Women’s and Gender Studies students explore scholarship about women and gender across cultures and throughout history to examine intersections of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, nationality, ability, religion, and age. The program encourages students to think critically as means to becoming active and ethical participants in career, family, social life, and community. Majors and concentrators take a range of courses across the curriculum, as well as in the Women’s and Gender Studies program.
What do Women’s and Gender Studies students do?
In 1999, the St. Olaf Women’s and Gender Studies program collected information from alumni relations and the college archives and found that Women’s and Gender Studies majors and concentrators find a job market open to their diversified liberal arts education after they leave the hill.
Graduates with a Women’s and Gender Studies major or concentration are currently working in fields ranging from business to arts to social sciences. They have used their education to build careers in many arenas including law, accounting, management and computer science. They can be found in artistic careers such as graphic design, home-decorating, free-lance writing and editing. They are producers for the Jenny Jones show, fiction managers at Barnes and Noble, and directors at Motion Picture Marketing.
In social science fields they are helping others as psychologists, psychotherapists, and clinical social workers. Many who combined a major or concentration with study in the health sciences are now drawing on their Women’s and Gender Studies education as Nurse Midwives, Labor and Delivery Nurses, and Physicians. Others have used their study of women to become more well-rounded educators, working as professors of architecture and psychology, legal writing instructors, elementary school teachers, librarians, research assistants, and ESL instructors. Women’s and Gender Studies majors and concentrators are thriving as mechanical engineers and guitar instructors, massage therapists and Russian interpreters.
In short, they are creating lives for themselves as wide-ranging as their dreams, building on the strong foundation of a liberal arts education in Women’s and Gender Studies that emphasizes creative interdisciplinary connections and independent critical thinking.