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College of Arts & Sciences
Women’s & Gender Studies


Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Arts in Women's & Gender Studies

Women’s & Gender Studies (WGST) is an exciting interdisciplinary field. Offering courses on a wide variety of topics ranging from women’s health, to literature, to globalization, WGST uses gender and its intersections with race, class, and other important categories of identity and difference to understand the lives of women and men. WGST 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. WGST students engage with real life issues and the classroom is a place that fosters engagement, ethical conversations, and diverse perspectives.

Consider the following questions:

• Why is housework considered “women’s work” and rocket science considered “men’s work?”

• Why do only women wear pink Gamecock shirts?
• What is wrong with throwing like a girl anyway?

• What does it mean to “take it like a man?”

• Why is the expression “that’s so gay” an insult?

• Why do “fathering” and “mothering” mean two different things?

• Why are the majority of sweatshop workers young women?

• How do we achieve gender and racial equality in our society?

• What is social justice, and how can it be achieved?

• What can you do to make the world a better place?

These are the sorts of questions professors and students talk about in WGST classes!

What can you do with a degree in Women’s & Gender Studies?

You 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!

Degree Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University must meet several “core requirements” before graduation, in addition to the requirements specified by the College as presented in the University Bulletin. The requirements of all degree programs have been designed to meet these minimum University standards. Additional information about these requirements are available by contacting

College of Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Student Services

Flinn Hall, Suite 110

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC 29208

Tel: (803) 777-2993 or (803) 777-2505

WGST Major Requirements:

Pre-Major Requirements:

WGST 111 Women and Culture (3 hours, also counts in College of Arts and Sciences as Humanities)

WGST 112 Women and Society (3 hours, also counts in College of Arts and Sciences as Social Science)

Nine courses (27 hours) of WGST or approved discipline-based courses

  • Women and Health: WGST 113 (3 hours)
  • Feminist Theory: WGST/POLI 307 or WGST/AFRO 308 (3 hours)
  • Power, Difference, Change : WGST/SOCY 304/POLI 305 or WGST 404 (3 hours)
  • Cross-cultural issues: non-US or comparative: For example, WGST 320, 358, or 555. (3 hours)
  • Practicum WGST 499 or a research project (3 hours: should be taken during final 45 hours):
  • WGST or approved discipline-based courses (12 hours)

WGST Cognate or Minor

Cognate: Four courses (12 hours) related by discipline or theme 
Minor: Six courses (18 hours) of WGST or approved courses

* In addition to approved WGST cross-listed courses, elective courses in other disciplines are also approved for the B.A., minor, and cognate in Women’s and Gender Studies. For current schedule, go to

Lectures, Conferences, and Outreach

The Adrenée Glover Freeman Lecture in African American Women’s Studies

The Freeman Lecture was established in 1993 in memory of Adrenée Glover Freeman, a Columbia attorney who was active in civic affairs and served on the Community Advisory Board of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Each year the lecture is given by a prominent African American woman.

Annual Women’s and Gender Studies Conference

To celebrate Women’s History Month in March, WGST sponsors a large conference every year. Leading scholars, activists, and artists are featured in plenary sessions along with an impressive array of panels by faculty, graduate students, and guests. It is a time to come together and celebrate our achievements and our plans for the future.

Community Activism

In 2001, the University of South Carolina’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program developed the Women’s Well-Being Initiative (WWBI) to improve the overall well-being of South Carolina’s women and girls. The WWBI is an active coalition of faculty, students, and community members who work collaboratively to promote an interdisciplinary, community-focused program of research, education, and action. The primary geographic focus of the Women’s Well-Being Initiative is the community of West Columbia, which is adjacent to the city of Columbia and the University of South Carolina’s downtown campus, but separated by the Congaree River. Undergraduate students participate in WWBI community outreach and service projects. These include school-based initiatives, arts programs for at-risk girls, outreach to the Hispanic population, and oral history projects to gather the perspectives of community members.

If you are interested in a major or minor in Women's & Gender Studies, please contact our undergraduate director, Dr. Suzanne Swan at 777-2558.

Additional details are available about the Women's & Gender Studies Program in the official Undergraduate Bulletin.

Additional information about career paths for Women's & Gender Studies graduates :
USC Career Center

The College Career Development Program
Websites for WGST Students