Why Choose Women's Studies?
Women’s Studies at McGill University is a diverse and interdisciplinary program that links feminist theoretical and methodological foundations with cutting-edge developments in the broad fields of gender, feminist, and queer studies. Women's Studies programs are interdisciplinary and bring to light contemporary and historical critical issues centered on women, gender and/or feminism. The program provides students with opportunities to explore the meanings and intersections of such categories as gender, race, class, sexual orientation, age, ability, citizenship, and national identity for example, and to examine how such categories might inform and reproduce power relationships.
We offer undergraduates the opportunity to choose a Minor, Major, Honours, or Joint Honours concentration in Women’s Studies. We also have an outstanding Graduate Option in Gender and Women’s Studies. Issues in feminist philosophy, gender and disability studies, gender and race in Canada, queer cultures and modernity, gender and law, feminist theory and research, and feminist theories of identity are among the subjects of our diverse course offerings. In all of these courses we value open discussion and encourage a wide range of positions and perspectives.
Students must see an advisor in Women's Studies, at a minimum, upon registering in WMST and prior to selecting courses for the final year of study. Please contact claire [dot] michela [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Claire Michela), the IGSF Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator, to book an advising appointment.
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In addition to this solid, academic foundation in Women’s Studies, we offer opportunities for hands-on training. Students can undertake an internship related to Women’s Studies and write a final paper on their practical experience. Independent study options are also possible for students who wish to explore a particular topic or body of knowledge in-depth.
A degree in Women’s Studies offers compelling insight into contemporary society and politics, bringing to the fore issues such as equality, diversity, multiculturalism and representation, which are crucial issues in today’s rapidly changing and globalizing labour market. Women’s Studies graduates go on to pursue careers in professions such as Law, Medicine, Architecture, Journalism and Engineering; take on leadership roles in municipal, provincial, and national governments; shape development agencies and policies; become highly successful artists in every field; and accept positions in the business world.
"Pursuing a minor in Women's Studies at McGill allowed me to consider topics, themes, and approaches to material I wouldn't have otherwise imagined. Now my research in gender and the history of cookbooks specifically continues to be informed by the courses I took as an undergraduate student. It certainly laid a rich grounding."
--Lara Rabinovitch, McGill BA (First-Class Honours) 2002
"The most rewarding aspect of teaching Introduction to Women's Studies is not to 'convert' students, but rather to teach them that feminism is a viable option."
--Dima Ayoub, McGill PhD candidate, Islamic Studies & Gender and Women’s Studies; Taught the WMST 200 'Introduction to Women’s Studies' course in the summer semesters of 2008, 2009 and 2010
There are four undergraduate programs offered in Women's Studies at McGill University; Minor Concentration, Major Concentration, Honours and Joint Honours. The program requirements consist of required courses and complementary courses. Complementary courses are identified along two streams: A and B. To fulfill program requirements, students must take a minimum number of credits in each stream. Please note that any course that appears in more than one stream may be counted once only.
The Women's Studies Programs are administered through the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF) located on Peel Street. The administration of all academic matters regarding the Women's Studies Programs at McGill falls under the responsibility of the Women's Studies Advisory Committee (WSAC). The WSAC meets regularly to evaluate requirements, to respond to student requests, and to develop the program further.
NOTE on completion requirements
As of Fall 2009, the requirements for the completion of a Women’s Studies undergraduate program (Minor Concentration, Major Concentration, Honours or Joint Honours) are different from that which existed in previous years.
If you are declaring a Minor Concentration, Major Concentration, Honours or Joint Honours in Women’s Studies AS OF SEPTEMBER 2009, program requirements are found in the IGSF Handbook 2009-2010.
If you declared your Women's Studies Program PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 2009, then you may choose whether to complete your program by fulfilling required courses and complementary courses in the three Complementary Course Streams OR according to the new program requirements found in the IGSF Handbook 2009-2010.
Please make an appointment with the Administrative and Student Affairs Coordinator, to ensure that you are meeting the appropriate requirements for your Women’s Studies program based on the year in which your program was declared.
The Mary Eleanor Shewan Research Internships with IGSF
The Mary Eleanor Shewan Research Internships were created by a generous donation from Cynthia Shewan, BA'65, in memory of her mother, Mary Eleanor Shewan. The internships were awarded to students whose work will focus on issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusivity. Learn more about this year's interns at Internship Recipients.
The Gregg Blachford and David McGillivray Internship Award
The Gregg Blachford and David McGillivray Internship Award, established in 2014 by Gregg Blachford (former director of the McGill Career Planning Service- CaPS) and husband, David McGillivray (former Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician/Associate Professor at the Montreal Children's Hospital), is designed to led financial support to Arts students who wish to pursue an internship in a local, national or international organization that promotes social justice/human rights in the areas of gender and sexuality. Administered through the Dean's Office in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts Internship Office and in consultation with the Institute for Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies, this award is meant to provide partial funding to assist students with travel and other expenses related to their internship. More information about the award at Arts Internship Awards. More information about WMST/SDST Internships.