Gender Studies

Gender Studies is not just alive-it's thriving!

Why Gender Studies?

“The interdisciplinary aspects of GS education taught me to consider gender in all aspects of my life, academically and professionally, thus leaving me a more balanced, well-informed and considerate personality.  Without the opportunity to focus on gender-related issues within both the humanities and social sciences, I feel that my grasp of feminist and gender theory would not be as great.” – Bryonie Carter, GS Undergraduate Certificate, 2007

“This department helped me as a young woman regain who I was and get back to school and obtain a necessary education.  If it were not for Dr. Kathleen Nigro and the loving staff in GS, I would not be graduating.” - Kenyatta N. Thacker, GS Certificate 2009

“Gender education provides a foundation upon which lessons of knowledge, tolerance, discrimination prevention, and activism can be built.”  - Candice Gillmann

“Gender Studies has had an immeasurable effect on my life and my college career.  [Its] emphasis on critical thinking, research techniques, and writing has helped me to improve my work in all of my classes.”  Angela Toole, GS Certificate 2009, Fulbright Scholarship, 2009-10

“GS courses have taught me to be aware of my surroundings and to think critically before I speak, to think outside the ‘norm’. . . .  GS courses and faculty have honestly enhanced my self-confidence, self-understanding, my ability to analyze others and myself, and improved my writing skills.  I can sincerely say that the GS program and its courses have also helped me with social interactions with others.” – Bridget Yirakpoa Member-Meneh, President of Pan African Association, UMSL.


Gender Studies provides academic programs leading to an undergraduate certificate, a Bachelor’s degree, or a graduate certificate.  Course work is interdisciplinary, developed in cooperation with departments from across the curriculum.  Students seeking a certificate or a bachelor’s degree have the opportunity through course work, seminars, research experiences, internships, mentoring, and service-learning to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to enter the workplace or go on with graduate education.


News and Notes

2013 Gender Studies Awards

newCourse Offerings for Summer 2014 are now available!

Gender Studies Newsletter

Announcing the new Gender Studies Certificate in Women's Leadership!

"One is not born a woman...
or a man. One becomes a gendered individual."

Simone de Beauvoir, et al.


What is Gender Studies?  GS classes explore femininity and masculinity as well as the influence of race, sex, culture, and class on gender, politics, institutions, and human interaction.

Isn’t Gender Studies just for women?
  Although this field originally researched women’s roles and contributions to society, over the past decade it has expanded to study men’s roles at home, at work, and in society;  the construction of gender and masculinity; and the impact of race, class, psychology and biology on men in the 21st century.

Why should I take Gender Studies courses?
  GS courses develop social and political insights and multidisciplinary perspectives that enhance your major; offer opportunities for personal expression and interaction; teach you to work collaboratively;  provide analytical tools to increase personal and global awareness; and improve self reflection, cultural critique, and social activism.  In sum, GS courses improve your marketability—at no extra cost.

What does Gender Studies offer that other departments don’t?
  Over 2 dozen scholarships and awards, accessible faculty, individualized mentoring and advising, networking opportunities, multiple internships, interdisciplinary courses, and the opportunity to design your own major.

What’s the difference between a certificate and a major?
  Graduate and undergraduate certificates require 18 hours of course work; a GS major allows you to create your own 36-hour interdisciplinary major, drawing from classes across the university to prepare you for the job you want.

What courses can I take?
  GS courses may be selected from any area of the curriculum.

How will they count? 
 GS courses simultaneously count toward a departmental major and a graduate or undergraduate certificate—or they can add up to an individualized, interdisciplinary major.