Gender and women’s studies seeks to understand how gender makes a difference in the lives of everyone, everywhere. It explores how femininity and masculinity shape and are shaped by daily life, culture and politics. Emphasizing the importance of historical and cross-cultural perspectives, UMBC’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program critically examines the intersections of genders and sexualities with race, nation, class and religion to make visible the structures of power that otherwise remain hidden.
From more than 50 course offerings, such as Women and Media, Women and Law, Global Perspectives on Women and Gender, and Women, Gender and Science, students gain a solid knowledge base of contemporary social and cultural theory; skills in critical thinking, reading, and communication; and leadership training grounded in the principles of social change and social justice. Students may fulfill requirements for a major, minor or certificate.
Gender and women’s studies sponsors a living-learning community — Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WILL) — where students live in the residence hall with other students committed to diverse gender and social justice issues and practice leadership skills in a setting that promotes academic excellence and community engagement. Through WILL, students have the opportunity to work with persons of diverse backgrounds and opinions, to meet with nationally and internationally renowned speakers and activists, and to work with feminist and other social change organizations.
What can you do with a major in gender and women’s studies? Anything you want! Our graduates become empowered and engaged leaders wherever their lives take them. They work in a variety of fields at the local, national and global levels, including social justice, media, law, government and public policy, public health and community organizing. In addition, many of our students go on to graduate school in law, history, psychology, medicine, education, social work, library science, information technology and gender and women’s studies.