What is Women’s and Gender Studies?
The Women’s and Gender Studies program offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor, an undergraduate certificate, and an interdisciplinary graduate certificate program that draw on the broad expertise and experience of the UCF faculty. Its courses focus on the situation of women and gender relations in past and present societies, on women’s contributions to their societies, on contemporary women’s issues, and on theories concerning women and gender. The program aims to bring women’s achievements and experience into traditional subjects, but also to broaden the underlying assumptions of existing scholarship and to open new areas of study.
Who are prospective students?
Courses are open to both women and men and welcome participants of all ethnic backgrounds and political persuasions. The undergraduate minor is designed as an excellent complement to many majors, especially the humanities and social sciences. At the same time, the program provides excellent preparation for those who plan to enter the professional world. Fields in which women and/or gender issues include education, health care, criminology, law, business, and economic studies, among others.
What are the benefits for students?
The Women’s and Gender Studies minor offers a well-rounded curriculum with an interdisciplinary focus. It provides students, both male and female, with critical thinking tools to analyze and navigate in our contemporary society.
Students with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies have a broader perspective on the issues facing women in today’s world. They are able to analyze the ways in which our lives are shaped by gender and other forms of diversity.Students can use the minor as a foundation for employment opportunities in numerous fields such as advertising, radio, teaching, health services, political science, criminal justice, psychology, sociology, journalism, and communications.
What knowledge can I gain with a degree in Women’s and Gender Studies?
The undergraduate degree in Women’s and Gender Studies emphasizes knowledge and awareness of:
- the historical and cross-cultural variability of social norms of masculinity and femininity
- the ways in which ideas of masculinity and femininity shape and interact with other axes of domination, such as class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability and nation
- the centrality of gender at the local, national and international levels of society, politics and the economy
- the diversity of global feminism
- how women interact with the global economy
- how power and privilege function in relation to the intersection of gender, race, class, sexuality and nation
- women’s participation in, contribution to, and transformation of areas of social life including culture, society, politics, economy and religion
- institutionalized discrimination and violence against women
- women’s activism and resistance to oppression
- the varied research methods and theoretical perspectives used in women, gender and sexuality studies scholarship, including the relationship between theory and practice
- the history of women and gender studies as an academic discipline and the main themes that have characterized its emergence.
Are internships offered?
The Women’s and Gender Studies Program is in the process of developing and enlarging its internship programs. The goal of the internship program is to place students in organizations where they can gain experience and receive college credit while benefiting the community.
In a past internship, a psychology major worked with the Matrix, a women’s peace building organization. The student did the marketing and relationship work at the University of Central Florida to encourage students to attend a Matrix conference. This same student helped to organize the National Organization of Women (NOW) chapter at the University of Central Florida.
A political science major worked as an intern for 15 hours each week and obtained three credit hours (graded) as a grant writing assistant at Harbor House, an organization focused on the violence perpetrated against women. At the conclusion of the internship, the student wrote a journal reflecting on the experience and submitted an academic paper on the topic.
A future internship is planned at local schools that will involve peer education directed to eating disorders.
Do you offer courses at the graduate level?
The graduate certification program is open to any student with an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. This program is designed for post-baccalaureate students with a professional or personal interest in advancing their understanding of gender issues, and for degree-seeking graduate students pursuing research topics related to gender issues. For more information, view the course schedule.
What courses do you offer?
Courses offer lively classroom discussion and interactive learning experiences. They enable students to study the roles of women and their contributions to society, which may be ignored in traditional courses; to learn more about male-female relations and to approach learning from a new perspective. For more information, view the course schedule.
Can I major in Women’s and Gender Studies?
A student can major in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Women’s and Gender Studies. In addition, graduate students desiring an interdisciplinary degree focusing on gender issues may apply to the Masters of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. More information can be found at the Interdisciplinary Studies Website
What skills will I gain by being a part of this program?
