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For Prospective Students

Why We're Different

Extensive choice of courses and ability to focus your studies on two or more disciplines

Emphasis on transnational and local issues, diversity awareness, community engagement

Critical thinking skills through interdisciplinary study; the ability to think across boundaries

Opportunity to think deeply about gender identities, sexuality, and changing roles for women in society

Our Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies students look at history, art, society, and culture through the lens of gender. Our program starts with small group seminars that introduce women’s and gender study issues across the disciplines. Together, students question norms, work together on feminist, queer or LGBTQ, and gain insight into identities in and through a web of relations to others, both globally and locally.

Degree Programs

Many of our courses are discussion-centered, and all are interdisciplinary. They will teach you to be an agile thinker who can move beyond static thinking and restrictive boundaries. See the Undergraduate Catalog to explore a complete list of Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies courses.


Research is a major focus of the program. All majors take at least one research course, and we encourage all students of GSWS – including non-majors – to participate in independent research. You may complete an internship for academic credit with a local community organization such as Avalon: A Center for Women and Children, Planned Parenthood of South-East Virginia, the National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C., or others. Our program also features a significant invited lecturer each spring for the Annual Minnie Braithwaite Lecture. We co-sponsor a monthly brownbag series, in which a faculty member or student shares their research in a friendly, informal setting.

Student Activities

Students are involved in a range of campus activist and outreach groups. A special-interest living option for W&M undergraduates, Mosaic House, offers ongoing intellectual exchanges about culture, diversity, interracial community, and sexuality.


Recent graduates have pursued careers in law, medicine, government, social work, environmental activism, education, digital technology, and journalism, as well as graduate programs in feminist studies, literature, performance studies, and media and film.

Talk to Us

Want to know more? Our faculty want to connect with you.

  • Ask a professor: contact [[jlputz, Professor Jennifer Putzi, Program Director]]
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