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Mission of the Department

The mission of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Florida is feminist education, research, and practice.

We promote social justice by engaging students in the discovery and production of knowledge that emerges from feminist perspectives on culture and society.

We teach students to use the analytic skills that emerge from engaging the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, ability, and nation in order to promote responsible citizenship in a diverse transnational environment.

We expose limits in traditional higher education caused by excluding women and other marginalized groups and create knowledge that is transformative and inclusive. We aim for knowledge that will better all people’s lives, not just the lives of a few.

We connect our work as academics with the social, political, and economic world outside the university to educate our students about social inequalities that result from sexism, heterosexism and homophobia, racism, classism, able-ism, and ethnocentrism. We link knowledge, research, teaching, and activism.

We seek to empower students through a feminist critique of social, cultural, and institutional structures that enables them to think more critically about their own lives and that inspires them to work as active citizens for social change.

What is Women's Studies?

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Florida follows the mission of the National Women’s Studies Association and is an institutional member of that body.

“NWSA is committed to support and promote feminist teaching, research, and professional and community service at the pre-K through post-secondary levels. Integral to this commitment is understanding the political ramifications in our teaching, research and service.” For more information, please visit their website.

WGS Academic Programs

Today, the USF Department of Women's and Gender Studies plays a vital role in the undergraduate General Education curriculum. We offer Women’s and Gender Studies as a primary and secondary major as well as a minor, and we now offer a minor in Queer and Sexuality Studies as well. In addition to the MA degree in Women's and Gender Studies, we also offer a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies.

We are one of the three master's degree-granting WGS programs in the State of Florida. The USF Department of Women's and Gender Studies also offers a graduate certificate for USF graduate students in other degree programs.