What is women's and gender studies?

Women's and gender studies is an interdisciplinary program with a critical focus on social, cultural, economic, and political issues from the perspective of gender.

Drawing on a substantial body of scholarship that challenges many of the assumptions and methods of traditional academic disciplines, women's and gender studies cultivates new perspectives from which all students may analyze such issues as work, health, sexuality, violence, family, race, class, colonialism, disability and ethnicity.

Women's and gender studies teaches research skills and critical analysis. It promotes student engagement with one another as well as with theory and social justice issues. Women's and gender studies furnishes students with a set of tools to deconstruct the world and a new language to rebuild it.

According to Jessica Chapman (’08):

“The women's studies program at Mount Allison helps to open student's eyes and helps them to intellectually develop ideas surrounding women's issues and feminist theories, both in Canada and internationally. I first became what some might call an angry feminist. I began to watch commercials, music videos, and movies differently. I started to listen, I mean really listen, to the gendered language my friends and I were using on a daily basis. I started to realize how gendered our society, socially, politically, and economically was gendered and I started to get mad. Eventually however, I transformed this anger into curiosity. Now, my passion was fueled through the asking of questions. Why do we use this research method? Who decides which occupations deserve the most money? How are women disadvantaged in a world that often claims to have met sexual equality? And what does equality really mean?"

Is women's and gender studies right for you?

Women's studies courses can be taken by any interested Mount Allison University student.

As Bridget Arsenault (’08) reflected:

"My background in women’s studies has sharpened me, challenged me, and dared my mind to enter into unmarked terrain. There is always a new angle to approach an issue, an alternative voice to be heard, or a unique perspective to be factored in to the mix. Just like the Wallace Stevens poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird", Stevens knew that a blackbird was not simply a blackbird, through women’s studies I have learned to dissect the world in front of me. I want to explore and to experiment and never to accept that a blackbird is just a blackbird. Because nothing ever only means one thing."


The curriculum in women's and gender studies includes core courses in women's and gender studies and elective courses in a wide range of other departments and programs.

The core courses provide a valuable introduction to the principles of women's and gender studies as well as a more advanced study of the diverse theoretical and methodological approaches of feminism.

The elective courses approach women's and gender issues from specific disciplinary perspectives.

For the courses required for the minor, major, and honours and their prerequisites see the Academic Calendar.

When advice is needed on the Women’s and Gender Studies program, students can contact the program advisor, Krista Johnston (krjohnston@mta.ca).

To keep track of the courses you have taken, it is useful to fill in a degree audit form.