There is a common reason why many people would rather not study or participate in discussions on gender studies–they believe that gender is all about women. Wrong!
Gender studies are a relatively new academic field that mainly explores ideas around gendered representations and gender identity. The society has fixed assumptions and standards to validate both feminine and masculine identities. This degree is meant to open, sharpen, and improve your abilities in various fields.
The gender and Women’s studies are an undeniably multifaceted and interdisciplinary program that nurtures well-rounded candidates for a wide range of career opportunities and graduate programs in other related disciplines. It blends perfectly with natural sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences as it tries to examine the identity, value, and experiences of a woman.
Many students opt for this degree because it is highly marketable and vastly applicable. We all want to show our employers that we developed creative and critical thinking as well as good research skills as undergraduates, don’t we? This giant comes with indispensable cultural relevance that is highly marketable and widely applicable.
By now, you must have already made up your mind about studying this massive subject, and your biggest worry should be where you will enroll for a gender studies degree. If that is your problem, consider it sorted, because we will take you through some of the best universities to study gender studies.
The Best Gender Studies Degree Programs in 2020
1. Harvard University
As you would expect, Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university established even before the US became a big country. Havard offers a bachelor of Arts in Women Gender and Sexuality studies, led by a team of world-renowned scholars and professors. Havard’s exceptional reputation ensures that every student seeking broader education gets outstanding results. The students are well distributed among faculty, which means every student gets individualized instruction and personalized teaching. The program includes classes such as Women, Global Feminism, Beyond the Sound Bite, Gender, Sexuality, and the psychology of gendered bodies. Students can choose to go for a thesis, and the program is pretty flexible that students can double-major.
Graduation rate: 97.3%
Location: Cambridge, MA
2. Pomona College
Pomona college is a private liberal college located in the diverse Claremont, California. It is also home to 1670 close-knit students who are passionate about bringing a difference in the world. The student to faculty ratio is 8:1, allowing students to get personalized attention and work closely with professors and peers alike based on what they are pursuing. A Pomona college allows you to choose from 48 majors that include Gender and Women’s Studies. The program offers two different types of majors; one focuses on feminist interdisciplinary scholarship. The second offers extra flexibility by bringing feminist studies into dialogue with other disciplines like sciences, economics, or religious studies, allowing students who want to double major to do so. The program is also designed to explore and challenge the general assumptions about Gender roles, women, and sexuality. The classes include Disability Studies: Intersections, Foundations & Future; Queer of Color Critique: Literature and Theory; and Biopolitics: capitalism, Affect, and Sex.
Graduation rate: 97%
Location: Cleremont, CA
3. Dartmouth College
Another American college that was established during the colonial time is Dartmouth college, which was founded in 1796. Today, it is considered an Ivy League university and ranks among the world’s best higher learning institutions. The compact space serves 6,500 students with a mission of preparing them for responsible and lifetime leadership. Dartmouth offers majors in gender and Women studies, which is overseen by a focused and dedicated faculty who are ready to handle the discipline in various ways. The program comes with nine additional courses on top of a prerequisite. When you enroll in a gender studies degree in this school, you will be required to have one concentration. You are also trained and empowered to structure a personalized focus in consultation with advisors. Some of the classes that students can choose from include Intersectionality, Gender and Judaism, Gender Topics in Native American Life, and Hashtag Activism and our Lives.
Graduation rate: 96.4%
Location: Hanover, NH
4. University of Pennsylvania
Another private Ivy League research institution is the University of Pennsylvania. The school was founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin as one of the nine colonial colleges in the nation. With an undergraduate population of 20,000, it is consistently ranked among the top 10 universities across the nation. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission of Higher Education. Students who wish to take gender studies degree programs have four options: to enroll in individual courses for elective credit, choose a major or minor, double major, or take part in dual degree programs. With an acceptance rate of 9%, this university is highly competitive and emphasizes on interdisciplinary education, which operates through the double degree programs, research centers, and a unified campus. The main concentration is around Feminist Studies, LGBTQ Studies, Health and Disability, Sexuality Studies, and Global Gender. The program is designed to provide students with options as there are three required courses and nine additional courses in 4 different concentrations.
Graduation rate: 95.2%
Location: Philadelphia, PA
5. Duke University
Located in the serene Durham, North Carolina, Duke University is a prestigious private university with a world-class faculty. The school is widely known for its vibrant campus culture, and recently, it was ranked among the top 10 universities nationwide. Students are required to live on campus for the first three years, where they have access to various activities, traditions, and over 400 organizations. Among the available degree programs are gender sexuality and feminist studies. It focuses on exploring gender identities, relations, practices, theories, and institutions. Students can examine the historical, social, and psychological forces related to gender. They develop their research skills and critical thinking that can only apply to all aspects of their college, career, and life. The primary requirements include four core courses, two required courses, and four electives.
