Women's Studies helps students better understand women’s experiences of the past and analyze women’s situations today, as well as experiences of gender and sexual minorities. As a result, Women's Studies reveals the ways in which categories of gender shape experience. Its theories incorporate not only gender but also race and class differences, allowing students to develop an informed awareness of cultural diversity and the process of social transformation.
Students in Women's Studies learn how to analyze social forces and assumptions that have shaped women’s lives on individual, national, and global levels. They study women’s contributions to history, politics, literature, psychology, biology, theology, family and social welfare. They examine the ways in which gender organizes experience for both women and men in our culture and around the world, and they study the scientific, cultural, intellectual, and practical significance of that organization.
A flexible program of study, Women's Studies combines theoretical, practical, and research components and provides preparation for both advanced study and professional work. Graduates might work in organizations focusing on women, in human relations departments of corporations, or in health or legal professions, among many potential career fields.
Women's Studies at St. Thomas is part of the larger Twin Cities Women's and Gender Studies Collaborative (together with programs at Augsburg University, Hamline University, and St. Catherine University) and offers both a major and a minor. Most Women's Studies courses, beyond Foundations of Women’s Studies (WMST 205), Feminist Theory (WMST 327), and the Senior Seminar (WMST 480), are offered in another discipline. For example, BIOL 106: Women, Medicine, and Biology is listed as a Women's Studies course, and can be used to fulfill a core curriculum lab science requirement and a Women's Studies major or minor requirement. As an interdisciplinary degree, Women's Studies is easily combined with many other St. Thomas majors.