Distinction is an award intended to highlight exceptional work in the Women’s and Gender Studies major. All senior majors with a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major courses are eligible to apply for distinction. For more information, please read the College Statement on Distinction.

Projects submitted for distinction:

  • Expand on coursework that is already completed and returned.
  • Approach the subject matter from a feminist perspective.
  • Take the form of a single paper, a portfolio of papers, or a creative project (poetry, visual art, performance). Creative projects must be accompanied by written interpretations.

A two-person reading committee, neither of whom is the distinction adviser, reviews each project. In cases of disagreement, the committee consults  a third reader. Distinction candidates may name one original committee member. The committee will recommend a course of action to the Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, who will make a final decision on Distinction by May 1. Distinction projects will also be considered for the Viola Rossing Prize.


Important Dates:

During fall or winter 
Talk to the Distinction Coordinator Diane LeBlanc if you plan to submit a distinction project. You will discuss your project and identify a potential adviser—a faculty member who agrees to meet with you periodically to discuss the progress of your  project. Because you will want to expand and refine the work to achieve a distinctive level of scholarship and critical thinking, plan to meet with your adviser early in the process. Faculty from any academic department are eligible to advise projects.

February 15
Submit a Distinction Application with appropriate signatures to Diane LeBlanc in the English Department (RML 526B)

April 15
Submit your Distinction project.

May 1 
The reading committee will notify Distinction applicants of its decision by formal letter.