Gender Studies


What is gender studies?

Gender studies considers the various ways we construct differences from one another, based on gender and other identities. It asks what these differences mean in terms of how we understand one another, how we treat one another and how we organize the world around us. Gender studies courses lead to new knowledge and understanding and provide a critical edge for thinking about everyday situations (such as literature, advertisements and reality television), current events (such as political conflicts) and always changing social and political issues (such as the movement of people, products and money across borders).

Students can declare a major in gender studies. Students can also combine a minor in gender studies with a major in other academic areas in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences or with studies in other faculties across the university. Also, a wide range of gender studies elective courses can be taken while studying in another area. Students considering any of these possibilities should begin by taking one or more of the introductory level courses, Gender Studies 1000, Gender Studies 2005 and/or Gender Studies 2006.

Gender studies offers a wide range of courses at all levels of undergraduate studies. The major and minor programs also provide students with the opportunity to take elective courses in a range of related disciplines including anthropology, English, folklore, history, psychology and more.

Gender studies is supported by a wide range of activities outside of classes. The Department of Gender Studies has connections across the campus; it offers a regular Speaker’s Series (open to everyone) and an undergraduate scholarship. As well, there is an excellent library collection in gender studies.


Why study gender studies?

Gender studies specialists are highly valued in industry, education, media, justice, health, and cultural organizations. Their knowledge helps to address critical contemporary issues; for example, gender dynamics in the workplace, issues of representation in the arts, and the gendered nature of health and well-being. There is a growing demand in private and public sectors for those with a proven understanding of how gender and equality issues affect our society.

Some students will choose to do graduate work in gender studies. The Department of Gender Studies offers a three-stream master of gender studies degree program that can be completed by writing a thesis, completing a project or interning with a business, service provider or community organization, locally, elsewhere in Canada or abroad.

Courses available in first year

Gender Studies 1000
Introduction to Gender Studies considers gender, gender studies and feminisms as areas of exploration from historical, contemporary, transnational and interdisciplinary perspectives. The aim of this course is to provide a critical framework for thinking about questions related to gender and other forms of social difference.
Lectures: Three hours per week
Prerequisite: None

Gender Studies 2005
Critical Reading and Writing in Identities and Difference builds foundational critical reading and writing abilities through an exploration of feminist scholarship about the construction of identities and difference in cultural discourse, representation, and institutions. Students learn the principles of scholarly analysis and the mechanics of academic writing. Coursework focuses on critically analyzing texts, evaluating sources, framing questions, developing an argument, and refining written work for gender studies and related fields. All sections of this course follow CRW guidelines available at
Lectures: Three hours per week
Prerequisites: None

Gender Studies 2006
Genders and Sexualities introduces genders and sexualities from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will explore the continuum of sex/gender and sexual identities, and examine how these identities intersect with other aspects of identity, including (but not limited to) race, class, and (dis)ability.
Lectures: Three hours per week
Prerequisites: None


Sample program for first year

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a major in gender studies will normally take the following courses in their first year:

Sample program

Fall SemesterWinter Semester
English 1090Critical Reading & Writing course
Gender Studies 1000Gender Studies 2000- level
Language Study courseLanguage Study course
Quantitative Reasoning courseQuantitative Reasoning course
course in minor programcourse in minor program



For assistance with course selection, students should contact:
Academic Advising Centre,



Contact information

For further information please contact:
Department of Gender Studies


Guide to First Year

230 Elizabeth Ave

St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 CANADA

Tel: (709) 864-2530

Fax: (709) 864-2552