School of Interdisciplinary Studies Women's, Gender, and Sexuality StudiesCollege of Liberal Arts

Appearing left to right: Dr. Jennifer Freeman Marshall, Associate Professor of WGSS and English at Purdue, Dr. Cheryl Cooky, Professor of WGSS and American Studies at Purdue; Dr. Gloria Jean Watkins “bell hooks,” Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies at Berea College; Dr. Tracey Jean Boisseau, Associate Professor of WGSS at Purdue, Dr. Marlo David, Associate Professor of WGSS and English at Purdue.

 This photo commemorates and celebrates a high point of our program on October 28, 2014, when the WGSS program hosted bell hooks as the 2014 Annual Cummings-Perrucci Lecturer.

 colorful photo of bell hooks

With the world, we mourn the passing of Dr. Gloria Jean Watkins, known more widely as bell hooks. The gift of her spirit remains with us forever. 

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


As a student in the  Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program you will learn to critically assess the historical and social context and meanings attached to the categories of “man” and “woman” as well as the importance of gender identities that exist outside and beyond that dichotomy. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to examine systematically the role and politics of sexuality and interrogate the discriminatory practices disadvantaging those who reject or fall outside of compulsory heteronormativity. Our program sponsors student engagement on issues central to feminism, promotes equality for all people regardless of the way they express their gender or sexuality, and nurtures academic research and scholarly inquiry that supports these core values

Connect with WGSS

Explore the ways you can connect with WGSS, including a virtual scheduled or drop-in meeting.


Join us for a WGSS Open House on Wednesday, October 19.  Feel free to drop in anytime between 3:00 - 5:00 PM in BRNG 1284.  Please RSVP by Monday, October 10 at

Check our EVENTS page for more information.

Principles and Mission Statement 

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program seeks to produce, promote, and advance knowledge, scholarship, theory, research, pedagogy, education, and action in the service of three overlapping feminist goals: understanding and improving women’s lives and status; revealing the operations and consequences of gender, sexuality, and other critical axes of identity and power relations such as race, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, ability, etc., as constitutive and intertwined elements of sociality; and eliminating discriminatory practices and inequalities based on gender, sexual orientation, and other critical axes of identity such as race, class, ethnicity, nationality, age, ability, etc.  Courses systematically address these intersections and women’s experiences in both U.S. and global contexts and from multi-cultural perspectives.  Our curriculum is committed to training students to achieve a scholarly level of understanding of commonality, difference, and diversity through interdisciplinary courses that lead to an undergraduate major and minor, a graduate concentration, and an undergraduate minor in Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer  Studies.  In all of its guidelines, procedures, operations, and activities, the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program is committed to acting in accordance with the feminist goals and vision expressed above.

Women's Research and Policy Center Mission Statement

The Women's Research and Policy Center was established to complement the teaching strengths of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and to promote faculty and graduate students engagement in funded research, cross-disciplinary and international collaborations, consultancies, and policy dialogues. Launching tomorrow's feminist leaders by promoting feminist inquiry and research comprise the twinned objectives of the Center. The Center will respond to national and international demand for academic and policy-oriented research on issues central to the study of women, gender, and sexuality in ways that serve to enhance the University's global profile as well as recognize and nurture the leadership skills of women faculty and students at Purdue.

Course Information

Purdue Admissions Website

WGSS Major

WGSS Minor

LGBTQ Studies Minor

Gender Inclusive Learning Community

Beering Hall
Purdue University
100 North University Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098
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Undergraduate students

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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