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Women's Studies

How has the question of what it means to be a woman changed throughout history? What types of conversations are we having today, as a culture, about gender and gender roles? And how can you help move the conversation forward?

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Degree Types
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Complementary Programs

Offered as an interdisciplinary minor, Women’s Studies explores these and many other questions by drawing from departments and disciplines across McDaniel’s campus, including Communication, History, Psychology, and Social Work.

Future Career Paths

Women’s Studies minors build skills like close reading, persuasive writing, and critical thinking that are valued in many types of work and professional settings. This means you’ll be prepared for a broad range of career opportunities. You might do things like:

  • Work at a human services department
  • Work with survivors of domestic violence and hate crimes
  • Become a teacher
  • Go to law school
  • Become a political consultant

Distinctive Courses

COM 3221 - Gender in Communication

This course examines current research from a critical cultural theoretical perspective on the role gender plays in communication, and how communication works to construct the notions of masculinity and femininity. Considering gender construction particularly in relation to power, we look at, for example, how language helps enshrine ways we talk and think about the sexes, how gendered behaviors like masculine violence and feminine submission become institutionalized, how pop culture and advertising circulate the messages of appropriate gendered behaviors throughout the media, and how cultural institutions like family, schools, sports, religion and the workplace reinforce gendered communication.

HIS 1191 - Gender and Society in Ancient Greece

A study of gender relations and the cultural roles assigned to men and women in the earliest western sources, from the epic society of Homer to the period of the Hellenistic monarchies. Topics will include myth and cult, family law, economy and slavery, medicine, sport, concepts of misogyny, sexuality, and male honor codes. Comparative evidence from ancient and modern Mediterranean societies will also be examined.

HIS 2222 - Gender and Society in America, Past and Present

An examination of women’s experiences in American society with special emphasis on attitudes toward sex, the family, the workplace, and the political arena in order to explore the interaction between context and ideology in the process of social change.

IDS 3311 - Feminism and Women’s Lives in the 21st Century

What is feminism and why do we still need it in the 21st century?  This course will examine this question with particular emphasis on the issues that affect women in their day-to-day lives.  This course will analyze the experiences and issues of women of diverse class, race, and ethnic backgrounds.  Topics include working conditions, wage equity, the intersection of race and gender, the politics of the body, work/family balance, and the economics of motherhood.

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The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

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McDaniel in the News: McDaniel students and faculty participate in Women's March on Washington

McDaniel College students and faculty are among the thousands participating in the Women’s March on Washington.