Earn your bachelor’s degree in women’s, gender and sexuality studies at UM — the only program in a women’s studies-related field in the state of Montana. This program brings together students and faculty from almost every discipline in the College of Humanities and Sciences and beyond, to explore how gender and sexuality intersect with the issues we’re confronting today.

Our women’s studies degree offers a small core group of classes, as well as courses taught by faculty in diverse departments across the entire campus. In fact, you’ll find the program has close connections to African American studies, sociology with an emphasis on inequality and social justice, psychology, English, history, world languages and culture, environmental studies and Native American studies.

During your four years in the program, you’ll participate in internships, service learning and research projects that put you front and center with local and regional organizations, and prepare you to take on real-world issues.

100%

of women's studies majors complete internships.

1st

woman elected to Congress, Jeannette Rankin, is a UM Alumna. 

100%

of UM first graduating class was all women. 

Programs

What can you do with a gender studies degree?

A bachelor’s in women’s, gender and sexuality studies provides a solid foundation in the humanities and social sciences. Equally important, it teaches you to think critically and envision justice for all people.

Students in the program are a community who have made and continue to make a difference. They’re trained to be critical thinkers and researchers with an interdisciplinary background that readies them for work in the non-profit, government and private fields. 

Alumni are currently employed at such organizations as Planned Parenthood, Women’s Voices for the Earth, the Missoula County Crime Victim Advocate Office and the Northern Plains Council. In addition, WGSS students go on to law school, to pursue Masters of Social Work, counseling degrees and more.

What is women's, gender, and sexuality studies? 

The women's, gender, and sexuality studies program began in the 1970s as the women’s studies program. Women faculty volunteered their time and taught courses on women’s literature and history out of the UM Women’s Resource Center in the University Center. Since that time, the program has added gender studies and then sexuality studies to its name, and course offerings as the focus and interests of its faculty and students have expanded in breadth and depth. 

Gender studies jobs

The field continues to expand for women’s, gender and sexuality studies graduates. Job opportunities include:

  • Teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Writer
  • Journalist
  • Casting director
  • Human resources manager
  • Non-profit program director
  • Lobbyist

Gender studies salaries

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics cites the median annual salary for culture and gender studies at $54,000. However, that number can be significantly higher depending upon the career path taken, such as that of a lawyer or casting director.

Experiential learning in the women's studies degree program

The women’s, gender, and sexuality degree program puts theory into practice and matches students with campus and community organizations to complete internships and independent studies.

Internships and service learning in the women's studies degree program

As a women’s studies major, you’ll complete a three-credit internship as part of your degree. You’ll intern with various groups on campus and in the community, including the UM Women’s Resource Center, UM’s Student Advocacy Resource Center, Planned Parenthood, Open Aid Alliance, EmpowerMT, Blue Mountain Clinic, Women’s Voices for the Earth and more. 

A capstone course which requires a service learning project is also on your to-do list. Here, you’ll construct your own syllabus and create your own project as a way to give back to the campus and the community in the areas of gender and sexuality. Examples of projects include art shows, ‘zines, self-care workshops, podcasts and fashion shows. 

Undergraduate research experiences for the bachelor's in women's studies

Students are also required to complete a research paper and encouraged to submit it to the UM Conference on Undergraduate Research for presentation.

Career Development in the women's studies program

When prospective employers call for references, two questions they always ask is how the applicant works with a diverse group of individuals, and if the applicant is able to work well individually and in groups. Because of the training received in the women’s studies degree program, the answers to these questions are easy —students are prepared for the challenges facing us today and will bring that training to any job given. 

Networking and professional development in the women's studies program

Networking is a natural part of the program’s DNA as it reaches across diverse departments across the entire campus. This well-rounded background prepares you to enter a diverse and changing workforce through courses that encourage critical thinking, writing skills, and diversity, equity and inclusion. It also organically builds a network for future job opportunities.

Clubs and student organizations for women's studies majors

The women’s, gender and sexuality studies degree program has close connections to the UM Women’s Resource Center, the Student Advocacy Resource Center, Lambda, and many organizations on campus and in town. 

Scholarships for women's studies majors

The program offers two scholarships based on excellence in academics and work in the field. It’s our way of helping to forward your education and growth.

Learn more about scholarship opportunities for women’s studies majors.

Explore classes for women's studies

The women’s, gender and sexuality studies degree offers a small group of core classes, complemented by courses in every discipline. Courses include Media Representations of Gender and Sexuality, LGBTQ Studies, and Feminist Theory and Methods.  Courses from other departments include Feminism and Film in Communication Studies, LGBTIQ Counseling in Psychology, and Race, Gender, and Class in Sociology.

View all classes for the bachelor’s degree in women’s, gender and sexuality studies.