College of Letters and Sciences


Bachelor's Degree Programs

Transform your perspective. Maximize your opportunities.

If you’re interested in becoming a more engaged, worldly citizen, then a Women’s and Gender Studies major might be for you.

An interdisciplinary field, Women’s and Gender Studies investigates how gender and sexuality intersect with race, class, ability, and other identities to shape everyday lives, institutions, and global communities. You’ll learn a variety of skills important in any career path, including intercultural competence, complex problem solving and analytical thinking.

Students with a Women’s and Gender Studies degree enter a wide range of professional fields, including management, educational instruction and library science, business and financial operations, and legal occupations. All of these careers are projected to grow between 2022 and 2032, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Graduates of the program also pursue advanced degrees in a variety of subjects, including counseling, social work, education, healthcare, and business.

4-year plan


Why study Women’s and Gender Studies at UW-Whitewater?

Over the last 50 years, the Women’s and Gender Studies program at UW-Whitewater has grown from one course to a dynamic department. WGS has options for students who want to major in the subject or for those who want a minor or certificate to complement a different degree.

No matter what your course of study, the Women’s and Gender Studies program will teach you several valuable skills as you navigate your career.

What you’ll learn:

  • Critical thinking
  • Written and oral communication
  • Self-reflection skills
  • Intercultural competence

What you’ll experience:

  • High impact practices
  • Dedicated advisors
  • Inclusive student and faculty community

What you’ll gain:

  • Employable skills
  • Co-curricular opportunities
  • Lifelong learning

In addition to the Women’s and Gender Studies major and minor, the following certificates are available for UW-Whitewater students to complete.

This certificate is designed to allow students, across the disciplines, to engage in in-depth diversity learning around issues of gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and ability. The Diversity Leadership Certificate prepares students for living and working in a diverse society through curricular and co-curricular activities to enhance knowledge, develop facilitation skills, and engage in productive collaborations across differences.

Students in this certificate program will examine how gender, gender identity, and sexuality interact with ethnicity, race, class, and ability while exploring contemporary, cross-cultural, and historical issues related to LGBTQ lives. The LGBTQ Studies Certificate is intended for students who would benefit from a thorough introduction to LGBTQ Studies from various disciplinary perspectives.

This certificate is granted to students who complete 12 credits in approved Women’s and Gender Studies courses.

What our Women’s and Gender Studies students do

Icon of a head with gears. Learn to think critically, self-reflect and challenge their own perspectives
Icon of people connecting in a circle. Engage with inclusive faculty members and dedicated advisors in the classroom and the community
Icon of a name badge. Intern at organizations that positively affect communities in southern Wisconsin

Hands-on learning experiences


A person wears a hat that says love while bubbles float in the air.


Women’s and Gender Studies instructors care deeply about student learning, ensuring the inclusivity of our classrooms, and investing in our students’ success. We use applied learning activities, multiple types of writing activities, research projects, service learning, and internships to help you learn and grow.

Women’s and Gender Studies students are strongly encouraged to make internships part of their regular course work. Students may be involved with internships part time during the school year or during the summer. Organizations that have accepted Women’s and Gender Studies interns include:

  • National Organization for Women
  • Women and Poverty Initiative
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Equal Employment Opportunities Commission
  • YWCA Alternatives of Janesville
  • Beloit Domestic Violence Center
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • New Beginnings
  • Boys & Girls Club of Janesville
  • United Community Center (UCC)
  • Watertown Memorial Hospital
  • World Financial Group
  • Head Start / Early Head Start
  • YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee
  • Elks / Easter Seals Respite Camp
  • Easter Seals Wisconsin

Research opportunities
Unlike some universities, UW-Whitewater not only allows – but encourages — students to get involved in actual research early in their college experience.

The Research Apprentice Program is a wonderful opportunity for freshman-and-sophomore-level students to get their feet wet in research and get paid for it! Students can learn new skills and connect with STEM faculty in the earlier stages of their schooling.

We are nationally known for our Undergraduate Research Program — which gives students the opportunity to apply their knowledge outside of the classroom and dive deeper into their field of interest. You can work alongside a faculty mentor as a student researcher, or create an independent, student-led project with a mentor's help.

Professional development
Students in the Women’s and Gender Studies program will have opportunities to attend the Universities of Wisconsin Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium Annual Conference in Madison. The Consortium directly serves Women’s and Gender Studies students, faculty, staff, and administrators in all Universities of Wisconsin institutions.

Students are also encouraged to submit work to be published in “Reading Film,” a collection of outstanding essays on film written by UW-Whitewater students. Courses in Women’s and Gender Studies are laboratories for students to practice and grow communication skills, gaining critical feedback from our instructors.

