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Program Overview

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) program draws on the humanities, arts, social sciences, and the natural sciences to explore the broad range of intellectual questions concerning the social location of women and men and the ways in which gender and sexuality are embedded in and structure our everyday lives. Students are exposed to an ever-evolving body of knowledge that includes a focus on the intersection of race, class, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender.

The WGSS program offers an undergraduate minor, as well as a graduate certificate. The program’s faculty is composed of nearly 60 affiliated faculty from across 27 departments and programs among five colleges. We encourage students to explore our website to familiarize themselves with our course offerings, distinguished faculty, visiting scholars and postdoctoral fellowship programs, conferences, colloquia, and many cosponsored events.

For more information, read a message from Program Director Suzanna Walters or contact Professor Walters by visiting 351 Meserve Hall or emailing s.walters@northeastern.edu; or by contacting the WGSS program coordinator in 263 Holmes Hall or by phone at 617.373.4984 or email at wgss@northeastern.edu.


Program History

An interdisciplinary minor in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, the WGSS program was founded in 1982 as Women’s Studies. At this time, it was one of the only programs of its kind in the region. Northeastern Women’s Studies faculty also helped to found the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality in 1992.

The distinguished scholars who work in WGSS at Northeastern combine academic rigor and excellence with engaged work in the community, spearheading public projects and providing leadership as public intellectuals. Northeastern’s feminist faculty has been on the forefront of numerous major regional initiatives, beginning in the 1980s with the formation of the Boston Area Feminist Theory Colloquium, the region’s first series on Feminist Theory. That tradition continues today with the recent formation of the Forum on Feminist Thought, a collective of feminist academics dedicated to enhancing the interdisciplinary feminist work done on campus and in the greater Boston and New England areas.

In January of 2015, Northeastern’s WGSS program and College of Social Sciences and Humanities became the editorial home for the journal Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society


The WGSS Experience

WGSS minors and graduate students come from a variety of departments across the university, including Architecture, Behavioral Neuroscience, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Communications Studies, Criminal Justice, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, History, Human Services, International Affairs, Journalism, Linguistics, Management, Marine Biology, Marketing, Media & Screen Studies, Nursing, Pharmacy Studies, Physical Therapy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, and Theatre.

Students can expect to study a variety of topics from across traditional disciplines and are encouraged to examine the work happening at the interstices of these traditional fields. WGSS students will explore gender and sexuality in the global community by dipping into disciplines ranging throughout the social sciences, arts, humanities, and physical sciences. Studying WGSS will open up new ways of thinking, bringing gender and sexuality studies to bear on important social and intellectual questions.

Undergraduate co-op experiences have included experiences in the WGSS program office, at AIDS Action Committee, at the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), the Center for Women and Enterprise, the Family Equality Council, GLAD (Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders), the Justice Resource Institute, the MA Commission on the State of Women, Pathfinder International, Planned Parenthood, Queer Women of Color and Friends, and Rosie’s Place.