Bachelors In

Gender Studies Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.
on February 19, 2024

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While studying for a bachelor of arts in gender studies, students investigate how gender and sexuality impact our everyday lives, as well as major political and philosophical ideologies.

Students study gender across many different disciplines, including psychology, literature, art, business, and world history. This gives them an understanding of the implications of gender on important modern sociological concerns.

What is a Degree in Gender Studies?

Does gender impact how you’re perceived in a job interview, when traveling to foreign countries, or when applying for law, nursing, or medical school? If so, how, and how can those biases be overcome?

With a bachelor’s degree in gender studies, you can investigate these questions, forming your own answers through interdisciplinary study. Gender studies programs cover the treatment and perception of gender across many disciplines, including history, psychology, business, anthropology, and literature.

Feminist theory is often at the core of a gender studies program, and students learn about the feminist movement, the beliefs that were the catalyst for the movement, and why modern society needs feminists to continue fighting for equal rights for all genders.

Additionally, many colleges are now beginning to offer coursework related to the psychology behind transgender, seeking to educate students on the emotional and psychological influences that lead to alternative gender identification.

Recommended Schools

What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Gender Studies?

  • Gender, Culture, and Society
  • Gender Studies: Core Concepts and Key Debates
  • Gay Histories and Queer Cultures
  • Sex and Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • Race, Sexuality, and Culture
  • History of Feminist Thought and Practice
  • Representation and the Body
  • Explaining Sex/Gender Differences

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Gender Studies?

A gender studies degree teaches students many skills that are prized in jobs across many industries, so students should be able to find careers through multiple outlets after graduation.

Some continue their education to become lawyers or counselors, helping individuals who have been discriminated against because of gender bias. Others support women’s rights internationally in countries where women don’t yet have equal rights. The degree also provides a sound basis for many business and marketing careers.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Gender Studies will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online Gender Studies Degree

Gender studies are not very popular but you can still find several online bachelor degree programs offered by various universities. The requirements for the bachelor’s degree vary starting from 120 credit hours to around 180 credit hours in addition to completing a practicum course.

Most of these programs are available completely online. You may also choose to join a master’s or doctoral degree program if you already have a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

What Can You Do With a Gender Studies Degree?

Gender studies refer to an academic field that is focused on the differences between genders from various aspects. It is an interdisciplinary field that analyzes the gender identity and the gendered representation within a society. Researchers in this field study gender and sexuality in various academic disciplines including literature, language, geography, politics, history, sociology, cinema, human development, anthropology, law and medicine.

Gender studies are commonly divided into men’s studies, women’s studies and queer studies. Some gender researchers consider that the term gender refers to the social and cultural views of masculinity or femininity rather than the biological status. The field is important for people concerned with gender rights and equality, politics and human resources.

What does a gender studies student learn?

Students in gender studies programs will get a comprehensive view of gender differences between genders in all fields that can deal with this topic. The following list shows courses that are commonly studied in gender studies programs:

  1. The theory of gender: this course introduces the students to the core theoretical literature and debates in the field of gender. The course is the foundation for further academic studies in the field of gender and women studies.
  2. Research methodologies related to gender studies: the course introduces the concepts and basic principles of gender research and social sciences.
  3. Visual, literacy and critical approaches to gender: this course summarizes the different views in literary, historical and theoretical debates related to gender. It involves a critical discussion of different theoretical positions and visual representations. Students will get to know the effects of the region or political situation on the view of gender.
  4. Gender and migration: this deals with topics such as an international gendered labor market, migration to various parts of the world, domestic labor, human trafficking, displacement through conflict and development, and human rights.
  5. Law and Patriarchy: This course focuses on the concerns and problems with laws from the view of feminists. Students will have to analyze how issues like capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy have affected the development of legal systems. The course deals also in a more clear way with questions such as feminism, transfeminism, queer theory, critical race feminism and masculinity studies.
  6. Introduction to the sociology of gender: this course studies the relationship between the structure and development of a society and the view of gender differences and rights.
  7. Special topics: trans people in the workplace, gender and environment, art and gender, and embracing diversity.

Now I have the gender studies degree…where can I work after graduating?

Gender studies are not a traditional degree program that qualifies graduates directly for certain jobs. If you have a dual degree in gender studies with another degree as law or politics, you will have a competitive advantage for a number of career options:

  1. Advocate for victims of rape, hate crimes and domestic violence: Gender differences are usually contributing factors in rape, domestic and hate crimes. Accordingly, the knowledge in gender studies would provide a significant advantage for solving such crimes.
  2. Administrator of a human services department: human services workers should be familiar with issues related to gender and sexuality.
  3. Artist: studying art is an important part of gender studies but becoming an artist also requires having talent and creativity.
  4. Human rights worker: gender equity and freedom is a major concern for human rights organizations. Studying gender differences will provide the required knowledge to defend your case.
  5. Congressional aide: gender studies are vital when developing laws for health, labor, freedom and political rights in modern countries.
  6. Clergy: the church is currently actively involved in gender and sexuality-related topics including social awareness.
  7. Psychologist and Psychotherapist: gender differences have their effect on psychology and knowing these differences will certainly help in such a career.
  8. Human resources: corporations need people who understand gendered issues in the workplace including sexual harassment, parental leave, and equal employment and pay opportunities.

Should I choose a gender studies degree?

Gender studies are particularly interesting for students who are concerned with human rights, politics, equity or the civil rights movement. Additionally, gender studies help students develop a group of skills that are beneficial for all careers:

  1. Experience in discovering information related to contemporary social issues
  2. Understanding differences related to gender, sexuality, race, culture and social class.
  3. Finding the relations between different types of oppression
  4. Being initiative, proactive and inspiring to others
  5. Critical and analytical thinking skills
  6. Presentation skills: this is a vital skill if you want to effectively defend your case and promote the rights of people.
  7. Graduates of gender studies have the ability to investigate hidden stories, explore complicated social situations, and confront injustice and oppression.

Recommended Schools

Best Jobs for Gender Studies Degrees

With a gender studies degree, your career is what you make of it. You can work in non-profits, as a woman’s or transgender advocate, or as a lawyer or therapist.

You may also use your knowledge to create gender-fair marketing campaigns, work as an investigative journalist, or manage human resource departments and ensure the companies you work for maintain legal and fair hiring practices.

How to save time and money

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About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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