Gender & Women's Studies

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Program Overview

Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) focuses on how our individual lives and social systems are structured by gender. You will examine beliefs we hold about race, class, gender, and heteronormativity, and explore how these assumptions shape lives, cultures, and knowledge.

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Why Enroll in Gender and Women's Studies at Inver Hills?

How and why are we who we are?

Explore the psychological and social construction of gendered identity, including LGBTQIA+ theory and social concerns. You’ll also examine the intersections of race, class, and gender.

Know your rights. Recognize the rights of others.

Learn about the historical and contemporary intersections of race, class, and gender in the U.S. Find out about the relationships between racially-based and gender-based movements for civil rights. You’ll also identify and analyze contemporary stereotypes regarding race, class, and gender.

Go global from a local perspective.

What are the political, economic, environmental, and cultural influences that shape the lives of women around the world? Learn why climate change is a major factor and examine conditions in the Global South. You’ll also investigate the distinction between worldwide issues and local issues by probing international commonalities and differences.

Where does femininity begin and masculinity end?

Here’s your chance to question key psychological, linguistic, and philosophical theories on the origins of masculinity and femininity as essential gendered characteristics. Spotlight current cultural assumptions about gender, masculinity, and femininity, and learn how LGBTQIA+ theory complicates these assumptions.

Embrace diversity and inclusion.

San Diego State College established the first women's studies department in 1970. Today, hundreds of liberal arts schools and research universities offer GWS degrees. Along with indispensable soft skills like communication, teamwork, critical thinking, decision-making, leadership, adaptability, and problem-solving, your GWS coursework will show you the meaning of inclusivity in an incredibly diverse world.

Expand your portfolio.

Earning your A.A. with Emphasis is not required to take GWS classes. You can add courses in this discipline to your academic palette to broaden your perspective and enhance your career options. All GWS courses transfer within the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC).

Build a bridge to your bachelor’s degree.

This A.A. with Emphasis degree gives you the credits you need to transfer with junior-year status to a baccalaureate program at a Minnesota State university. Your education at Inver Hills will be your golden gate to future academic and career success.

Gender & Women's Studies Career Paths

Get a rigorous, interdisciplinary education.

Your work toward your A.A. with GWS Emphasis will give you the skill range of the future. You will be challenged intellectually, emotionally, and culturally.

That friction will polish your critical-thinking, stress-management, writing, presentation, and interpersonal skills. When you graduate from Inver Hills, you will be equipped with exactly the qualities business, industry, government, academia, and nonprofits require in their workforce.

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