Gender Studies

Off-Campus Studies Mission Statement

Off-Campus Studies at Whitman College aims to develop in our students intercultural skills and global understanding for a lifetime of leadership.  We endeavor to achieve this goal by:

  • Providing off-campus study opportunities worldwide that offer high-quality academic content, instruction and evaluation.
  • Expanding learning opportunities for students and integrating the learning off-campus into their academic program to the fullest extent possible.
  • Promoting programs that increase a student’s foreign language and intercultural fluency.
  • Offering programs that foster an ability to question assumptions and think critically in the context of other worldviews.
  • Ensuring that programs are well integrated into the host community and encourage immersion of the student into the host culture. 
  • Developing the means by which returning students can actively contribute to international awareness and programming on campus, as well as in the Walla Walla community.

Off-Campus Studies can help Gender Studies students…

  • Gain awareness of the major discipline from a different scholarly tradition
  • Improve and acquire foreign language skills
  • Develop a global perspective
  • Gain primary research skills from field studies or work with primary sources
  • Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Prepare for an increasingly diverse and international workplace
  • Learn on-site about key issues in gender and sexual justice

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Gender Studies department?

  • Direct enrollment in a foreign university with local students
  • Field study program with opportunities to engage in research with the local community
  • Program that offers an opportunity for independent study research
  • Program that offers an opportunity for an internship or experiential learning embedded in an academic course as part of the program

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Gender Studies prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • Gender Studies majors may discover their future career focus or even their passion in the field while studying off campus, and they have the opportunity to develop networks that may lead to post-graduate career placements. Those who continue on to graduate school can gain from new perspectives on the field and from hands-on experience with issues of concern to Gender Studies.

Which requirements can Gender Studies majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Elective major credit
  • Research that can be used for Senior Thesis, if IRB approved
  • General Studies distribution credit
  • General degree credit

Planning Tips

As a general rule of thumb, the Gender Studies Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • First-year students should take GndS 100 Introduction to Gender Studies.
  • Second-year students should take GndS 100 Introduction to Gender Studies, if not taken in the first year.  They should begin breadth requirements in the major, begin to work on identifying a concentration, and fulfill the Global Context Requirement.
  • Students studying abroad in the spring of their junior year should watch their email for the Junior Review Form prior to pre-registration for the fall.  This form will require you to identify your concentration in the major, the general topic area of your senior thesis, and your thesis adviser.
  • Gender Studies does not have a preference for fall or spring study abroad..

Credit Limitations

The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the Gender Studies major from off campus studies (including credits from other U.S. institutions) is 12 credits with the approval of your major adviser.

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Gender Studies department?

Students should select a program that will allow them to pursue their goals and areas of interest within the field. For some, this may mean selecting a program with strong courses in Gender Studies subjects; for others, it will mean selecting a program that offers an extended homestay with cultural immersion and/or opportunities for field research.

Advising Support

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.