Many employers seek people with an interdisciplinary background. By obtaining a minor or certificate from WGST, you will have a great advantage in the workplace. Students completing their degree in women’s studies are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:
- express ideas clearly in spoken form
- employ creative problem solving techniques
- organize and synthesize material in new ways
- analyze texts and information critically
- articulate complex ideas clearly in written form
- participate in teamwork successfully
How can I get more information?
Brochures are available in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program office or contact us for more information.
How do I declare a Women’s and Gender Studies Minor?
Why minor in Women’s and Gender Studies?
The Benefits of Combining Women’s and Gender Studies with Your Major
- Liberal Studies
- Math, Science, and Engineering
- Political Science
What You Can Learn from Women’s and Gender Studies
Women’s and Gender Studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining the ways in which women have helped shape and define the world. By exploring women’s lives and work, Women’s and Gender Studies challenges existing “universal” theories based largely on men’s experiences, affording different perspectives for understanding our society– which includes men. Women’s and Gender Studies examines:
- Women’s participation in, contribution to, and transformation of areas of society including culture, politics, economy, and religion.
- The ways in which ideas of masculinity and femininity shape and interact with other axes of domination, such as class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, and nation.
- How power and privilege function in relation to the intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, and nation institutionalized discrimination and violence against women.
- women’s activism and resistance to oppression.
Women’s and Gender Studies isn’t anti-male or just for women. A background in Women’s and Gender Studies allows students, both male and female, to acquire:
- Critical thinking tools to analyze and navigate our contemporary society.
- A broader perspective on the issues facing women in today’s world.
- The ability to analyze the ways in which lives are shaped by gender and other forms of diversity.
- Teamwork skills and deeper insight into women’s and gender issues.
Pursuing a Women’s and Gender Studies minor or certificate prepares students for careers in all fields requiring more sensitivity to gender and diversity issues.
The Women’s and Gender Studies Minor and Regional Campus Students
- 80% of regional students are women.
- Women’s and Gender Studies classes address many issues related and relevant to non-traditional or returning students, including work, family, health, and the impact of gender constructions on human society.
- The Women’s and Gender Studies Program develops and maintains close working relationships with surrounding regional campus communities, including our many formal community partners, which provide networking and job opportunities.
- All necessary courses for the minor are available at Cocoa and Daytona regional campuses. Classes are available in all formats, including web, web-mediated, and face-to-face.
- The program includes Brevard and Daytona faculty who teach Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology, English, and Political Science.
- Women’s and Gender Studies courses count toward your diversity requirement and address issues related to race, class, sexuality, and disability.
- Classes are generally small and discussion-based. Intellectual community is an important part of Women’s and Gender Studies classes.
- Women’s and Gender Studies classes encourage critical thinking and discussion about the world around you, including current issues and events.
- WST3015 meets A GEP diversity requirement.
- You may have already taken classes that count towards the minor.
Women’s and Gender Studies for Men
- For every woman who wants to be respected, there is a man who respects her.
- Women’s and Gender Studies is not just about women. It is also about gender and gender issues.
- Women’s and Gender Studies encourages open-mindedness to gender issues in social, cultural, and political arenas.
- Women’s and Gender Studies addresses issues of race, class, sexuality, ability, and more.
- For every woman who doesn’t like to cook, there is a man who doesn’t like to fix things.
- Women’s and Gender Studies examines constructions of masculinity in society.
- Men have women in their lives, and Women’s and Gender Studies provides a better understanding of the social and cultural issues women and men face.
- For every woman who is tired of people not trusting her intelligence, there is a man who is burdened with the constant expectation to know everything.
- Women’s and Gender Studies classes encourage critical thinking and discussion about the world around you, including current events and issues.
- For every woman who finds liberation through education, there is a man who can do the same.
- Women’s and Gender Studies provides a valuable perspective and a specified focus, which makes for a more well-rounded candidate for employment.
- Women’s and Gender Studies complements many majors, including Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, English, and Philosophy (to name a few).
- The Service Learning component of WGST helps students establish connections and experience in career field(s).
- You may have already taken courses that count toward the minor.