As a major or minor in the interdisciplinary field of gender, sexuality and women’s studies, you’ll examine the way gender and sexuality (along with race, class, ethnicity, and religion) have shaped, and continue to shape, the world in which we live. Through the lens of history, religious studies, literature, art history, and sociology, you’ll read and discuss the gendered nature of societies and movements that aim to address inequity and injustice. The important critical thinking and problem-solving skills developed from this intersectional study prepares you for careers where you can make a real difference through social work, human resources, criminal justice, healthcare, public policy, education, journalism, marketing and mental health counseling.

Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies
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In and Beyond the Classroom

Student standing at podium giving a presentation

Hands-on Learning

Gender, sexuality and women’s studies students interrogate institutional formations of sex, gender and sexualities with texts, data, and original research. Recent examples of work explored as independent study, capstone coursework and as part of the Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) includes:

  • Unintentional proliferation of homosexual stereotypes in Javier Fuentes-León’s Undertow
  • The position of the ale-wife in Early Modern Europe
  •  Interracial dating and hookup culture of international male college students
  • Research on Ida B. Wells for a book on key scholars in black social thought

High-Impact Internships

RMC’s location north of Richmond and just 75 miles south of Washington, DC means gender, sexuality and women’s studies majors have unique access to a diverse range of internships, field trips, and service opportunities. Students recently interned at:

  • Hanover Safe Place
  • Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities
  • DeliverFund
  • Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy

Advising and Mentorship

Taught by faculty experts in fields as varied as art history and computer science, faculty in your gender, sexuality, and women’s studies courses know you by name and support you in making this important work part of your academic story. The program helps you take on whatever future you choose with a strong foundation in holistic knowledge, interpersonal skills, and an increased sense of agency as a student and as a citizen of the world.

  • 1983
    the year Sally Ride became the first woman and first gay astronaut in space
  • 1.6M
    people ages 13+ identify as transgender in the US
  • 2015
    the year same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states
Group of students and faculty laughing together

Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies in full Courses You Won’t Want to Miss

(A very small sample)

GSWS 227

Ancient Sexualities

Explore the cultural construction of sexuality and gender in ancient Greece and Rome. Consider questions such as the status of women and the context of misogyny, the multiple manners in which masculinity was constructed, the societal role of same-sex relations, and the presentation and visualization of sexuality, desire, and the body. 

SOCI 324

Social Perspectives on Motherhood

Examine the social context that shapes contemporary social expectations and experiences surrounding motherhood in the U.S. Learn the diverse social and cultural perspectives on birthing, breastfeeding, and mothering. 

HIST 356

The History of Witchcraft

Investigate the history of witchcraft from the ancient world up to the present day. Examine various theories of witchcraft and study how circumstances and theory sometimes intersected in horrific witch-hunts. Learn to recognize the strands of ancient witch beliefs that are still with us today.

Opportunities Worth Grabbing

Popular activities and programs among gender, sexuality and women’s studies majors
Large group of students and faculty

Criminology Club

Iota Iota Iota

Triota – Women’s and Gender Studies Honor Society

RMC Pride Alliance

Multicultural Programming Board

From Here To What you can do with a Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies degree from RMC

Lauren Givens '04

Laura Givens ’04

Director, Legislative & Public Policy
Virginia Dental Association

“My liberal arts education at RMC most certainly prepared me well for adult life and I attribute much of my experience during my 4 years there to what I consider a successful career. I believe there were only two other women in my class who majored in women’s studies and our classes were small, offering wonderful intimate lectures and discussions with a wonderful group of professors.”

sean smith ’14

Founder & Principal Consultant
Humanist Perspective Consulting, LLC

drew perdue ’23

Master’s Candidate, Divinity
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary


Director of Youth & Children’s Ministries at Welborne UMC
Master’s Candidate in Divinity at Union Presbyterian Seminary

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