Interdisciplinary Studies: Women's & Gender Studies Bachelor of Arts degree

Women’s and Gender Studies Program Office

Office: 258 Fenton Hall

(716) 673-3851

Jeffry J. Iovannone, Coordinator



MISSION STATEMENT:  SUNY Fredonia's Women's & Gender Studies Program empowers students to explore gender in theoretical and practical ways, inside and outside the traditional classroom.  This program provides interdisciplinary knowledge and skills enabling students to work for social justice and global change in ways that are meaningful to them.


  1. To teach and learn about issues related to women, gender, and sexuality (and their connection to systems of domination) through a historical, interdisciplinary, and global framework;
  2. To provide curriculum inclusive of multiple identity positions and human experiences;
  3. To establish meaningful connections between the classroom and the social world as a framework for working toward social change, both locally and globally.


  1. Students will be knowledgeable of theoretical frameworks that inform the study of gender and sexuality, such as feminist, queer, intersectional, transnational, historical and multicultural theories.
  2. Students will gain understanding of sexual norms and behaviors, the study of the social, historical, cultural, behavioral, and scientific complexities of sexuality, in all of its iterations, including the study of heteronormativity, LGBTQ identities, and alternative sexual expressions.
  3. Students will gain understanding of transnational issues, becoming aware of and respond to global conflicts and crises over health, environmental, and human right issues, as well as issues arising from the uneven distribution and use of wealth and resource.
  4. Students will gain understanding of cultural practices, and how gender is prescribed and controlled by social institutions, traditions, and language.  How gender and attitudes towards it are represented in cultural products such as literature, the arts, and media.
  5. Through experiential learning, students will demonstrate the ability to apply interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in practical and relevant ways outside the traditional classroom in experiences such as internship, service-learning, community projects, study abroad, field-based learning, etc.  Requires director's approval.

Student Organizations and Activities

The Women’s Student Union ( provides opportunities for students to program special events, participate in relevant off-campus activities, and sponsor activities to raise awareness of women’s and gender issues on campus and in the community.

Women’s History Month, co-sponsored by WSU and Women’s Studies, brings a diverse array of speakers and performers to campus in March to celebrate women’s contributions and discuss contemporary issues facing both women and men. An annual Women’s Studies Fall Gathering showcases recent scholarship in women’s studies by affiliate faculty.

An annual Undergraduate Conference on Women and Gender celebrates student research in women’s studies and gender-related areas. Student winners present summaries of their work in a recognition ceremony and receive The Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research on Gender. Other annual events include the Women Take Aim Film Series, participation in the V-Day Initiative, Take Back the Night, and Women, Rock and Soul, a fundraiser for the Women’s Studies scholarship. The Jeanette McVicker Women’s Studies Scholarship is awarded each year to a Women’s Studies major or minor who demonstrates both academic excellence and involvement in feminist activism.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies - Women’s Studies

Completion of the interdisciplinary major requires a minimum of 36 credit hours. Up to 12 hours of transfer credit can be applied to the major, based on approval by the director. Students declaring the major in Women’s Studies may use past courses retroactively after consultation with the director. Three (3) credit hours of independent study can be counted in the major.

Required Courses

WGST 201Gender, Sexuality and Identities


WGST 491Gender and Social Change


(Pre-requisites: Students must complete "Theoretical Frameworks" PRIOR to capstone semester)

Core Categories (at least 3 credit hours in each category for 15 credit hours)

  1. Theoretical Frameworks (pre-requisite WGST 201)
  2. Sexual Norms and Behaviors
  3. Transnational Issues
  4. Cultural Practices
  5. Experiential Learning (pre-requisites WGST 201)

Electives (15 credit hours from any category)