Graduation rate: 94.5%
Location: Durham, NC
6. Bowdoin College
Bowdoin College is a private liberal arts college located in Brunswick, Maine. The school was established in 1794 and houses 1 805 students. Since its inception, the school strives to develop a tradition of empathy, diversity, and inclusion. The Facility offers grants in their student aid packages along with need-blind admission. You can study A Bachelor of Arts in Gender, sexuality, and Women’s studies at Bowdoin, which consists of nine courses, three of which are mandatory. The program mainly draws on humanities and social sciences to create a well-rounded and critically thinking class.
Graduation rate: 94.5
Location: Brunswick, ME
7. Middlebury College
Middlebury College was founded in 1800 as a small community college in Middlebury, Vermont. The school is surrounded by natural beauty with vast green mountains to the east. The school currently enrolled over 3,000 students who can choose from over 850 courses in 44 majors, including gender studies. The program is designed to explore how social power is gendered and how it affects the lives of men and women across the globe. There is also an emphasis on how these gendered ideologies are related to class, race, ability, geography, and other identity forms. Since these topics’ discourse is interdisciplinary, students may choose to take courses in social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. The ten-course program only has five core courses to enable students to focus on topics that best fit their perspectives, ambitions, and research. Learners also build a comprehensive and robust understanding of how Feminism has grown from historical movements fueled by traditional thoughts.
Graduation rate: 94.1%
Location: Middlebury, VT
8. Stanford University
Stanford University offers a 12-course program consisting of research methods, electives, seminars, and theories. Students can take courses in topics like the Marriage Plot, Sex, and the Novel, Black Feminist, Mens’s violence against women in Literature, and many more. With over 7,000 students and a student to faculty ratio of 4:1, students enjoy personalized learning and support. They are allowed to build their course of study based on their interest and may integrate a thesis through the honors program. If you wish, you can combine the majors if you’re interested in pursuing a double major. Apart from being a prestigious university across the world, Stanford has made several ranks from the global academic measures to standard national. The alumni and faculty comprises of Pulitzer prize winners, Nobel prize laureates, Turing Award Winners, MacArthur fellows, and many more.
Graduation rate: 94%
Location: Stanford, CA
9. Yale University
Yale University is an Ivy League University serving the New Haven community and the world at large. The 300-year-old Yale is rooted in tradition but has an open eye for innovation and making the world a better place for future generations. Students enjoy the scholarly and cultural resources of a big university as well as the feel of a small school. Gender studies are among the majors offered by the school where students complete core courses, write senior essays, and develop an area of concentration. They are required to take 12 courses for the gender studies degree, including a junior year research seminar and courses in methodology. The senior year also requires some research and writing components in the form of a thesis. The program’s electives include Theory and Politics of Sexual Consent, Sex and Gender in the Black Diaspora, and Asian and American Women and Gender. As the field demands it, the program promotes transnational, interdisciplinary, and intersectional relationships. Some of the recent concentration areas include Transnational feminist practices, Literature and queer aesthetics, Women’s health, AIDS health policies, and many more.
Graduation rate: 93.7%
Location: New Haven, CT
10. Northwestern University
Serving over 8,000 undergraduates and offering over 120 undergraduate degrees, Northwestern University is considered one of the best schools in the Midwest. The school’s bachelor of Arts in Gender and Sexuality studies is an interdisciplinary program drawn from over 20 departments across the campus. Students can either minor or major in Women, Gender, and Sexuality study, taking classes that put heavy emphasis on queer, feminist, Trans, and other ways of identifying specific genders and sex. They cover history, Practical and theory of Feminism, gender, sexuality, and women studies from the first year to potential graduate-level courses. Eligible students are awarded, and rewards are given to both academic insight and leadership of its recipients. The curriculum emphasizes the importance of putting sexuality and gender in the domestic and global context, using the available research tools from across different disciplines to reach targeted environments.
