Political & Global Studies


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* = Minors are not technically a degree, but can be pursued to supplement a bachelor's degree

The Department of Women and Gender Studies offers students a rigorous but flexible program of study that examines women, gender and sexuality in relation to race, class and national identity across different cultural and historical contexts.

The department strives to foster critical thinking skills applied to the study of women and gender, particularly in relation to their three key areas: race/ethnicity, sexuality, and global studies.

The Women and Gender Studies degree from CU Boulder made me a more knowledgeable, empathetic, and enthusiastic campaigner."

Katie Wallace (BA '18), field director, Joe Neguse for Congress

Women and Gender Studies, as an interdisciplinary social science, prepares students to not only think from different perspectives, but also to find their voice and articulate ideas, by providing a framework to better understand and be sensitive to issues related to not only gender, but also race, social class, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality and ability. 

More importantly, however, a major in Women and Gender Studies revises the way we see ourselves and our world by analyzing the powerful and problematic impact of inequalities.

By providing key skills that employers look for in new hires, graduates from the Department of Women and Gender Studies have gone on to many successful careers in law, medicine, public health, public policy, social work, teaching, counseling, advocacy and media.

Established in 1974, the Department of Women and Gender Studies at CU Boulder is also one of the oldest in the nation, and is home to a number of excellent and award-winning faculty, including two Professors of Distinction and recipients for prominent organizations like the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright and the National Science Foundation.

The Department of Women and Gender Studies contains a number of research areas, including, but not limited to, gender/sex systems across cultures and historical periods; gender, sexuality and culture; legal and public policy issues around gender and sexuality; women’s participation in social and cultural production; transnational feminisms; feminist theory and its relation to different philosophical and epistemological traditions; sexual identity politics and histories; and queer theory. 

Their diverse faculty also include several who have joint affiliations with institutes and centers like the Latin American Studies Center, LGBTQ Studies and the Center for Asian Studies, and other departments like Ethnic Studies, International Affairs, History, Philosophy and Political Science.

For the undergraduate students pursuing a degree in women and gender studies, there are a number of research opportunities beyond just class work:

  • The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers students a chance to work alongside a faculty sponsor on original research. Learn to write proposals, conduct research, pursue creative work, analyze data, and present the results. For more information, call UROP at 303-492-2596 or visit the UROP website.

  • Majors may choose to seek honors in women and gender studies which results in the designation of cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude at graduation. If you are interested in internships, the department matches selected students with supervised internships in local businesses, human services and government agencies. In addition, women and gender studies offers three scholarships each year to its majors.    

  • The program encourages all students to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad during your undergraduate years. A first-hand experience abroad can help students gain valuable insights into the concerns of international women and gender-related issues. The university offers more than 100 programs around the world, and students may spend from a few weeks to a full academic year abroad depending on the program selected. Through these programs students earn credit as if they had taken the courses here, sometimes fulfilling core or major requirements. Language study is a prerequisite for participation in many programs, so early planning for study abroad is essential. Further information about study abroad is available from Education Abroad, 303-492-7741 or on the education abroad website.

An interdisciplinary Women and Gender Studies degree provides all the benefits of a good liberal arts education and more. In addition to developing crucial all-around skills like critical thinking, oral communication, research methods, and expository writing, women and gender studies students also learn how to apply those skills to important real-life concerns, especially the many ways in which social inequalities around gender and sexuality intersect with other forms of oppression centered on differences of class, race, ethnicity, religion, ability, and national origin in the United States and around the world. This unique combination of academic and practical skills prepares women and gender studies students for a wide range of careers

Our students have gone on to careers in fields such as law, medicine, government, public health, public policy, social work, teaching, counseling, advocacy, media, public relations, education, politics, fundraising, small business development, librarianship and the arts.

Career Services offers free services for all CU Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation, to help students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work by discussing major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation. 

According to the 2017-18 College Salary Report by PayScale Human Capital:

  • the median salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and 0-5 years of experience is $40,300;
  • median salary for 10-plus years of experience, $55,600.

Women and Gender Studies' Alumni Salary Info

At CU Boulder, Women and Gender Studies graduates earn more than the nationwide average of comparable majors as reported by PayScale. CU Boulder alumni in this discipline earn an estimated annual salary of $76,971, based on a pool of 105 alumni who graduated between 1989 and 2018. This amount, however, is lower than the average for all CU Boulder graduates with a bachelor's degree, according to a survey by Esmi Alumni Insight of 25,000 alumni who graduated during the same stretch.

The Department of Women and Gender Studies has an extensive alumni network working in a variety of industries across the globe. Some alumni of the program include:

  • Rayme Rosello (BA '94) is a restaurateur and owner of Comida Cantina LLC, which operates restaurants in Denver and Aurora and  the Comida food truck and catering in Boulder County.

  • Ingrid Alongi (BA '97) is an entrepreneur, web applications developer and head of mentor network (recruiting) for Cognizant Accelerator. She has worked for and founded a number of startups, including Gnip, Quick Left and Sprintly. She serves as chairwoman of the board at Denver’s Turing School of Software and Design.

  • Katie Raitz (BA '15) is intergovernmental liaison for the New York City Fire Department.

  • Natalie Ziemba (BA '10) spent two years in the South Pacific as a Peace Corps volunteer and earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is now hotline supervisor for Moving to End Sexual Assault in Boulder.