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

Women’s and Gender Studies Program Office

Office: E319 Thompson Hall

(716) 673-3179

Jeffry Iovannone, Coordinator



MISSION STATEMENT:  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 program hosts numerous annual events including the Fall Gathering, the Gender Conference, the Gender and Social Change Lecture Series, and a spring research symposium for graduating majors and minors.  The program is also strongly affiliated with student groups on campus such as the Women's Student Union and the Pride Alliance.  These groups sponsor a variety of events including Take Back the Night, Women Rock and Soul, the Clothesline Project, fall and spring drag shows, Gay Prom, and the National Day of Silence in addition to other Women's History Month and Gay History Month events.

Scholarships are available to academically promising students.  The Jeanette McVicker Women's and Gender Studies Scholarship was established to recognize and encourage scholarship and activism informed by scholarly inquiry.  Preference is given to declared majors or minors.  The Marion Sonnenfeld Award Scholarship is presented each year to outstanding female students who exemplify leadership, hard work, and a good sense of community.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies - Women’s and Gender Studies (36 credit hours):

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 coordinator.  Students declaring the major in Women’s and Gender Studies may use past courses retroactively after consultation with the coordinator.  Three (3) credit hours of independent study can be counted in the major.

Required Courses

WGST 201Introduction to Gender Studies


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-requisite WGST 201)

Electives (15 credit hours from any category)