Graduation rate: 93.5%
Location: Evanston, IL
11. Amherst College
The Amherst college is a private liberal art university housing 1 849 students and offering more than 850 courses. The school was established in 1821 and had been serving Amherst and the surrounding communities with a supportive faculty and conducive learning environment. Amherst is also known to have the most comprehensive financial aid programs than any other institution in the state. The gender studies degree offered includes nine courses, three of which are a requirement. Students also have the option to either develop a portfolio of work or complete a thesis from the degree program, which must be submitted during the senior year. They explore a wide range of queer thought and feminist in a range of global and social contexts. The classes in the program include Rethinking Pocahontas: Indigenous Studies and Introduction to the Native American; law gender and technology; and On Display: Race and Reproduction in Film and Media.
Graduation rate: 93.5
Location: Amherst, MA
12. Vanderbilt University
Commonly known as “Harvard of the South,” Vanderbilt University is another private research university located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, which was established during the colonial era in 1873. The school is widely known for its exceptional performance in academics and reliable financial programs. Vanderbilt currently serves 12, 000 students. The school offers a Bachelor of Arts in women’s and Gender studies that build off interdisciplinary knowledge to train students on examining gender and sexuality as historically variable components of culture. Students are encouraged to focus on traditional beliefs and energy in contemporary thinking and research. Vanderbilt’s curriculum is primarily meant to bring a critical perspective to sexuality, gender, and other identity perspectives such as ethnicity, race, age, nationality, class, and ability. Course topics include Transgender Lives in Literature and Film, Introduction to Critical Masculinity, Literally Lesbians, Feminism, and Film and Women who kill. Additionally, students who have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and 3.3 GPA can also join the Honors program that allows students to delve deeper into the field. Thesis choice can be pursued in various disciplinary avenues, providing the student with interdisciplinarity and flexibility.
Graduation rate: 92.3%
Location: Nashville, TN
13. University of California- Los Angeles
Established in 1919, The University of California is a significant public research institution that is part of the state’s ten-campus university system. It is one of the brightest schools in the US, and that’s probably why it receives a higher number of applicants than many other schools in the nation. The school enrolls over 45,000 students and offers more than 125 majors, including gender studies. The UCLA gender studies major mainly focuses on understanding analytical skills, qualitative research methods, writing, and social inequalities. Courses integrate feminist pedagogical approaches and faculty research. Students studying bachelors of arts can write essays, conduct research, and give oral presentations in the field of women’s gender and sexuality.
Graduation rate: 91.9%
Location: Los Angeles, CA
14. University of California-Berkeley
The University of California in Berkeley is another vast public research institution that was founded in 1868. The school serves over 40 000 students and has been ranked no.1 on several occasions for its exceptional performance. It encourages curiosity, innovation, critical thinking, and exploration. The Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Women’s studies consists of ten courses, five of which are electives. Some of the courses are taught by famous faculty such as Sexuality, Gender, and Race in Global Political Issues; Queer Theories; Activist Practices and Health, Gender, Nation, and Race. The program offers an excellent introduction to feminist theory and other advanced courses that draw on feminist research, reflection, and critical analysis. Students can explore and apply methods from humanities and social sciences to the Gender study while receiving personalized attention by faculty.
Graduation rate: 91.9%
Location: Berkeley, CA
15. University of Michigan–AnnArbor
The University of Michigan is a 20-year-old University that is home to more than 46 000 students. The school offers 275-degree programs, including gender studies, and is considered one of the world’s top research centers. It is also among the top public universities in the US. If you are looking for a warm environment that offers a major in women’s studies, the University of Michigan is the best place to be. In fact, the Women’s studies department is one of the oldest, which means that the program only draws on the best scholarship in women’s gender and sexuality to provide students with comprehensive knowledge in the field. The women’s Studies majorly focuses on the use of interdisciplinary methods while offering a thorough understanding of scholarships in women, gender, and sexuality—the course work involves examining both practical and theoretical approaches to feminist thinking, global and multicultural nature. The 11-course includes a practicum requirement to ensure that students have hands-on training in community service and advocacy. The Women’s gender studies focuses on areas such as Race, Gender, Ethnicity in the US, Sexuality Studies, LGBTQ, Gender in the Global Context, and Culture & Representation.
Graduation rate: 91.2%
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
16. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina is not exactly in the Ivy League category, but many people consider it an Ivy league due to its quality of education and performance. The flagship of the 17-campus University of the North Carolina System was founded in 1797 as the nation’s first public university. Currently, the school is home to over 30 000 students and maintains a student-faculty ratio of 13:1. It is well known for its service, outreach, innovation, and accessibility. The Bachelor of Arts in Women’s and gender studies at the University of Carolina exposes students to scholarships on feminist theory and aids the contributions of feminist movements and women in historical and cultural contexts. Students can also complete courses in various interdisciplinary perspectives, theoretical foundations, and the practice of women and gender studies. They are required to complete a supervised internship program, which provides hands-on experience in organizations concerned with gender and women issues.
