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Gender Studies

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Fast Facts

Faculty: Faculty across the university teach in the program

Available for: Minor

Emphasis Within the Minor: students choose their own emphasis, because a wide range of courses are available to fulfill the minor's requirements

This program offers a strong co-curricular component.

Gender studies is an exciting interdisciplinary academic program with a strong presence on campus through invited speakers, discussion panels, performances and other events. Students gain an understanding of how individuals, communities and societies shape and are shaped by the meanings of gender in their times.

The gender studies minor studies the role of gender identity in shaping human experience. It analyzes how masculinities and femininities interact with sexuality, race, social class, ethnicity and other categories of identity to influence culture, society and personal experience, foregrounding questions of power.

Students choose courses from across the university in areas such as women's rights and experiences, queer theory, gender, work and family and the role gender plays in religion, history, literature, politics, business or mass media. Finally, the program encourages students to make connections between social, ethical, technological and cultural conditions and their own experiences.

The gender studies minor supplies knowledge and perspectives that complement any major and are essential in negotiating life and work in our global society. The minor helps develop independent thought, critical thinking and leadership skills and provides perspectives essential for many career fields, including law, the health professions, counseling, communications, business, public service, the entertainment industry and education.

A Distinctive Program

The program fuses a strong academic program with co-curricular programming and activist goals, and challenges students to rethink their own understandings of how the world works. It provides opportunities for internships and teaching apprenticeships and offers unique half-unit courses such as gender and film.

Academics and Research

Independent Research

Students carry out independent research projects in the capstone course for the minor.

Facilities and Opportunities

The program supports and works with student organizations such as the student chapter of the National Organization for Women. The program facilitates connections for students with local organizations such as the League of Women Voters, which in 2012 sponsored two students to attend the League Legislative Summit in Tallahassee to help lobby state legislators.

To supplement its academic focus, gender studies organizes significant co-curricular events. Speakers in recent years have included Norma Ramos, an anti-trafficking activist; Julia Serano, a transgender activist and performer; Jessica Valenti, a third-wave feminist blogger, author and nationally known speaker; Eve Ensler, author of the acclaimed play The Vagina Monologues; and the activist performance group, the Guerilla Girls.

Preparation for Graduate Study

The minor in gender studies is good preparation for many areas of academic stud. Students gain perspectives and critical reading, writing and thinking skills that will help them in graduate school areas, including women's studies or gender studies programs, any liberal arts graduate degree, law school, or a business graduate program, to name a few areas.

Awards and Recognition

Program Director

Elisabeth Poeter, Ph.D. | University of California at Berkeley

German Language and Culture; Women and education in the 18th century; race/ethnicity, and gender in German literature, culture and film. Race and gender in German colonialism

Distinguished Faculty

Faculty from across the university teach in the program and are recognized scholars and commended classroom teachers.

Grant-Funded Research

One of the ways Stetson University fosters excellence in undergraduate programs is through the Stetson Undergraduate Research Experience. Each year undergraduate scholars are selected in a university-wide competition for grants to work with a faculty mentor on a summer research project.

Undergraduate Awards and Honors

The department annually gives The June Brooks Award for Activism (awarded to students who demonstrate significant activist work on behalf of causes related to gender, race, class or sexuality), the Ann Morris Essay and Creative Writing Awards and an award to the program's outstanding senior.

Courses and Curriculum

» View the Stetson University Course Catalog for more information on the curriculum and courses for this academic program.

Beyond the Classroom


Students often pursue internships with local nonprofit or activist organizations. Recently, students have interned at the Domestic Abuse Council and the Florida Museum for Women in the Arts. The program's curriculum allows students to create internships in a variety of areas.

After Stetson

Diverse Careers

The perspectives students encounter in gender studies are useful preparation for any career, from law, education and business, to social service and the arts.