Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Your support is critical to our success. Gifts to the Department of Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies support student scholarships, community-engaged research and teaching, and public programming.

Student Spotlight

Olivia Given

Olivia Given

Conference title: Appalachian Studies Association Conference
Blacksburg, VA Virginia Tech
Paper Title:
"'Iron Grannies' and 'Mountain Mamas': The Women of Appalachia and Their Erasure from Regional Histories"

2024 Minx Auerbach Lecture


Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies is fundamentally concerned with social justice and social change. It provides the critical thinking skills needed to analyze how race, gender, class, and sexualities intersect to structure our political, social, and cultural institutions and shape our real-world experiences. As a department, we serve students by offering them courses that bridge theory and practice, inviting them to engage in personal and social transformation, and equipping them to address important issues currently facing our communities. 

Read more:

Why STEM Students Need Gender Studies

If you think nobody needs a women’s and gender studies class, you need a women’s and gender studies class.

A Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies major offers students the opportunity to take courses across the social sciences and humanities that deal with gender, sexuality, race, and class. The WGS BA and BS are flexible interdisciplinary degrees that ask students to examine history and current events in terms of gender. The degree programs require the core Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies courses and a specified number of classes in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Students work with a departmental adviser to develop an individual program of study that allows selection of courses from the Social Sciences and Humanities. Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies majors develop a wide-ranging knowledge base through interdisciplinary course selection as well as the declaration of a minor or concentration in a Social Science, Natural Science, or Humanities discipline.

More information about undergraduate studies


The Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies majors include three core courses - an introductory course, an internship in a community organization serving the needs of women, and a senior seminar - in addition to Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies electives from the social sciences, humanities, courses in women’s/gender history, and courses in race/post-colonial studies.

The Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies offers the M.A. degree, a dual M.A./M.S.W. degree (with the Kent School of Social Work), and a graduate certificate that can be taken alone or combined with any other University of Louisville graduate degree.

As an interdisciplinary degree program, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies prepares its students for a wide range of career opportunities in numerous fields. Allowing students to select courses from a variety of disciplines in the arts and sciences, including history, biology, political science, philosophy, and English, WGS majors are offered a rich environment within which to develop skills in critical thinking and communication that are required by employers and post-graduate schools.

Many career opportunities exist for people with an understanding of women's, gender, and sexuality issues. There is growing demand in the professions of business, law, medicine, public administration, social work, teaching, counseling, and government service for expertise on gender issues.

Many graduates with degrees in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies go on to graduate school where they find that their education in WGS prepares them for a range of graduate programs. Some occupations include:

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Teaching
  • Law in the realms of environment, public interest, affirmative action, immigration and women’s advocacy; they also find work as lobbyists, and in careers of public affairs and policy making.
  • Education Administration
  • Arts administration, art therapy, arts administration, writing, editing, reporting, film and video production, marketing and museum studies
  • Community Organizing
  • Consultants in industry, higher education, insurance companies, and personnel firms.

Visit College of Arts & Sciences Advising for assistance with your major or minor.


University of Louisville
Stevenson Hall, 320
University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky 40292

Office Hours

M-F 9:00am to 4:30 pm


tel (502) 852-8160

fax (502) 852-4421


Jan Rayburn

Graduate Director

Undergraduate Advisor