Loyola University Chicago

Women's Studies and Gender Studies

Our Program and its Outcomes

Curious, Creative, and Transformative

The Graduate Programs in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies draw from a variety of departments and programs on campus to analyze how knowledge is shaped by power (especially around the intersecting axes of gender, sexuality, and race) and to create new pathways for promoting social justice.  The WSGS community at Loyola is broadly interdisciplinary; culturally and intellectually diverse; tight-knit and supportive; politically and socially engaged; and committed to open-ended critique, inquiry, and invention.  It is also an intimate community where students build strong bonds with each other and with their faculty. 

In the MA in WSGS, the dual MA/MSW in WSGS and Social Work, and the dual MA/MA in WSGS and Theology, our students engage in traditional disciplinary research projects as well as creative practica and community-based learning.  Our curriculum rests on foundational courses in the History of Feminist Thought, Feminist Research Methodologies, the diversity of Global Feminisms, and Queer Theory.  From there, students choose their own electives (offered from a variety of departments, including English, Fine Arts, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Policy, Social Work, Sociology, and Theology) and chart their own paths of discovery, knowledge formation, and professional work.  Our location in Chicago provides our students with access to a diversity of cultural events, non-profit and advocacy organizations, and archives for conventional and unconventional research. 

What students do in our program:

  • Focus on the value and different understandings of gender, sexuality, race, class, and other intersecting identifications
  • Study structures and histories of inequity, both local and global
  • Engage and develop strategies for using WSGS to enact social justice
  • Summon resources from a variety of disciplines and practice a variety of ways of forming and circulating new knowledge
  • Analyze texts with both skepticism and sensitivity to context
  • Articulate arguments with an awareness of one’s own standpoint
  • Conduct independent research, evaluate sources, and write with purpose
  • Listen to others actively, bear witness to others’ experience, and process unfamiliar ideas
  • Work closely with each other and faculty to share our different strengths and different perspectives

Sample alumni career pathways:

  • Direct service to women, youth, and LGBTQ populations through violence prevention, counseling centers, and women’s health centers
  • Non-profit advocacy and administration
  • Public policy
  • Publication and New Media
  • Teaching at secondary and university levels
  • Student services
  • Fine Arts
  • PhD programs in WGS and related fields (Anthropology, Theology, etc.)
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Library Science