Gender and Women's Studies Programs

Welcome to Gender and Women's Studies  

We offer interdisciplinary programs with a range of courses for a major or minor or a graduate certificate in Gender and Women's Studies. 

We are open to undergraduate students from across the University, from the College of Arts and Sciences to Engineering and the School of Business.

Because gender and sexuality are fundamental to the ways men and women understand themselves, a major or minor in Gender and Women’s Studies can enhance practically any other field of study. It is a discipline that continually asks us to rethink history, culture and identity, and in the 21st Century it continues to transform scholarship and fundamental assumptions in all areas of the humanities, social and natural sciences, and the professions.

Read students' testimonials about the importance of Gender and Women's Studies to their college experience.

Check out our BLOG  or  FACEBOOK page to learn more about us and our current activities.

Upcoming Events

The Graduate Assistantship

The next deadline to apply for a Graduate Assistantship in Gender and Women’s Studies will be in the Spring of 2016.

The Assistantship has been created to attract to the Graduate Division of Liberal Arts and Sciences outstanding students committed to Gender and Women’s Studies and to recognize the strength of the Graduate Division’s faculty resources in Gender and Women’s Studies across the humanities and social sciences. Because the Gender and Women’s Studies program at Villanova University emphasizes the links between theory and practice, academic learning and its application, we expect the holder of the assistantship to be a knowledgeable and active participant in the Gender and Women’s Studies community.

The Gender and Women’s Studies Graduate Assistant will pursue a Masters in a department or program while providing twenty (20) hours per week of programmatic, administrative and office assistance to the undergraduate program in Gender and Women’s Studies. The Assistant will receive remission of tuition for all courses taken in the Graduate Division of Liberal Arts and Sciences up to the number of credits required for the completion of the Masters degree and a stipend per nine-month academic year. The stipend was $14,680 for the academic year 2015-2016.

Eligibility: All students who have applied and been accepted to eligible Masters programs may apply for the Assistantship. The Assistant must be a full-time student in good standing. During the academic year, the Assistant may not have a full-time job or any other assistantship or fellowship requiring a commitment of time.

Application Process: Applicants must apply directly to the Gender and Women’s Studies Assistantship Selection Committee any time after applying for admission to the Graduate School until March 1, 2014. The Selection Committee will only review applications submitted by candidates already admitted to the Graduate School. Graduate Directors or Chairs of individual departments and programs are also encouraged to identify outstanding applicants with demonstrated interest in and commitment to Women’s Studies and invite them to apply for the Assistantship.

Application Materials: “Using the online process available by clicking on the “Apply Now” button above, applicants must submit:”

1. a resumé

2. a single-spaced one page essay (about 500 words) discussing the intellectual, spiritual, social and political dimensions of your commitment to Gender and Women’s Studies. Applicants are encouraged to address the following questions. How does your proposed course of study engage Gender and Women’s Studies? How do you envision an on-going involvement in the Gender and Women’s Studies community and how is that related to your personal and professional goals?

3. contact information for a recommender who can submit a letter discussing the applicant’s interest in the field of Gender and Women’s Studies and his or her capacity for providing programmatic and administrative support.

Conditions for Renewal of Assistantship for the second year: The Assistant will normally retain the assistantship for two academic years. Renewal for the second year is contingent upon maintaining good academic standing within the M.A. program and the approval of the Director of Gender and Women’s Studies.

Questions? Contact current graduate assistant Jessica Otterbine at or GWS academic director Lisa Sewell at

Faculty Spotlight


Timothy McCall, the new co-director of Gender and Women’s Studies, is also Associate Professor of Art History in the History Department. Tim’s research centers on Italian Renaissance art, and on visual intersections of power and gender more broadly. Both Dr. McCall’s teaching and research address issues of gender, particularly masculinity, in addition to histories of fashion, material culture, and sexuality. While Dr. McCall researches fifteenth-century Italy, his teaching stretches widely, and all of his courses, in various ways, engage to some extent with issues of gender and sexuality, particularly as they relate to art and visual culture. Dr. McCall hopes to see you at GWS Events, and encourages students interested in gender and sexuality to take his course “Gender, Sexuality, and Visual Culture.”

Tim was a year-long fellow at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, in Florence. Together with Sean Roberts and Giancarlo Fiorenza, he co-edited the volume Visual Cultures of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe, published by Truman State University Press in 2013. Dr. McCall’s forthcoming book, Brilliant Bodies, investigates the clothing, adornment, and bodies of men in Renaissance Italy. The first published work from this project is a 2013 I Tatti Studies article which was named article of the month for Feminae, the Medieval Women and Gender index. Forthcoming projects include “Renaissance Fashion Matters,” a state of the field essay on Renaissance clothing and fashion for Renaissance Quarterly, and a co-authored essay (with Sean Roberts) exploring Renaissance materiality – “Raw Materials and Object Lessons” – in a forthcoming Routledge History of the Renaissance.

"Students in the GWS Integrating Seminar: Gender, Performance and Social Change show you why you should join GWS..."

apply now
* Change Major.pdf
Major Form

Contact Information

Gender and Women's Studies Program
Villanova University, SAC 488
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085


Phone: 610-519-3815

Lisa Sewell, Director of Academics 610-519-4646
Timothy McCall, Director of Programming 610-519-3897

Administrative/Events Assistant:
Joyce Harden

Graduate Assistant:
Jessica Otterbine


GWS is proud to participate in
the Safe Zone Program.