Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Social injustices are as old as society itself. Discrimination and violence based on race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality have mobilized a new generation of activists. Our women, gender and sexuality studies program aims to empower students with the tools necessary to interrogate power hierarchies, combat social inequities and fight for the dignity of individuals.

Our Program

By design, our minor in women, gender and sexuality studies is student-driven. Students in the program work with faculty in their field of expertise to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum tailored to their desired focus.

Our program strives to rigorously but sensitively deal with major issues in the world. While some courses draw on current events as the basis for discussion, the power structures of people oppressing other people is a timeless problem. By reading theoretical texts in the introductory course, students develop the vocabulary to help fight oppression, open their minds to seeing new solutions and develop ways of understanding the injustices they’ve seen or experienced.

Program Spotlight: Feminine Products Drive

The Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Club, along with students in the course Introduction to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, recently sponsored a feminine hygiene product drive. The weeklong drive raised more than $1,600 worth of products, which were donated to the McKinney Cooperative Shelter for homeless and impoverished women in Newport. 

 Feminine hygiene is a big need in communities of homeless and impoverished individuals. The club felt passionate that everyone who needs products should have access without having to forgo a meal. It was a very successful project and we were proud to do what we could. 

Kaylyn Bettencourt, president of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Club

Our Faculty

Our faculty is diverse, allowing us to tailor our curriculum to a student’s desired focus. We have expertise in anthropology, art history, communications, English, modern languages, nursing, philosophy, religious studies, social work and sociology, among other fields. All of our faculty have earned doctorates in their field of study, and many have authored books and articles on women, gender and sexuality topics.​


Meet Our Faculty

Life After Salve

As a minor, our women, gender and sexuality studies program is perfectly tailored to support majors across a wide range of subjects in the humanities and liberal arts, social sciences and professional programs such as nursing, education and social work. Our recent graduates are working in organizations such as Child & Family and the Rhode Island Governor’s Office, while others are pursuing graduate study in fields such as international relations.

 The minor is a great complement to my social work major. I knew in middle school that I wanted to do social work after graduating. I feel that, although some great strides have been made, there are still many minority groups in need of equity and equality. The women, gender and sexuality studies minor gives that direct focus to compliment my broad social work topics. 

Kaylyn Bettencourt, women, gender and sexuality studies minor

Minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

18 credits

Required courses:

  • WGS100: Naked Truths: Introduction to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • WGS395: Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Capstone

In addition to the required courses, students choose 12 credits of electives in at least two different disciplines. No more than three one-credit workshops may count toward the 12 credits. Approved electives include:

  • ADJ091: Domestic Violence
  • ADJ098: Sex Crimes Investigations
  • ADJ250: Women and Crime
  • ART322: Gender and Sexuality in Art
  • BIO284: Hormones and Behavior
  • ENG368: Media and Gender
  • ENV334: Environmental Justice
  • MGT130: Gender and Minority Issues in Sports
  • PSY255: Psychology of Prejudice
  • RTS338: Sexual Ethics
  • RTS375: Good Girls, Bad Girls: Women of the Bible
  • SOA230: Gender and Sexuality: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
  • SOA320: “Sex” at “Work”
  • SOA420: Gender Violence
  • SWK060: Race, Class, Gender and Health
  • SWK072: Human Sexuality Across the Lifespan
  • SWK091: Health Care Issues Across the Gender Spectrum
  • SWK093: Sexuality and Alcohol
  • SWK095: Relationship Violence
  • SWK120: Social Problems: Analysis by Race, Class and Gender