This is valuable input from our very own students who have experience in the department. To contact WGSS majors and minors, ask the department coordinator .

When thinking in terms of Academics as a first-year student you should:

  • Take a wide variety of classes in many different departments. Attend as many lectures and conferences as possible. Meet with your advisor often, even if it’s just to talk. Don’t get a job during the summer. Think about what you enjoyed reading and then follow your path.
  • Take introductory level classes.
  • Take a theory class, and occasionally talk to a professor that you like.
  • Read the course catalog to know the requirements for particular majors so that you can set your academic goals.
  • Try things out; don’t determine your focus too quickly. I came to Mac knowing that I was going to be a WGSS major and this helped me a lot, allowing me to get a jumpstart on my major, but it would have been nice to play around a bit.
  • Take a WGSS intro class; (that gets your juices flowing for engaging in feminist issues and the critical thinking encouraged by WGSS’s mission.)
  • Try to take at least one WGSS class in the areas you tend to avoid (science or social science) to meet distribution requirements early.
  • You only need one intro WGSS core course. Towards the end, doubling up on requirements may make your life stressful.
  • Stay calm and take classes that excite/inspire you.
  • Take a variety of classes – start with requirements.

When thinking in terms of Extra-Curricular activities as a first-year you should:

  • Find one thing that keeps you sane and do it well.
  • For specific WGSS-related activities, join feminist/queer organizations on campus – QU, FIA, STARSA, campus-sponsored events.
  • Be involved with groups and go to WGSS sponsored events.
  • Talk to older students.
  • Visit the Lealtad-Suzuki center and the Community Services office.
  • Try a variety of activities and clubs; then find a niche you can be involved with on any level for four years.
  • Join a cultural organization and explore parts of yourself or other people that are different.

When thinking in terms of Academics as a second-year student you should:

  • Find an advisor who really suits you and take a class from them.
  • Take a variety of WGSS classes in other departments.
  • Pay attention to needed credit requirements.
  • Take classes in other disciplines that connect.
  • Take some classes that focus on theory; you’re ready for it! Start thinking about constructing a major/minor plan and make connections with faculty members.
  • Talk to Sonita or Corie.
  • Declare, although you don’t have to decide until the end of this year, the earlier the better, especially if you plan to have more than one major.
  • Consider whether to start an honor project.
  • Take an intermediate class. Make sure you’re taking two WGSS classes each semester to leave time and space your senior year.
  • Start focusing on 2-3 topics you like. Find out about the opportunities related to your field.
  • Plan out your time and find a good work place. Start to become more involved with WGSS, by taking more courses or by incorporating WGSS topics into classes in other departments.
  • Think about studying abroad.
  • Try to find a related summer job.

When thinking in terms of Extra-Curricular activities as a second-year student you should:

  • Work a part-time job during the year and save money to travel in January or in the summer.
  • Volunteer or intern for credit, to help with the major.
  • Get some regular exercise.
  • Go to WGSS events. Find an organization to work with.
  • Try to talk to people who organize events. Consider joining committees or organizations. The WGSS steering committee is a great way to be involved in the department.
  • Volunteer off-campus.
  • Don’t try to do it all. Find a couple of things and stick to those. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Organize your time well.
  • Study abroad.
  • Take leadership roles in campus organizations. Participate actively in an activity that you enjoy.
  • Continue to be involved. Go to different events on and off campus.

When thinking in terms of Academics as a third-year student you should:

  • Have your major plan well designed.
  • Get an internship
  • Take an independent with a great professor about something you really love to study. (Use this research in your senior honor thesis.)
  • Keep taking one or two really challenging classes per semester.
  • Think/talk about the preliminary stages of your honors project.
  • Go abroad!! It really helps define you and your focus.
  • Take advanced WGSS classes. Finish your requirements. (You don’t want to miss an ideal senior class.)
  • Work on being more efficient. Make a schedule and stick to it. Do not procrastinate.
  • Start to think post-Macalester.

When thinking in terms of Extra-Curricular activities as a third-year student you should

  • Keep your job if you can. Enjoy one hobby or passion that has little to do with school/academics.
  • Work on the steering committee.
  • Keep an eye open for folks who might be interested in taking over leadership positions you have.
  • Get off campus.

When thinking in terms of Academics as a senior you should:

  • Take classes that you really love. Enjoy speakers and seminars.
  • “Make your mark” shape your department or the college.
  • Get on the ball with your honors project.
  • Think about a graduate school focus.
  • Take a senior seminar. Finish your major, and maybe pull together another one or a minor.
  • Do an internship: this department is all about linking theory and practice.
  • Try an independent project. Research something that puzzles you.

When thinking in terms of Extra-Curricular activities as a senior you should:

  • Spend quality time with the few people you really have. You don’t have time!
  • Participate in conferences.
  • Find a job.
  • Involve yourself with people that work in the field that interests you. Talk to younger students doing WGSS stuff and encourage them.
  • Work on the steering committee.
  • Take an active role assisting younger students in the department. Help steer the future of the department.
  • Do something that inspires you, and that you would consider continuing after graduation.
  • Revive something you mean to do.
  • Have fun!