25 BEST BACHELOR’S DEGREES IN GENDER AND WOMEN’S STUDIES

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25 BEST BACHELOR’S DEGREES IN GENDER AND WOMEN’S STUDIES

As Gender and Women’s Studies is an undeniably interdisciplinary and multifaceted program, graduates are well-rounded candidates for not only a variety of career opportunities but graduate programs in many related disciplines. 

Earning an undergraduate degree in Gender and Women’s Studies is an exciting opportunity for those committed to the full examination of oppression, intersectionality, and social justice. Many universities that offer majors in Gender and Women’s Studies encompass Sexuality in this topic as well, whether formally in the title or only in offered courses.

As the intersection between gender and sexuality is always examined alongside other identities, course topics in all the programs ranked below also cover identity-based issues like race, class, ethnicity, culture, and more. Gender and Women’s Studies is also most often taught as an interdisciplinary discourse. In many of the following programs, students can take courses from other departments that are related to the wide-spread topics within Gender and Women’s Studies, such as History, Science, or English.

As Gender and Women’s Studies is an undeniably interdisciplinary and multifaceted program, graduates are well-rounded candidates for not only a variety of career opportunities but graduate programs in many related disciplines. Universities have seen their Gender and Women’s Studies students go onto employment, research, or higher education in law, education, public policy, social work, and many more. Earning an undergraduate degree in Gender and Women’s Studies is an interesting choice that will guarantee opportunities for years to come in today’s global society.

Selection Criteria

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  • Degree Investment Return (25%)
  • Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
  • Cost Value (25%)
  • Matriculation (10%)
  • Academic Success (15%)

No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself!

Here are the 25 Best Bachelor’s Degrees in Gender and Women’s Studies for 2020!
Rank School Location
1 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
2 Stanford University Stanford, CA
3 University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
4 Iowa State University Ames, IA
5 Duke University Durham, NC
6 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
7 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
8 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
9 San Diego State University San Diego, CA
10 University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
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  1. Harvard University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Harvard University's Bachelor of Arts in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality gives students the benefit of a small and passionate cohort, consisting of trained faculty and peers from all disciplinary backgrounds. The commitment to the interdisciplinary nature of WGS studies allows students to select concentration areas from a variety of discourses. In the past, students have taken courses in related departments like Religion, Statistics, English and American Literature, African and African-American Studies, and more. Course topics within the department include Black Radicalism, LGBT Life Stories, Psychology of the Gendered Body, and Feminist Theory as Critique.

  2. Stanford University
    Location

    Stanford, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Stanford University's Bachelor of Arts in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is a 12-course program consisting of work in theories, research methods, seminars, and electives. Students will take courses in topics like Sex and the Novel; The Marriage Plot; Men's Violence Against Women in Literature; Black Feminist Theory; and more. The major requirements are situated within the university's general education requirements; there are certain feminist-focused writing courses within the department that fulfill required writing courses. All students are required to complete a focus area, which may be in Art & Culture, Health, Global Studies, LGBT/Queer Studies, or Overseas Studies.

  3. University of California-Los Angeles
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from the University of California-Los Angeles provides students with tools in analysis, writing, qualitative research methods, and an understanding of social inequality through a historical and transnational lens. These tools work in conjunction with interdisciplinary coursework in Gender Studies, with topics like Pacific Island Diaspora, Sex Work, Latin American Women in Film, and Race, Gender and Punishment. Other courses are cross-listed with departments like Anthropology, Art History, English, and Education. The course of study is made up of four core courses, a research seminar, and seven courses to fulfill electives.

  4. Iowa State University
    Location

    Ames, IA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Iowa State University's Bachelor of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies is a cross-disciplinary program focused on the analysis of issues in relation to identities. Students will graduate versed in a variety of disciplines, all through feminist perspectives. The curriculum emphasizes the importance of critical thinking and the use of intellectual means to interrogate assumptions encouraged by various systems in society. Graduates from the program may go onto careers in counseling, education, human resources, law, politics, business, and more. Offered courses in the program may be cross-listed in other departments to promote the interdisciplinary nature of the field. Related departments that students may take courses from include religion, speech communication; health and human performance; and English.

  5. Duke University
    Location

    Durham, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Duke University's Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies studies identity as a complex social phenomenon. The curriculum focuses on the intersections between gender, race, sexuality, class, and nation, and the combination of these aspects of identity in research methods and analysis. The ten-course major is made up of six core courses and four electives, which may be chosen from other program offerings. Course topics within the GSF department include Money, Sex, Power; Feminist Activism; Interpreting Bodies: Identity and Beyond; Queer Theory; and more. Students may opt to take courses that fulfill one of three offered Clusters: Literature+Performance+Visuality, Global+Politics+Inequality, or STEM: Science+Technology+Environment+Medicine.

  6. University of Pennsylvania
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies offered by the University of Pennsylvania is designed interdisciplinary, allowing students to take courses from its home department and others across campus. This teaches students how to engage with feminist and queer theory through lenses informed by other related disciplines, and then place that theory into a greater context. With this interdisciplinary emphasis, students may design their own concentration area made up of five courses within another single field or department. Concentration areas have included Politics and Philosophy; History and English; Media and Communication; and more. Those committed to a multi-disciplinary understanding of the field are encouraged to further that concentration into a double major.

  7. Vanderbilt University
    Location

    Nashville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Vanderbilt University's Bachelor of Arts in Women's and Gender Studies builds off of interdisciplinary knowledge to teach students how to examine gender and sexuality as social constructs and historically variable components of culture. Students are encouraged to reexamine traditional beliefs and engage in contemporary research and thought. The curriculum is centered on bringing a critical perspective to gender and sexuality as well as other aspects of identity, such as race, ethnicity, class, ability, age, and nationality. Recent course topics have included Introduction to Critical Masculinity Studies; Transgender Lives in Literature and Film; Literary Lesbians; Women Who Kill; and Feminism and Film.

  8. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    Location

    Ann Arbor, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies from the University of Michigan provides students with an interdisciplinary understanding of women, gender, and sexuality, training them in comparative thinking and engagement with multicultural and global scholarship. The Women's Studies major offers many areas of focus: LGBTQ and Sexuality Studies; Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the US; Gender, Culture and Representation; and Gender in the Global Context. The 33-credit program is made up of seven required courses and completed through electives. Elective topics may be cross-listed in other departments to encourage the growth of necessary interdisciplinary lenses. Only 14 of the 33 credits must be completed in residence; students may then complete courses online.

  9. San Diego State University
    Location

    San Diego, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    San Diego State University's Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies offers students the chance to learn from award-winning faculty in a small and supportive department built off of an interdisciplinary curriculum. The program is set out to prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to create a more just and equitable society, using the knowledge and relevant tools to eliminate oppression based on gender, race, ethnicity, social class, age, culture, and more. The curriculum is grounded in feminist pedagogy and offers students the opportunity for internships, study abroad programs, research, and service learning. Course topics include Sex, Power, and Politics; Gender, Science and Technology; and Women in Literature.

  10. University of California-Berkeley
    Location

    Berkeley, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Women's Studies from the University of California-Berkeley focuses on the intersectional analysis of gender, women, and sexuality, using these sights of identity as a category for analysis. The curriculum begins with feminist theory and leads students to more advanced courses that call for critical reflection and analysis of contemporary thought and research. Topic areas of coursework and curricular focuses include feminist science studies, gender and work, gender and health, and queer visual culture. To declare the major once admitted to UC Berkeley, students must complete the single prerequisite course and have a GPA of 2.0 or better. There is an offered Honors program within the major.

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