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The Women’s and Gender Studies Department educates our students to think rigorously, critically, and creatively. We encourage students to ask tough questions about the way society functions and to understand how the past has contributed to current social, political, and psychological realities.

Our broad-based, interdisciplinary curriculum in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and health fields exposes undergraduates to challenging ideas and critical paradigms based on cutting-edge research. Our graduate students are trained simultaneously as experts in their disciplines and as creative, synthetic thinkers who challenge the limitations of disciplinary knowledge. Our alumni, both undergraduate and graduate, understand complex social problems—from the medicalization of pregnancy, to the role of visual images in conveying gender stereotypes, to the use of rape as a tool of warfare.

                "I was fortunate enough to find the WGS department freshman year and to grow within it for the past four years. This department has challenged me to think deeper about the complexity of humanity by teaching me how to see the world through an interdisciplinary lens both inside and outside of the classroom.  Through its unwavering support and mentorship, I have been empowered to confront complex issues like oppression and injustice throughout my time at the university." 

                                                          - Noelle Harris (Gender and Health Major)                                 

Not content with detailing the ongoing history of discrimination based on gender, race, class, and sexuality, we also inspire our students to challenge oppression by teaching them about women’s activism in the past. Students are provided with multiple opportunities to transform their growing knowledge into practical action on behalf of social justice. Possessing a vision of the future that is grounded in interdisciplinary knowledge, they are effective advocates in their fields of expertise, their local communities, and the world.

Providing this breadth, depth, and quality is costly. Three decades ago, the state of Michigan contributed 80% of the cost for education at the University, and the remainder was covered by tuition and university investments. Today, the state contributes 16% of the cost of education, not only putting a huge burden on those paying tuition, but requiring educators to become fundraisers. It is only through aggressive fundraising and careful investing that we can preserve and expand our curriculum, recruit the most promising graduate students, retain the best faculty, and keep the University of Michigan affordable.

We need strategic funds to support many crucial endeavors:

  • undergraduate experiential education;
  • undergraduate internship opportunities;
  • sexuality scholars' initiative;
  • artist in residence program;
  • preserving women's history in the digital age;
  • postdoctoral fellows in feminist development studies.

Gifts of all sizes are needed. A gift of $50 could award an undergraduate for their work in feminist practice.  A gift of $350 would provide a student engaged in international service learning the costs of her program fees. A supporter gift of $500 would help bring a distinguished scholar to Lane Hall to discuss recent scholarship or current affairs. A leadership gift of $1000 could send a graduate student to an archive or remote interview site to conduct research on the impact of gender on her field.

We have many additional needs which are described on this website; we invite you to take a look around and learn more about the Department and our programs.

As you reflect back on your Michigan experience and how Women’s and Gender Studies made a difference in your life, please consider contributing to the Women’s and Gender Studies Department. Your support not only will help ensure the quality of education we offer to students, but keep the vision of the Women’s and Gender Studies Department alive.

Click here to give to the Women's and Gender Studies Strategic Fund.

Click the following for further information about Women's and Gender Studies' fundraising priorities.