About the Department

Our Mission

The Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is the academic home for the study of women, and gender at the University of Cincinnati. Through interdisciplinary teaching, research, and community outreach, it seeks to create a more inclusive and transformative understanding of gendered power relations. The department explores the intersections of race, nationality, class, gender, and sexuality informed by feminist perspectives. Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies nurtures the development of leaders, scholars, and activists and builds scholarly community among core and affiliate faculty across the university. The department serves as a catalyst for curricular, institutional, societal, and global change.

Our Programs

Founded in 1974, the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, one of the oldest and most established programs in the country, offers the following programs of study:

Our graduate programs are regarded as cutting edge and highly supportive of student achievement, serving about 25 students enrolled annually in the MA, MA/JD, MA/MSW, MA/PhD or certificate program. Our MA, MA/JD and MA/PhD programs are also considered selective and rigorous, accepting a total of about 10 to 14 students per year. Our placement record for MA students going on to doctoral programs or professional work is very strong.

Our WGSS undergraduate major and minor and LGBTQ studies undergraduate certificate serve 60 and 170 students per year. Our high quality and popular undergraduate courses are taught by core and affiliate faculty across the university.


Our Faculty

We have a growing core faculty of full and joint appointments in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and almost 100 affiliate faculty members from departments and colleges across the university, making ours among the largest Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies affiliate faculty in the country. Among our core and affiliate faculty are many renowned Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies scholars.


The Friends of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

The department, its students, core and affiliate faculty enjoy the support of one of the oldest and largest community support groups in the country, the Friends of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Founded in 1980, Friends offers mentoring, networking, and special programming for students, alumnae, faculty, and the community. The group has continuously raised funds to provide scholarships and fellowships, student and faculty travel, research grants, visiting lecturers, and, the Endowed Chair.


Our Record of Distinction

In addition to being a long-standing, highly respected, and well-endowed program that offered among the first MA's in Women's Studies, the first MA/JD, and the support of Friends, the department is also known for the following:

  • Organized one of the first and most influential conferences on Women's Studies- "Pioneers for Century III" (1976)
  • Held the first National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute for college and university faculty directed by a Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program (1991)
  • Won major grants from the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE), the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ohio Arts Council, and other organizations
  • Spearheaded the development of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) project at UC, which fosters the recruitment, retention, and professional development of women scientists
  • Is affiliated with the National Council for Research on Women, the National Women's Studies Association, the Ohio Coalition of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Programs and Women's Departments, and the UC Women's Initiatives Network
  • Considered one of the top 35 programs (out of more than 600) by the Ford Foundation (1994)
  • Received a five-year FIPSE North American Mobility Program grant (2006-2011) to support students and faculty with partner exchange programs in Canada and Mexico

For more about what WGSS students and faculty are doing, please see our latest edition of Genderline.

To learn how to connect with and be a part of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati, contact friendsws[at]ucmail.uc.edu.