Decorative image of intersecting lines

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

It all starts here: gender & sexuality intersect with nation, race, class, religion, and dis/ability.

Featured image is created by Ruben Schneiderman.

Not just a field of study, a transformation in how you see yourselves and the world

Have you thought about how power is disproportionately assigned in society? How people are valued and judged based on gender, sexual orientation, sexuality, indigeneity, race, religion, age, class? You could call this field “underdog studies” because we focus on just that: recognizing and studying inequality and injustice that under-represented identities experience, and then working to bring equity and justice for all.

Students at Macalester tell us their very first course in WGSS transforms everything, from the way they look at music videos to the way they think about politics. Here, you’ll learn to evaluate more analytically what you read, hear, see, and believe. If your goal is to make your employers more fair-minded, laws more just, healthcare more accessible, in short, if you want to work to make the world a better place–Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies is a good place to start.

Why Macalester? A door that opens onto a wider world.

Our proximity to a thriving metropolitan area gives you so many opportunities to link theory to practice and engage with the community. Students who major in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies volunteer at homeless and domestic violence shelters, tutor high school students, hold internships with countless organizations like Planned Parenthood, OutFront Minnesota, and in the offices of lawyers and lawmakers. By the way, these lawmakers were first in the nation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1993 and challenged marriage laws prohibiting same-sex marriage back in, yes, 1973.

Life after Macalester

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in the cities


Fortune 500 companies nearby, seeking interns with an understanding of gender and race issues..


Internship sites near campus, including non-profit organizations like Tubman, Planned Parenthood, Twin Cities Pride, NAMI and Avenues for Youth.

WGSS has hosted international conferences, the National Organization for Women, and helped in local independent feminist theater companies such as Theatre Unbound.

Join our community

  • The Feminisms Today Series—an annual showcase of speakers on Neoliberalism, Disability, Transsexuality, Religion, and Immigration
  • WGSS student gatherings—join in peer-to-peer conversations. Bring your questions and your own experiences, we’ll bring the snacks
  • Women’s History Month—join us all March long as we dance, participate in panels, discussions and speaker forums, enjoy poetry readings…and, of course, meals together
  • Gender and Sexuality Commons—a resource for information on gender and sexuality issues. We are undoing binary definitions to ensure that all feel welcome and accepted
  • Feminists in Action/Students Against Rape and Sexual Assault—from conversations about consent to locker room behavior, it’s all about preventing sexual violence
  • Exhibitions and Workshops—unlock new understanding of local and world events and trends: for example, Women of Color and Diaspora
Four students and Professor Sonita Sarker
Professor Sarker with 2020 WGSS seniors.
Links for current students and community