One major, multiple perspectives.

The Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program at UVM offers students an opportunity to think about sex, gender, gender identity and other forms of difference over time and across cultures. The students and faculty of GSWS draw from the social sciences, the physical sciences, the humanities and creative arts to pursue research on questions about gender (the social meaning of the distinctions among sexes) and sexuality (sexual identities, discourses, and institutions). We ask: How have gender and sexual roles been created? How and why are they sustained? Who has benefited from these roles and who has been disadvantaged? How have experiences of sex, gender, sexuality, and gender identity differed by race, (dis)ability, nationality, language, social class, sexual identity? How have these issues changed over time? In what ways are they experienced differently in the United States and in other countries?

Building upon a gateway course, students in the major design a concentration of upper-level courses (often following either a social science or humanities track) and conclude with a senior seminar capstone. Our majors work closely with faculty advisors who encourage students to pursue academic honors by writing a senior thesis and to pursue pre-professional internships. Our two interdisciplinary minors, one in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and the other in Sexuality and Gender Identity Studies, are open to all students from across the UVM community.

  • Linnea Johnson

    Finding a Voice

    Linnea Johnson arrived at UVM with a passion for social justice, but lacked the knowledge and vocabulary to articulate her world view. Four years later, as she graduates with a double major in gender, sexuality and women’s studies (GSWS) and philosophy,she is an experienced and articulate advocate.

    “I developed skills that will be super important in my career,” she says. “I just needed to learn the vocabulary—to put names to things I felt strongly about and learn about their history and origins.”

    Entering UVM as an undeclared major, Johnson found her academic path after taking an introductory GSWS course with Annika Ljung-Baruth.

    “I always knew deep down I was discontented with my position in society as a woman, but I didn’t have the tools or words to express that. The course gave me an understanding of the foundation of that discontent.”

    During her time at UVM Johnson was especially involved in the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. She advocates for more education for sexual violence prevention, more resources for workers tasked with doing prevention work on college campuses, and greater support for victims.

    “I hope I’ve helped raise awareness–it really starts with a dialogue. That’s something I try to do by asking questions at open forums, speaking at rallies, and just informal conversations.”

    Johnson found many outlets to apply her knowledge and passion in ways that made a difference at UVM and in the surrounding community.

    Read more of Linnea's story

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Careers in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Graduates of our program have found jobs in fields as diverse as arts administration, social services, business, city government, and publishing. Others have joined the Peace Corps or gone on to law school, medical school, or graduate programs in such fields as public administration, English, history, and of course women's and gender studies. Through their liberal arts education at UVM, our graduates are equipped with a broad range of transferable skills enabling them to succeed in any profession.

UVM has a Career Services Center where dedicated professionals help you career plan and job search.