Creating and sustaining a community of scholar-activists who: understand systems of gender and sexuality; generate and apply intersectional feminist and queer perspectives; challenge structural inequalities; and work for social justice.

WGS Department Overview

The study of women has been part of the GVSU curriculum since 1973 with courses both in the College of Arts and Sciences and in William James College. The minor in Women's Studies was approved in 1986 and the first Women's Studies Minor graduated in 1988. In 1997, the Program was significantly revised to include the study of "Gender." In Fall of 2013 a new minor in LGBTQ Studies was launched. As of 2014-2015, WGS has grown from a minor of approximately 22 students to a minor of 62 students to a major with two minors and 146 total students (Banner, Fall 2014). Faculty from across the University teach in the WGS Program, which is housed in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies.


The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department will be a community of excellent faculty and students who share a vision of diverse gender justice, providing a theory-based and broadly engaged curriculum that focuses on transforming the campus and the larger community through rigorous scholarship as a foundation for teaching, learning, vocation, and civic life.


  • Building communities that ensure gender justice
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and research
  • Liberal education and academic excellence in learning, teaching, and research
  • Rigorous scholarship by faculty and students as a foundation for teaching, learning, vocation, and civic life
  • Diverse, innovative and effective teaching
  • Assessment as a means to evaluate and improve student learning
  • Culture of collegiality and collaboration
  • Diversity, civic discourse, and democratic communities
  • Experiential and high-impact learning
  • International perspectives and experiences

Page last modified November 16, 2016