Hero Image of 6 students listening attentively in a class with the GW Columbian College seal and a banner for the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program.


A global Approach to Gender and Sexuality    
    Challenging inequity through cross-disciplinary,
intersectional scholarship


Who We Are

a group of GW Women's Gender Sexuality Studies students discussing in a circle in class


The first graduate program in women’s studies in the United States, the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Program has been a leader in the field since 1972. Known for its interdisciplinary, innovative approach, the program bridges the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences through the study of topics relating to gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity and nationality.

Students analyze feminist theory and cross-cultural perspectives, examine historical trends and religious practices, explore policy and power structures and develop theories and methods for challenging inequality and re-imagining social justice. Beyond the classroom, students have access to unique networking events, research experiences and internship opportunities — experiences that can only be found in the nation's capital.


Paul Seltzer, BA '13, WGSS

Paul Seltzer

BA '13

"Through rigorous classes, brilliant faculty and supportive community, I learned not only how to critique the world around me as a feminist, but also how to implement change. I have used the knowledge I gained in WGSS every day of my life since graduation."

Our Highlights

WGSS Alumni Speaker Series Envisioning Change Susan Markath, Trey Johnston, Gina Chirillo

Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Public Policy Eiko Strader

Research on Immigrants Named Nation's Top Dissertation

A socioeconomic study on earning inequality by Eiko Strader, a professor of women's, gender, and sexuality studies and public policy, earned her the 2018 Distinguished Dissertation Award — the Council of Graduate Schools’ top honor for scholarly excellence.

Kavita Daiya, associate professor of English and director of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

WGSS Director Organized Impromptu #MeToo Teach-in

In the wake of the Justice Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings that distressed many members of the campus community, WGSS Program Director Kavita Daiya helped organize an impromptu “teach-in” outside her office. Faculty and students gathered to share their frustrations, hopes and next steps for the #MeToo movement.

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