College of Liberal Arts
Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Women's Studies
Gender and Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary program that examines the social, cultural, and biological constructions of gender and sexuality. The program is founded on close collaboration between academic departments, allowing our students to work with methodologies that cross traditional academic disciplines.
In the spring of 2000, Armstrong State University approved the creation of an undergraduate minor in Women's Studies, renamed Gender and Women's Studies in 2004 to reflect the growing curricular and theoretical changes in the discipline. In the fall of 2005, a GWST track was added to the Master's of Arts in Liberal and Professional Studies, and in the fall of 2007, Armstrong began to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in Gender and Women's Studies.
The need for graduates with a background in the study of gender and women's issues is growing. Professionals must develop, assess and implement programs designed to address problems of violence against women, illiteracy and inadequate healthcare, among many others. These problems are often impacted by gender and racial or ethnic differences. Traditional academic disciplines sometimes address these issues though "adding-on" discipline-specific units or courses, but approaches to gender and diversity are now so complex and the body of gender-related research is so substantial that this kind of additive approach is no longer sufficient. A major in GWST addresses these societal and academic needs in a way that creates a breadth of focus not available in many traditional undergraduate degrees.
These attributes make GWST students valuable candidates for jobs in many fields. Some of the potential career options for these students include those in the areas of the arts, business, social work and psychology, media, politics and law, sports, education and health care.
In the last five years, more than 800 students, faculty and community members have registered for, delivered papers in and attended sessions at annual conferences hosted by Armstrong's GWST program. Past speakers have included author Grace Paley and Georgia's former Secretary of State, Cathy Cox. These conferences allow both students and faculty to showcase their scholarship. In addition to the academic benefits of our conferences, they also offer opportunities for community outreach and activism.
Course of Study
This degree offers a sustained course of study that draws upon various perspectives of human experience in areas as diverse as literature, history, art, political science, sociology and psychology. The core of the degree includes three introductory level GWST courses, a foreign language requirement and several upper-level courses including Feminist Theory and History of American Women. GWST students are required to take upper-level classes in both the Arts and Humanities and in the Social/Behavioral Sciences and Health Professions. Students also complete a Junior/Senior Seminar and a separate minor field of study. The program of study is designed to offer a well-rounded undergraduate education alone, or function as a double major with many of the university's other areas of study.