students talking in front of freedom square

Are you interested in learning about women's history, art, music, film, philosophy? Are you aware of important women's health issues, both nationally and internationally? Do you want to know the most current workplace policies on gender, including sexual harassment and pay equity? Would you like to work on solutions to domestic violence? Are you interested in creating the best educational environment for girls and knowing what gender differences may affect learning? If so, think about majoring in women's studies.

Women's and Gender Studies, an interdisciplinary major, is an exciting and fast-growing field. By focusing on the lives, contributions and thoughts of women, a significant absence in traditional scholarship, the women’s studies major adds greatly to our knowledge and understanding of the human experience. This interdisciplinary program creates the opportunity to evaluate and reevaluate what we know about the world, past and present, and it also provides a standpoint from which students can create informed and equitable solutions for the future.


Women’s and Gender Studies at Towson University is one of the nation’s oldest programs, spanning a period of more than 40 years. Courses were offered as early as 1971 and the program itself began in 1973. Women’s and Gender Studies moved from a program to a department in the spring of 2002. Women’s and Gender Studies at Towson is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, and seeks to understand the diversity of women’s experiences by exploring the intersection of gender, sexuality, race, class, and nation. By placing women at the center of analysis we seek to transform epistemological frameworks, social practices, meanings and social structures. We aim to provide students with the knowledge, analytical skills, and community engagement that will enhance their intellectual and personal growth, empower them to become active citizens for a more just global order, and foster confidence in their ability to be not only receivers, but also creators of knowledge. We encourage them to act ethically and to think critically, both about their own lives, and existing cultural and social institutions. Women’s and Gender Studies achieves these goals and prepares students for careers and lifelong learning by offering five programs—an undergraduate major and minor, a graduate certificate, a master's degree in Women's and Gender Studies and a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies.


The Women’s and Gender Studies Department will continue to develop and expand its emphasis on the application of knowledge to enhance the well being of women, their families, and the communities and societies in which they live. We intend to promote active learning strategies in our courses, and to integrate service-learning and civic engagement activities into the Department’s undergraduate and graduate curricula, with the goal of fostering active participation in civil society, and an appreciation of the diversity and complexity of social life and social issues.

Towson University has a fully independent major in Women’s and Gender Studies. It also offers a minor, a master’s degree, a graduate certificate and a combined bachelor's/master's program. Women’s and Gender Studies at Towson University was changed from a program to a department in spring, 2002. It is one of the nation's oldest; courses were offered as early as 1971 and the program itself began in 1973. During the 1980s, major grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the Ford Foundation to advance “curriculum transformation” locally and nationally led to the creation of the Institute for Teaching and Research on Women (ITROW). ITROW has been discontinued.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Department is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. Students choose an individually fashioned curriculum from interdisciplinary Women’s and Gender Studies (WMST) courses and from an approved list of courses selected from other disciplines, spanning several of Towson University’s departments and colleges. Several of our courses are also approved for the GenEd requirements.