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Learning Goals

Gender studies courses focus upon gender identity and gendered representation as central categories of analysis. Gender studies uses the concept of gender to analyze a wide range of disciplines. Although many lines of argumentation in gender studies are inspired by feminism, a broad variety of theoretical approaches are used to study the categories of gender. Gender studies includes women's studies, men's studies, and queer studies.

Student Learning Goals

Students graduating with a major in Gender Studies will demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge of Gender Studies methods and content in the following four areas:
    1. History,
    2. Humanities,
    3. Social Sciences,
    4. Theory,
    5. Global Context;
  2. Understanding of and the ability to apply gender theory from the following perspectives:
    1. Feminist theory,
    2. Queer theory,
    3. Men and masculinity studies;
  3. Knowledge and appreciation of human diversity, and an understanding of the role of intersectionality in the gendered realities of human life;
  4. The ability to write clearly, expressively, and creatively;
  5. The ability to discuss and verbally defend academic ideas;
  6. The ability to apply Gender Studies theories to new problems;
  7. Knowledge of different approaches to a single issue within Gender Studies;
  8. Adequate preparation for graduate-level work;
  9. The ability to apply critical perspectives on gender and sexuality to situations beyond the context of Whitman College.

    The Gender Studies Major

    All Gender Studies majors must take a minimum of 36 credits, including Gender Studies 100, Gender Studies 200, Gender Studies 490, Gender Studies 497, and at least 3 credits in each of three foundations areas: gender across time; gender in global context; theory and methods. A course used to satisfy one foundations requirement may not be counted toward another. 

    Students are encouraged to work with their advisor to select complementary electives broadening their scope of view and providing training in disciplines of particular interest to them. At least 12 credits must be completed at the 300 or 400 level. In the final semester, the student must pass a senior assessment consisting of a senior capstone project and its oral defense.

    Gender Studies intersects with many other fields and pairs well with a range of second majors and minors. Students considering graduate study are strongly advised to pursue study of a second language and to minor in a related discipline.

    Many Gender Studies students also minor in a variety of academic disciplines across the college. Check out this list of minors held by recent Gender Studies Alumni:

    • Anthropology 
    • Art History and Visual Culture Studies 
    • Biology 
    • Education 
    • Film and Media Studies 
    • French 
    • German Studies
    • Mathematics 
    • Politics 
    • Psychology 
    • Race and Ethnic Studies 
    • Religion 
    • Rhetoric Studies
    • Sociology 

    The Gender Studies Minor

    The minor requires a minimum of 20 credits to include Gender Studies 100 and at least eight credits at the 300 or 400 levels. The student, in consultation with a gender studies adviser, will plan a program which will meet requirements of special interest and intellectual coherence, and will include courses across academic departments.

    Gender Studies + You!

    Students from many different majors and academic disciplines minor in Gender Studies, and you could too! Gender Studies is a critical discipline that can be applied to almost any area of study. Check out this list of recent majors from across the college with minors in Gender Studies:

    • Art
    • Biophysics, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology 
    • English 
    • Film and Media Studies
    • History 
    • Mathematics
    • Politics
    • Psychology 
    • Race and Ethnic Studies
    • Rhetoric Studies
    • Sociology
    • Theater


    See the College Catalog for specific course descriptions.

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