Knowledge for Equality

Examine the structural inequalities and power imbalances that shape our social lives through the lens of race, gender, social class, age, sexuality, bodily ability and other interconnected forms of social difference in an area of the country rooted in the feminist movement. The intersectional analysis and critical thinking skills you’ll gain in Women’s Studies will transfer well to other fields of study including, but not limited to, biology, economics, theatre, dance and environmental studies.


and Research

Women’s Studies students looking to engage more in their work can study and complete Honors and research projects in their chosen topic with the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Past examples of Honors projects include:

  • Yamileth Cedeno ’20: The Black Body & Reproductive Trauma
    Michelle Martin-Baron, Adviser
  • Madeline Grace Cook ’19: A Critical Analysis of Mainstream U.S. Maternal Health and Birth Culture
    Michelle Martin-Baron, Adviser

Experiential Education Ingrained in Empowerment

experiental learning

Travel to the National Women’s Hall of Fame to study the legacy of Elizabeth Cady Stanton or discuss feminist issues on the student written and produced podcast, “Can You Hear Us?/¿Nos Oyen?”

The Colleges’ are surrounded by historic landmarks of women’s rights, such as the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls and the Harriet Tubman home in Auburn, providing local research and event opportunities.

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.

Global Education

No Borders: Global Education

Study international women’s suffrage in England or Black femininity in Denmark.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.

Global Education

Belonging, Diversity and Equity

The Women’s Studies faculty are committed to social justice. They affirm the importance and necessity of racial justice, indigenous justice, justice for trans and gender-non-conforming persons, justice for LGBTQIA+ individuals, disability justice, reproductive justice, climate justice, and the many other interconnected justice movements that exist in the world today.

“Through our courses, the events we organize, and the experiences we coordinate, we work to build an academic community that de-centers what the Black, lesbian feminist scholar Audre Lorde called the ‘mythical norm’ and create space instead for experiences of belonging and solidarity across difference,” -Jessica Hayes-Conroy, chair of Women’s Studies.

The following courses specifically address belonging, equity and diversity:

  • FSEM 148 Critiquing the Classroom
  • WMST 100 Introduction to Women’s Studies
  • WMST 150 Chicana Feminism & Visual Culture
  • WMST 204 Politics of Health
  • WMST 212 Gender & Geography
  • WMST 213 Transnational Feminisms
  • WMST 219 Black Feminisms
  • WMST 305 Food Feminism and Health
  • REL 236 Gender and Islam
  • REL 286 Islam and Environment
  • REL 347 Gender and Identity in the Muslim world

Discover feminist theories and critiques for all parts of society and life.

  • WMST 150 Chicana Feminism & Visual Culture

    Grasp the foundations of Chicana feminism, women of color feminism, feminist visual cultural studies, and arts-based activism. Throughout the course, you’ll trace the emergence of Chicana as an identity category and its challenges to Chicano and feminist activism; the radical ways Chicanas have employed visual, performance, and graphic arts as a means of educating and catalyzing social change; and the rich body of indigenous folklore that has both defined gender and sexual roles and provided the platform for defying them.

  • WMST 220 The Body Politic

    Delve into the riddle of the relationship between the corporeal body and the social, political, economic, and environmental body.

  • WMST 305 Food Feminism and Health

    Use a feminist lens to explore a variety of topics arising at the intersection of food, health, and the body. The class addresses key material, epistemological, and methodological issues associated with food activism and intervention, and builds towards the enactment of student-led research projects.

Alum Impact Olivia Rowland '21

Master of Arts in English, Oregon State University
Majors: Women's Studies, Writing and Rhetoric

"My classes in Writing and Rhetoric and Women’s Studies sparked my interest in rhetoric/composition and feminist theory, both of which I will study in grad school. Doing an honors project helped me learn how to conduct independent research and working as a writing colleague and writing fellow prepared me to teach writing at the college level."


Companies that employ our graduates:

  • All* Above All
  • National Abortion Federation
  • Climate Power
  • Oxford Pennant
  • Denver Kid
  • Clark+Elbing LLP
  • Hodgson Russ LLP
  • Crowell & Moring LLP
  • Robinson Group

Universities where our students are studying

  • Yale School of Nursing's Midwifery and Women's Health
  • Johns Hopkins University Master of Science in Nursing
  • Maastricht University Master of Public Policy
  • University of New England Master of Social Work
  • Daeman College Master of Social Work
  • University of Buffalo School of Law