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Gender Studies provides academic programs leading to an undergraduate or graduate certificate in Gender Studies, a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, or a Leadership 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 continue with graduate education.

In Gender Studies, students and faculty draw on the rich body of interdisciplinary feminist scholarship to investigate emerging theories and research on women, men, and gender fluidity as they intersect with race, class, culture, sex, policy, institutions, and human interactions.

Gender Studies is dedicated to the promotion of the exchange of knowledge among people of different genders, classes, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and cultural conditions. Taught by committed and dynamic faculty, Gender Studies courses uphold strong reputations for student-centered, lively, and supportive classroom experiences. Day, evening, and online courses are offered. Gender Studies courses are open to all students, whether or not they are enrolled in one of our academic programs.

Academic Programs

Gender Studies Minor

Undergraduate Certificates

Graduate Certificates

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies

  • In concert with the Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies program, an exceptional student could "create" their own 36-hour interdisciplinary major with a focus on gender studies. The B.I.S. provides a flexible, individualized program of study for the self-directed learner. It is developed by each student with advisement by UMSL professional advisers and faculty, and it is intended for students who have unique educational goals that cannot be met by any other UMSL degree program.

Course Information

Gender Studies 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.


Program Director
Jennifer Nolan (She/Her They/Them)
Associate Teaching Professor
Email: nolanjj@umsl.edu

Graduate Assistant
Amy  Gierer Kieran
Email: aeghy7@umsl.edu

Academic Advisor
Sylvia Harris
Assistant Director of Academic Advising & Student Services

What is Gender Studies? 

Gender Studies is a field of interdisciplinary study and academic field devoted to gender identity and gendered representation as central categories of analysis. This field includes women's studies (concerning women, feminism, gender, and politics), men's studies, and LGBT studies. Sometimes, gender studies is offered together with study of sexuality. These disciplines study gender and sexuality in the fields of literature, language, history, political science, sociology, anthropology, cinema, media studies, human development, law, and medicine. It also analyzes race, ethnicity, location, nationality, and disability.

Gender Studies classes explore femininity, masculinity, gender fluidity, and the influences 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.

Gender Studies is for everyone!

Why should I take Gender Studies courses? 

Gender Studies 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.  Gender Studies courses improve your marketability—at no extra cost.

What does Gender Studies offer that other programs do not? 

Over two dozen scholarships and awards, accessible faculty, individualized mentoring and advising, weekly events, 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 Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies 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? 

Gender Studies courses may be selected from any area of the curriculum. Most courses are cross-listed with other departments. Gender Studies courses may simultaneously count toward a departmental major and a graduate or undergraduate certificate—or they can add up to an individualized, interdisciplinary major.

Check out the following links for more information on Gender Studies related topics:

Virtual Issue Articles

  • 'But her language skills shifted the family dynamics dramatically' Language, gender and the construction of publics in two British newspapers, Sally Johnson & Astrid Ensslin
  • Men and emotion talk: Evidence from the experience of illness, Johnathan Charteris-Black & Clive Seale
  • Metaphorically speaking: Constructions of gender and career in the Danish financial sector, Lise-Lotte Holmgreen
  • Will Ms ever be as frequent as Mr? A corpus-based comparison of gendered terms across four diachronic corpora of British English, Paul Baker
  • Language, sexuality and place: The view from cyberspace, Brian King

Small Grant Proposals

The Gender Studies Program will accept small grant proposals for up to $500 for the following projects and/or expenses: Course development; Conference travel and related expenses; Research travel. Criteria includes Active Gender Studies membership (teaching, service, research, and/or attendance at meetings). Please contact Jennifer Nolan at nolanjj@umsl.edu with your grant proposals!

The proposal itself should be no longer than 2 pages. Please include the following and also attach a current CV:

  • Name and Contact information
  • Description of project
  • Type of support requested
  • Project start and end date
  • Budget

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