We offer the first, and only, M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in Oregon. The Ph.D. in WGSS at OSU is the first, and only, Ph.D. in WGSS in Oregon. Oregon State University is a leading research university located in Corvallis, a vibrant college town in the heart of Western Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Corvallis consistently ranks among the best cities to live in the U.S.
Our nationally and internationally recognized core faculty are committed to transformative scholarship, pedagogy and activism.
Students can earn a Master of Arts in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. WGSS can also 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. MAIS students may complete a thesis or non thesis option (research project or report). This curriculum includes an understanding of how issues of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, nation, and other categories of differences shape experiences in both the U.S. and in global and transnational contexts. It also emphasizes the relationship between theory and strategies for social change.
An internship or field placement in an agency that is concerned with women's or gender issues is required for the M.A. 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 master's degree as a preparatory base for doctoral work.
Ph.D. students in WGSS may select a graduate concentration in one of four areas, or create their own concentration:
Health and Gender Justice
Social Justice Theory and Practice
Gender, Rhetoric, and Representation
WGSS offers two minor degrees, one in women, gender, and sexuality studies and one in queer studies. Students working on the graduate minor must complete 12 credits at the master's level and 18 credits at the doctoral level.
The Queer Studies Graduate Minor prepares students to examine how gender and sexuality are constructed and policed and, further, imagines liberatory futures for people of all genders and sexualities. Centering itself on the activism and scholarship of women of color, transnational feminisms, Two-Spirit Indigenous people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people of color, this graduate option examines homophobia and transphobia's relationship with racism, colonialism, sexism, ableism, classism and other forms of power.