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What can you do with a Women and Gender Studies Major?

Students who earn undergraduate degrees in Women and Gender Studies (WGS) pursue diverse employment and educational goals after graduation. Our majors and minors have become juvenile probation officers, professors of criminal justice, development managers for non-profit organizations, direct service workers at domestic violence/abuse shelters, directors of admissions and marketing, human resource managers, counselors/therapists, supervisors in a range of industries, contract attorneys, and counsels for private firms. As you can see, the options and opportunities are as limitless as your imagination and drive!

The WGS program provides students with all the benefits of a liberal arts degree. A liberal arts education emphasizes: critical, independent, and mature thinking, demonstrating to potential employers that you have the confidence, skills, intelligence, and maturity to make excellent decisions; that you are well-rounded, having studied a wide variety of topics rather than one narrow skill area; and that you are able to think more globally than many other job applicants. Managers often prefer liberal arts majors because they are better at organizing material, writing well, and making oral presentations.  Moreover, a WGS major equips you with significant practical advantages. For example, as more women work and the workplace becomes more diverse, business and corporations find the need for more knowledge of, and sensitivity to, issues of diversity, such as sexual harassment, issues of race, flex-time and parental leave, pay equity, and equal employment opportunities.  The development of women's agencies and organizations is spurring demand for graduates with specializations in WGS studies. There is a growing demand in the professions of law, medicine, social work, teaching, counseling, and government service for expertise on gender and diversity issues. Similarly, gender specialists are increasingly being used as consultants in industry, higher education, insurance companies, and personnel firms. Pursue your passion and take advantage of this special positioning in the marketplace!

  • Affirmative Action Coordinator
  • Business Manager
  • Magazine Publisher or Editor
  • Career Counselor
  • Development Officer
  • Employee Relations Manager
  • Entrepreneur
  • Marketing Director
  • Union Organizer
  • Public Affairs Specialist
  • Technical Writer
  • Event Planning
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Publicist
  • Reporter
  • Advertising Director
  • Community Affairs Specialist
  • Non-profit Management
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Governmental Relations
  • Political Campaign Director
  • Film Producer
  • Speech Writer
  • Legislator
  • Legislative aide
  • Census worker
  • Consultant/researcher
  • Human Rights Worker
  • Political Campaign Director
  • City Manager
  • Court Administration
  • Lobbyist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Civil Service Officer
  • Veterans Employment Program
  • Disability Accommodation Services
  • U.S. Intelligence
  • Ambassador
  • Advocacy groups
  • Charities/administration
  • Community organizer
  • Consultant
  • Diversity and equity officer
  • Health care
  • Human rights organizations
  • Interviewer
  • Juvenile probation officer
  • Market research
  • Public opinion polls
  • Population analyst
  • Youth, elderly and social services*
*Advanced degree or training may be required
Graduates of the Women and Gender Studies Program possess many important skills useful in a variety of professions. These abilities include critical thinking and analysis, writing clearly and thoughtfully, gathering and utilizing information to solve problems, developing ideas through careful observation and with sensitivity to the relationships among sexism, racism, classism and homophobia/heterosexism. This interdisciplinary emphasis prepares students well for many graduate programs as well as many professions.

Communication Skills
  • Interviewing
  • Writing & publishing
  • Interpersonal nuance
  • Informing & explaining (conveying ideas)
  • Understanding of human relations and social processes
  • Adept observation of people, data, problems
  • Public speaking skills
  • Intercultural communication skills
Project Management Skills
  • Project inception and development
  • Project Implementation
  • Translating theory into practice
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Evaluating outcomes
  • Strategic planning
Leadership Skills
  • Decision-making
  • Planning, designing, and implementing projects
  • Organizing ideas, materials, and people
  • Persuading and motivating action
  • Delegating tasks
  • Listening skills
  • Accepting responsibility
  • Perseverance and Initiative
  • Assertiveness
  • Compassion and integrity
  • Intercultural and interpersonal insight
  • Critical thinking
  • Information gathering and appraisal
  • Problem framing and analysis
  • Organizing ideas and materials
  • Reviewing, evaluation, synthesizing
  • Knowledge of research methods
  • Writing and editing skills
  • Imagination and creativity

Graduate School Opportunities

Some of our students decide to pursue a M.A. or a Ph.D. in Women and Gender Studies, Feminist Studies, Transgender Studies, or in a number of other relevant fields. If you choose this exciting route, be sure to research schools and programs, fully understand the various application processes, and decide when and where to apply. Your capstone research project should assist you in impressing potential programs. If you are considering graduate school, you may wish to connect with relevant educational associations, such as the National Women's Studies Association, or professional organizations, such as the National Council of Women's Organizations.

Women and Gender Studies

Varner Hall, Room 217
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2154