Skip to main content

About Us


The field of Gender and Women’s Studies encourages critical thinking about gender difference and sexuality at local, national, and global levels. The GWS program challenges students to engage with the discipline through courses and programming that challenge sex-biased generalizations and stereotypes. We provide alternatives for thinking about the problems of the world and the contributions of its people. We also foster student-centered learning and provide resources to students, faculty, and staff at Villanova University.

Our curriculum stresses the exploration of both theoretical and practical concepts of power, as applied to gender and sexuality and to all forms of oppression through a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approach. Honoring the social, as well as the intellectual traditions of the discipline, our courses, which can be found in departments across the university, draw on feminist models of collaborative learning and value the knowledge and authority that students as well as teachers bring to the classroom.

Across the GWS curriculum, students experience the dynamic process of integrating the quest for knowledge with personal experience, through courses that give them a voice, a sense of community, and an invitation to work for social change.

What is Gender & Women's Studies? 

Empowers students by developing the skills needed to reason and argue competently, thus giving them a voice and sense of identity to work for change

Identifies gender and sexuality as fundamental to the ways that men and women understand themselves

Focuses on the position of women and men and causes us to rethink history and culture

Examines human sexualities within their historical constructs and changing societal norms

Analyzes the implications of gender roles in the past and present

Considers social and cultural consequences for both women and men of gender divisions and sex-role restrictions

Addresses the history and achievements of women



Contact Information

Travis Foster, PhD
Director of Academics

Melissa Hodges, PhD
Director of Programming

Em Friedman
Graduate Assistant

Office: SAC 077