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College of Arts & Sciences
Women’s & Gender Studies

Women’s & Gender Studies


Women’s & Gender Studies is an exciting interdisciplinary field of study. Offering courses on a wide variety of topics ranging from women’s health, to literature, to globalization, the Program uses gender and its intersections with race, class, and other important categories of identity and difference to understand the lives of women and men. It keeps women at the center, but it is not only about advancing the status of women. It is about understanding the world in ways that value gender equity, racial equality, and social justice. Women’s & Gender Studies students at both the graduate and undergraduate level, engage with real life issues and the classroom is a place that fosters engagement, ethical conversations, and diverse perspectives.

Established more than four decades ago, WGST at University of South Carolina has longstanding ties to scholarly and activist communities across the campus, the city, the region, and the nation. The program offers a wide array of academic and professional resources. The program offers more than forty courses, has nine core faculty members and over seventy affiliate faculty on the Columbia and other USC campuses. WGST offers an undergraduate degree, minor, cognate and a graduate dertificate.

The Bachelor of Arts degree: WGST majors can pursue a career in healthcare, teaching, law, criminal justice, higher education, art, writing, journalism, social work, or business. Our students are attractive to many employers and graduate and professional schools. Their multidisciplinary studies in WGST prepare them to work in an increasingly globalizing and diversifying world. Several of our undergraduates have transitioned directly from their WGST internships to exciting and fulfilling careers in the same office, agency, or profession. The one thing that most Women’s & Gender Studies majors have in common is the desire to choose a profession where they can make a difference!

The Certificate: Drawing from our multi-disciplinary curriculum and faculty (representing more than 50 departments and 11 schools and colleges), the WGST Graduate Certificate complements diverse areas of study. It can be completed as a stand-alone degree or in conjunction with your master’s or doctoral program. This valuable credential is widely recognized by hiring committees in academic and non-academic professions.

Events Calendar: WGST sponsors a variety of scholarly, professional, and social events every semester. Our annual conference and research lecture series provide intellectual stimulation throughout the year from visiting scholars. Recent visiting speakers include Vandana Shiva, Anita Hill, Judith Halberstam, Michael Kimmel, Bernice Johnson Reagon, and Rosemarie Garland Thomson. Our graduate colloquium features such topics as “How to Survive as a Woman of Color in Academia;” “How to Pursue Graduate Research Funding;” and feminist pedagogy.

Feminist Community: WGST can connect you to feminist communities both on and off campus. In our classes and programs you will encounter a network of feminist graduate scholars from all parts of campus. By becoming involved in outreach projects like the Women’s Well Being Initiative, you will join forces with community activists in Columbia, West Columbia, and beyond.

Mission Statement:

Women's and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina promotes an understanding of the experiences of women and other underrepresented groups through a complete program of teaching, research and service to the University, the local community, the state, the nation, and the global community. Through its teaching mission, Women's and Gender Studies shares this knowledge with students so that they learn to think critically, to communicate effectively, to solve problems, and to interpret human experience. Through its research mission, Women's and Gender Studies reconceptualizes existing knowledge and creates new knowledge through the lens of gender and the prism of diversity. Emerging from an activist tradition, Women's and Gender Studies serves University, local, state, national, and global communities by acting as a resource and guide for issues related to women and gender.

Our teaching, research, and service missions interweave as we create, share, and apply knowledge, skills, and values that promote the full participation of women and other underrepresented groups in society. At the core of the work of Women's and Gender Studies teaching and research at the University of South Carolina are broad but fundamental questions that drive examinations of the intersections of race, gender, ethnicity and other dimensions of inequality.

More can be learned about the history of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina by viewing the video “A Cup Half Full” which can be borrowed from the Women's and Gender Studies Office in Jones PSC, Room 109. Additional videos of lectures and events are also available.

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