Why Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies?


What is Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and why should I study it?

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is the interdisciplinary study of topics related to and affecting women, gender, and sexuality, focusing on how gender intersects with other forms of difference, including race, disability, ethnicity, class, age, and sexual orientation from local, global, historical and contemporary lenses. The minor offers students the opportunity to study multiple issues related to gender, such as masculinities, femininities, sexualities, theoretical foundations, literature, culture, and intersectionality.




As an interdisciplinary program, it draws from several disciplines, including:

Alaska Native studies









Political Science












... and addresses such issues as political participation, media representation, ethics and responsibility and health, disability, and well-being.



What can you do with a Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies minor?

Women's rights, human rights, gender equality, and issues around sexualities impact international policies, economies, health, and more. WGS offers personal and professional rewards for those passionate about feminism, LGBTQ+ studies, human rights, and building a more empathetic and equitable society. Undergraduates who take WGS classes become well-prepared to handle pressing issues in law, medicine, business, social work, education, and the arts and sciences.

Some careers women, gender & sexuality studies minors go on to pursue are...

... and more!


  Universal Skills

Students gain valuable knowledge about themselves and about the ways in which they can affect positive change in themselves and the world through engaging in and practicing communication, self-awareness, empathy, creativity and resilience.




Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at the 51




Jessica Searles“My time minoring in WGS has taught me a lot about myself as a queer woman, but also how I can better serve my LGBTQ+ kids and families in my work as a Forensic Interviewer.”Jessica Searles, '24, BA in Psychology with a minor in WGS



Psych class

Students can potentially earn their WGS minor totally online as the one required course for a WGS minor is offered asynchronously online, and many courses that fulfill a WGS minor are offered online through eCampus and are cross-listed with departments that have fully online degree programs.




Since 51 is an institutional member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) through the local Fairbanks AAUW branch, students have the opportunity to attend the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL), when AAUW invites hundreds of college women from around the country to Washington D.C. for three days of leadership training, inspiration and networking. Also, many WGS courses offer opportunities to work with nonprofits, community organizations, or projects like



How can I get involved around campus?

Because the Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies community at 51 is vibrant and diverse, you’ll find opportunities for mentorship and professional development outside the classroom as well.


Students study for their summer sessions biology course in the grass outside the Bunnell Buildng on a nice July afternoon. | 51 Photo by Todd Paris

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at 51 is available to you to study from anywhere, regardless of your location. Because of the small class sizes, faculty from diverse disciplines, and WGSS’ supportive home within the 51 College of Liberal Arts, you are assured of a phenomenal experience tailored to your interests and passions.