Gender and Women’s Studies

B.A., Minor

single-paper-background Programs - Gender and Womens Studies - Hero image - Moody Plaza Chenette students

Gender and women’s studies (GWS) is an interdisciplinary program. It explores how systems of oppression/resistance and privilege operate. Faculty members dedicate themselves to creating an environment that fosters critical thinking. They also support student activism and peer mentoring.


GWS Major

The Gender and Women’s studies major provides students with an understanding of the importance of gender as a category of analysis. It also looks at gender’s intersections with race/ethnicity, class, age, sexual identity, nationality, and (dis)ability.

Internships are required and guaranteed for gender and women’s studies majors.

GWS Minor

The Gender and Women’s Studies minor is a scaled-down version of the major that requires five courses and an internship.

Alexa Hulse '24 interned with "Lilith," a New York-based Jewish feminist magazine, throughout a major portion of her undergraduate career. She did everything from writing news articles and blog posts to updating the magazine’s digital archives. After graduating from Hollins, she was offered a part-time position with the publication.

Alexa Hulse '24

"The skills, concepts, and frameworks taught in gender and women’s studies are now more than ever essential to the success of moving toward the creation of a nation and a world that is more equitably human-centered and just."

Clarissa Harris

"A big reason why Hollins became the only place I wanted to go for college was because it has such a great GWS department. The personalized attention is really special."

Emily Lauletta '22

In my time as a GWS major, I unlearned complacency. The most cherished lessons in college were values I had to practice in real life… and I am still practicing compassion, patience, pace, grace, and honesty/accountability. When we lose sight of those values we fall into hate, lack critical thinking, and begin to rely on the status quo.

Whit Williams-Black

Honors Theses

Your thesis is not just a time to show what you know — it’s also a time to be creative. Here are some examples:

GWS Grads: Where Are They Now?

  • Graduate and professional school in medicine, law, international development, nursing, women’s health, social work, educational and cultural studies, and women’s studies
  • Nonprofit organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Teach for America, United Way, Catholic Relief Services, Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Armenian Volunteer Corps, Virginia Supportive Housing
  • A variety of for-profit and educational organizations, including Apple Computer, The Roanoke Times, Etsy, University of Chicago, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, BOMB Magazine.