Graduation rate: 91.1%
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
17. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Another giant of a university is the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The 172-year-old big ten public research university enrolls over 44,000 students and has a place for gender studies students. The school offers more than 900- courses and over 201 undergraduate majors, including Bachelor in Gender and Women’s Studies. The degree program in Gender & Women’s studies includes ten courses and keeps the field as a whole; the program draws a variety of methodologies and disciplines. Approaches to knowledge are humanities, social sciences, Biological Sciences, theory, and health sciences. Students are required to complete a senior honors thesis or capstone seminar. To join this program, you must score well on one of the three 100 level courses–with a B or higher. You can take the required courses and courses in Sexuality, Race/ Ethnicity, and Disability & embodiment. More advanced studies in the program include Visualizing Bodies, Transgender Studies, and Women’s International Human Rights. Students also enjoy regular visits from scholars and a center for research on Gender and Women.
Graduation rate: 84.8%
Location: Madison, WI
18. San Diego State University
Serving over 36,00 students, San Diego University is a vast public research institution established in 1897. The school offers a world-class education system that prepares students for the global future. It has a high graduation rate, which makes it rank higher than most universities of its level. San Diego is also known for engagement, diversity & inclusion as well as entrepreneurship. It is home to the oldest women’s studies program and offers a Bachelor of Arts in Women Studies. The degree program aims to nurture activists and scholars who are skilled and passionate in engaging a broader culture to foster a fair and just society. The degree comes with 11 courses, four of which are mandatory. The remaining seven are divided into two groups of elective courses and provide classes like Women’s Work, Empowerment and Oppression, Women, Development, and Global Economy, among others. The program is led by a supportive and encouraging award-winning faculty who also focuses on teaching interdisciplinary curriculum using innovative teaching methods. As a student, you are taught how to explore, analyze, and challenge various forms of oppression, understand both local and international experiences of women, and bridge the gap created between action and theory.
Graduation rate: 83.1%
Location: San Diego, CA
19. Iowa State University
Iowa state university is the largest public research university in Ames, Iowa. With an enrollment of 36,000 students, the school’s aim is to make Iowa and the entire world a better place. The student-centered university offers students access to 100 majors, including women and gender studies. Generally, the Bachelor of Arts is the degree, but students interested in the BS have to complete additional 12 credits in mathematics and sciences beyond the required 34 credits for the major. The gender studies degree at Iowa University focuses on the analysis of problems in relation to identity. When you enroll for this degree, you will graduate versed in a number of disciplines, all through feminist perspectives. The curriculum also emphasizes the value of using intellectual means and critical thinking to interrogate assumptions encouraged by social systems. An Iowa state university graduate year program exposes you to a wide range of careers such as education, counseling, law, business, politics, and human resources.
Graduation rate: 74.6
Location: Ames, IA
20. Ohio University-Main Campus
Located in the beautiful Athens is Ohio’s first university–Ohio University. It was founded in 1787 with the aim of providing a student-focused learning community to enable students to reach their maximum potential and become global leaders. Students can choose from 250 rigorous and well-performing academic programs like gender studies. This mid-sized public research university offers a certificate in LGBTQIA studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Gender and Sexuality studies. As a gender studies student at Ohio University, you will enjoy a wide variety of course offerings from various disciplines. The degree consists of ten courses with mandatory and elective courses. From the 17 departments, you have over 70 options to choose from. The program prepares students for careers in law, management, government agencies, non-profit organizations, medical centers, public relations, research, youth and family agencies, counseling, women’s service organizations, journalism entities, and social work.
Graduation rate: 62.3%
Location: Athens, OH
Our ranking process
This degree program list was created drawing from the best universities and colleges in the country, offering gender studies degree programs. Each school was evaluated and ranked based on key aspects such as faculty distribution and performance, flexibility, the success of the graduates in the field, and the overall quality of the program.
We know that finding a school that fits your specific needs is not easy; that’s why we conduct thorough research and develop reliable, trustworthy, and helpful information. Whether you are looking for a school near you, a specific course, degree requirements, student success, or online programs, we have you in mind. For more comprehensive information about our ranking process, please visit our Methodology page.
If you feel that this list should be amended or your school should have featured in the best degree programs for gender studies, feel free to contact us. We are always working on ensuring that students find all the information they need to make an informed choice for higher learning.