About Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department


Faculty and Staff of WGSS

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) is an interdisciplinary department that offers two majors: Sexuality, Gender and Queer Studies (SGQS) and Women’s Studies (WS), both of which focus on intersectional analyses of race, gender, sexuality, class, culture and disability, and systems of power, privilege, and resistance within both local and global contexts.

Links between theoretical understandings of feminist and queer studies and community activism are designed to nurture your personal and intellectual development throughout your interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality.

A degree in WGSS prepares you for socially responsible community involvement and a broad range of careers in community agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies as well as other workplaces. Additionally, the WGSS program offers a foundation for graduate studies in academic and professional degree programs such as legal and public policy studies, education, social work, medicine and public health, counseling, business administration, and advocacy.

    Expanding field of scholarship

    Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offers two innovative majors and minors, in Women’s Studies (WS) and in Sexuality, Gender and Queer Studies (SGQS), both of which bring together a unique combination of theory, critical analysis, interdisciplinary coursework, and relevant experience in the community. Courses offered through WGSS explore how the intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality and ability shape culture, language, social, economic, scientific and political institutions.

    Experiential learning

    Our extensive and long-established ties with organizations in the Portland metro area provide wide-ranging opportunities for students to apply their classroom knowledge and experience in a community setting. Many students discover a life's vocation through these practicum experiences, and all develop new skills. Through applied learning and hands-on leadership as well as a required Experiential Learning seminar, students learn to seek and embrace knowledge, insight and wisdom beyond the classroom, laying the groundwork for a lifelong practice.

    Close-knit community

    WGSS students participate in planning department educational, cultural, and social events and join the faculty in discussions on curriculum and educational policy. With our students, we explore and envision what the world looks like, when dominant assumptions are scrutinized, marginalized voices are welcomed in and the experiences of people of all identities are fully incorporated into our thinking. Together, we are charting a path toward the future we need.