Campus and community involvement


A person dances outdoors in front of a crowd by a water fountain.


Women’s and Gender Studies majors may be interested in the following student organizations at UW-Whitewater:

Students Allied for a Green Earth (SAGE)
SAGE promotes ecological sustainability and awareness, democracy, cultural diversity, and social justice on campus, in the local community, and on a global level.

IMPACT is a student organization for all students of all gender expressions, sexual and romantic identities. It provides students with a safe, confidential, and open space for discussion, support and activism.

Coalition Against Sexual and Interpersonal Violence (CASIV)
CASIV is a group of UW-Whitewater students committed to raising awareness about sexual and dating violence, harassment and stalking.

Active Minds
Active Minds serves as an advocacy team to fight stigma and promote self-care. The group empowers young adults to speak openly about mental health to reduce stigma, encourage help-seeking, and prevent suicide.


Space and places: On and off campus

The PB Poorman Pride Center, located in UW-Whitewater’s University Center, offers an open and welcoming space for all LGBTQ+ and ally students to relax, study, and socialize. The Center employs student leaders to support the development of LGBTQ+ life and programming on campus, and to encourage mentorship. Several Women’s and Gender Studies majors have held internships in this space.

What our graduates do

Icon of a graduation cap. Academia and higher education leadership
Purple icon with the outline of a hand and a heart. Social service professions, counseling and non-profit work
Icon of a laptop with a paintbrush on the screen. Research and professional writing, media and creative arts

Careers: What can you do with a Women’s and Gender Studies degree?


After earning their Women’s and Gender Studies degree, UW-Whitewater graduates can find a variety of positions. Women’s and Gender Studies jobs are available across multiple industries.

Here are some institutions and organizations where our alumni have gone on to work and/or study:

    • University of Wisconsin-Madison
      • University Health Services
      • Morgridge Center for Public Service
    • University of Florida
    • Jacksonville University
    • Texas A&M University
    • Concordia University Wisconsin
    • Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital (Downers Grove, Illinois)
    • School District of Janesville

Job titles include:

    • Social worker
    • Anti-violence educator and advocate
    • Community counselor
    • Addiction counselor
    • Doctor
    • Sales representative
    • Human resource administrator
    • Intake clerk
    • Entrepreneur
    • Musician
    • Educator
    • Manager
    • Librarian
    • Non-profit coordinator
    • Reproductive health advocate
    • Rape crisis counselor
    • Academic advisor
    • University Housing complex director
    • Social justice fellow
    • LGBTQ coordinator
    • Women’s center coordinator

Our Women’s and Gender Studies faculty

Core faculty members and affiliated faculty and staff in Women’s and Gender Studies care deeply about student learning, ensuring the inclusivity of our classrooms, and investing in our students’ success.

When you declare a Women’s and Gender Studies major, minor, or certificate, you will gain invested mentors from our department who will help you thrive at UW-Whitewater.

Ellie Schemenauer

Ellie C Schemenauer, She/Her/Hers

Interests: Global Politics and Economy, Security Studies, Feminist Pedagogy

Ashley Barnes-Gilbert

Ashley Barnes-Gilbert, She/Her/Hers

Interests: Queer History, Queer/Feminist Theory, and Feminist Pedagogy

Jessica Walz

Jessica T Walz, She/Her/Hers

Interests: Anthropology, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Feminist Pedagogy

Andrea Romero

Andrea Romero, She/Her/Hers

Interests: Stem Education, Feminist Biological Sciences, and Environmental Justice

Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith She/Her/Hers

Interests: Poetry and Nonfiction Writing, Feminist Theory, and Competency-Based Education

UW-Whitewater logo.

Jeanne Quevedo

Laurentide 4205

Want to learn more about earning a Women’s and Gender Studies degree?
262-472-2872 |

UW-Whitewater offers the following Women’s and Gender Studies undergraduate options:



In addition to UW-Whitewater’s general education requirements, as a Women’s and Gender Studies major, you’ll take a variety of core and elective classes that will vary based on your chosen areas of interest. Here’s an example of classes most Women’s and Gender Studies majors will take:

  • Women: Race and Ethnicity
  • Sex, Gender, and Health
  • Feminist and Queer Theories
  • Gender and Sexuality in Cross Culture Perspective
  • Women in Music
  • From Goddesses to Witches: Women in Premodern European History
  • Gender Ethnicity and the Environment
  • Gender and Violence
  • Gender and Film
  • Gender Law and Policy

To apply, you’ll complete the UW-Whitewater standard application for admission and indicate your interest in earning a Women’s and Gender Studies degree.

Apply now

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