Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies (GWS) is an interdisciplinary academic field. It critically engages beliefs, attitudes, assumptions and norms about gender, women and sexuality and their intersections with other axes of difference including race, ability, nationality and class. Studying this field equips students with critical analytical skills necessary to understand how power works in national and transnational contexts and to address and offer creative solutions to issues of equity, diversity and social justice in our world today.
Appalachian’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies is housed in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. The program has two primary faculty members, yet you’ll be learning from 53 affiliated faculty members representing five colleges and 15 departments on campus.
Besides the BA, Appalachian also offers a Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies minor, a Girls’ Studies minor and an LGBT Studies minor. At the graduate level, there is a 12-hour graduate certificate and a 9-hour graduate minor in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies.
Employment: GWS majors have pursued careers in law, nursing, education, social work, counseling, victims advocacy, human rights advocacy and business entrepreneurship.
Graduate School: GWS majors also have pursued graduate degrees in GWS and other fields. Internationally, there are more than 900 GWS undergraduate and graduate programs. Programs attended by Appalachian’s GWS students include University of Iowa, UNC-Greensboro, University of Chicago, UNC-Wilmington and Emory University.
A minor is required. Since questions of gender and sexuality have broad relevance, this degree is complemented by a minor or double major in any field. Advisors work with students to identify minors that best match their interests.
The GWS program offers the following 15-hour minors: a GWS minor, LGBT Studies minor, and Girls’ Studies minor.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
Many GWS majors are involved in leadership activities across campus, including leadership in several student clubs and other organizations.
GWS also provides support for internships, study abroad and community engagement.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
GWS students can take a study abroad course led by a GWS affiliate or core faculty member as an elective when the content is relevant. Faculty can help students identify relevant opportunities.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Students in this program are poised to be transformational leaders in their fields, workplaces and communities.
- GWS has innovative curricula, student research opportunities, community engagement, internships, study abroad and more.
- This degree is part of the new Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, which houses two other interdisciplinary degree programs: Global Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies.
- The GWS major is completed by a required minor.
- GWS students have an opportunity to complete their senior capstone experience through a course or internship.
- Formerly named Women’s Studies, the program is the second oldest program in gender studies in North Carolina. The program changed its name to GWS in 2015 in order to better reflect the scope of its curriculum, student interest and faculty research.
Boone and Hickory*
*The Hickory Campus location is pending accreditation from SACSCOC for this program. Accreditation is expected in summer 2023.
- Human rights and diversity leadership
- Advocates for victims of domestic violence and hate crimes
- Social and human services
- Business entrepreneurship
- Director, university women’s center or LGBT center
- Equity and diversity education leader
- Student development professional
- Public health research and education
- Environmental research, activism and sustainability
- Broadcasting, journalism, news media and new media online
- Government, public policy, politics, law
- Science and technology (research, etc.)
- Publishing (writer, editor, etc.)
- Nonprofit organizations
View more career possibilities
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
Dr. Maria Pramaggiore