Women's and Gender Studies

Investigate the roles of women and ideas about gender over time and cross-culturally, and prepare to take your place in the world.
Feminism matters
Student presentation
Students defending Planned Parenthood
Women's Resource Center
Feminism matters because flannels aren't just for men
Students getting involved in activism around rape
Speaker about women's issues

Available as a major or a minor.

The objectives of the women's and gender studies major are to acquaint students with the roles of women and ideas about gender over time and cross-culturally; to investigate the relationships between women and men in society now and in the past; to acquaint students with the way in which women's and gender studies has not only added women to the subject of academic scholarship, but has also transformed scholarly methods and approaches; to compensate for the neglect of women by traditional academic disciplines; to highlight social and political issues as they pertain to gender, preparing them to take their place in the world at large.

Topics of study include relations of domination and oppression; the social and cultural construction of gender, sexuality, race, class, culture, age, ability, etc.; popular culture; social movements; representation; public policy and law; social justice; ideologies of inequality, democracy, colonialism, and imperialism; disciplinary and interdisciplinary thinking.

The total number of courses required for the major is 14 (38-47 semester hours). At least six of the courses (18 semester hours) taken for the major must be at the 300-level or above.

Internship and Study Abroad Opportunities

Women's and Gender Studies majors have access to many internships. Wells alumnae who are established leaders in their fields often provide internship opportunities for current students. The following is a sample of internships recently held by Women's and Gender Studies students at Wells:

  • The Feminist Press, New York City
  • Girl's Initiative Network, New York City
  • National Organization for Women, Washington, D.C.
  • Planned Parenthood of Tompkins County, Ithaca, NY
  • National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
  • Sexual Assault Victims Advocate Resource, Auburn, NY
  • Women's Opportunity Center, Ithaca, NY

Explore the role gender plays on a global scale and understand cultural differences in gendered attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors on an international level. Women's and Gender Studies majors can pursue fascinating programs across the country and around the world. Check out our off-campus study programs.

Co-Curricular Activities

Using skills in communication, leadership, and critical self-reflection, Women's Studies students are actively involved in campus and community work at Wells. College organizations provide an outlet for experiential learning. Below are just a few clubs and activities that might match your interests:

  • Collegiate (student government)
  • Sexuality and Gender Activists (SAGA)
  • P.O.W.E.R. (Praising Our Work, Ethnicity, and Race)
  • Student Committee on Inclusive and Intercultural Excellence
  • Wells Greens
  • Women's Resource Center

"I think one of the things that really drew me to Wells was how important student participation was and how you could be involved in so many different aspects on campus. I help organize events and participate in the discussions, which is awesome because the small size makes everyone's voice heard."

Michelle Lee '16
Women's and Gender Studies Major
Almah LaVon Rice and Louis Mitchell
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Program Faculty
Lisa Kahaleole Hall
Associate Professor of Women's Studies
Vic Muñoz
Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies
Theory and Practice

Body positivity, women's and gender rights are among many important issues of which Women and Gender Studies majors learn the history and theory— and how best to advocate for. Wells College has a Women's Resource Center (WRC) where bi-weekly meetings are held for all students. Besides the classroom, this has been an inclusive space to discuss issues affecting women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ community. Resources are endless for students choosing the major, and they can get such information in their very own library of books, DVDs and more. Events such as Love Your Body Day and the Body/Vagina Monologues are hosted by the WRC, giving students the opportunity to embrace their body and learn inclusiveness through a variety of performances.


Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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