Women’s and Gender Studies

How is the human experience shaped by gender? What’s the relationship between systemic prejudice and privilege? How can you create effective opportunities for change? As a Women’s and Gender Studies major, you’ll explore all of this and more. You’ll use feminist theory to examine issues such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, class and religion. You’ll draw on a variety of disciplines, including history, economics, psychology, communication, religious studies and political science. You’ll study the world-changing women and analyze the role of gender as it plays out in the social and political landscape today.

This major’s flexibility allows you to go deeper in an area of interest, and many of our students double-major in programs such as English, psychology and nursing. Whatever path you choose, your knowledge of Women’s and Gender Studies will enrich your perspective and skill set.

The Alverno edge
You’ll study Women’s and Gender Studies in a place that has been dedicated to developing women leaders for more than 125 years and that has been at the forefront of the women’s movement. Alverno’s innovative, abilities-based curriculum was shaped by our faculty’s complex understanding of women in society. Instead of competing against classmates, you’ll strive to achieve your personal best — practicing the hands-on skills you need to be a strong communicator, leader, critical thinker and problem-solver.

The support you need to succeed
Forget about giant lecture halls or vying for face time with professors in crowded classes. Alverno’s 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes — almost always under 25 students — ensure you’ll really get to know our caring faculty, and that personal connection allows professors to guide you toward meaningful electives and internships that will help you reach your goals.

Get involved
Join one of Alverno’s dozens of student organizations to practice your leadership skills and connect with other students who share your passions. Many WGS majors participate in the F-Word, the campus feminist organization. Past students have traveled with faculty to conferences or to women’s marches. The program also hosts an annual event where students can network with alumnae and other women leaders from the community.

Internships for the Women’s and Gender Studies major
Your required internship will give you valuable hands-on experience and networking contacts. Our Internship Office, which is connected to more than 2,000 partner sites, can help you find the right internship for you. Past WGS majors have interned at PEARLS for Teen Girls, the Reproductive Justice Collective, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Wisconsin, Rogers Memorial Hospital and many other sites.

How you can use your degree
The career paths of our alumnae are as diverse as our students themselves. You’ll find WGS graduates working for Milwaukee Public Schools, the City of Milwaukee, Family Promise of Waukesha County and the Lad Lake residential care center. This major is also excellent preparation for graduate studies in fields such as business, education, community psychology and public policy.


Have questions about studying Women’s and Gender Studies at Alverno? We invite you to connect with faculty to learn more.

Amy ShapiroAmy Shapiro
Director of Women’s and Gender Studies