Women's and Gender Studies Program

Why Study Women's and Gender Studies?

Women’s and Gender Studies courses offer critical analysis of traditional social institutions, such as religion, arts, science, law, education, medicine, and the family, and their relationship to each person’s gender, sexual identity, class, and race. Reflecting the importance of dialogue and collaboration in feminism, classroom activities include a rich mix of group-based projects, discussion, and other forms of inquiry.

The multidisciplinary nature of our program invites Women’s and Gender Studies students to sample many topics and learn through a variety of intellectual and life experiences, from reading the literatures of under-represented communities to creating visual artwork, visiting a prison for women, and learning how to initiate, mediate and engage in an ongoing discourse about challenging issues.

Course Requirements

Women’s and Gender Studies is a complementary major. Conferral of a Women’s and Gender Studies baccalaureate degree requires completion of a second major from any discipline in the university. Students are encouraged to declare both majors simultaneously and to plan a program aware of the possibilities for applying individual courses to both majors. The Women’s and Gender Studies major allows application of courses from the second major and from the general university requirements to the Women’s and Gender Studies major.

Who participates in Women's and Gender Studies at PLU?

All women and men interested in the historical and contemporary impact of gender and sexuality in the larger society will find Women’s and Gender Studies an ideal academic choice.  The Women’s and Gender Studies program gives students the important tools, resources, and language needed for personal empowerment, especially useful since it is easy to feel overwhelmed and resigned in the face of  injustices.

Upon completion of this program, each PLU Women’s and Gender Studies graduate is prepared to creatively and effectively pursue social justice in her or his own way.  As teachers, scientists, volunteers, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, or family members, our graduates are making positive changes in the way gender and sexual identity are understood globally in the 21st century.

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Careers for Women's and Gender Studies Majors

Women’s and Gender Studies broadens the liberal arts education of both female and male students. It enhances career preparation and professional opportunities by making you aware of the political, historical, and social context surrounding shifting gender roles, thereby preparing you for interaction in a diverse workplace.

What's the Women's and Gender Studies Capstone About?

The Women’s and Gender Studies senior capstone (“Women’s and Gender Studies and Vocation”) exemplifies our program’s emphasis on combining inquiry with experience. For the capstone, each Women’s and Gender Studies major works with faculty mentors to design an internship or service learning project that fits creatively her or his unique vocational and academic interests.  One student with a background in nursing or biology, for example, might work in a program that offers pre-natal care for low-income women, while another student with expertise in social work and public policy might assist an organization working to reduce domestic violence.   Or, a student interested in feminist theater could work with the Women’s Center to shape PLU’s annual production of “The Vagina Monologues”! 

Additional Opportunities for Women's and Gender Studies Majors

What is the Women's Center?

The community of Women’s and Gender Studies students and faculty enjoy the Women’s Center as a location for classes and studying, special programs, receptions and parties, counseling services, club activities, and library resources. The Women’s Center is open to all students, faculty and staff as a place to relax or to join in activities. Contact the Women’s Center, 253-535-8759, or visit www.plu.edu/~womencen for further information and a schedule of events and activities.