Gender and Women's Studies

If you are committed to making a difference in your community and beyond, the gender and women’s studies minor will empower you and equip you with the knowledge and skills to affect social change. 


  • The GWS minor will demonstrate, inside and outside of the classroom, how much we, as individuals and a society, are formed by gender, race, class and sexuality.
  • You will join a supportive, scholarly community that is centered on student success and based in the College's historical commitment to human rights and fighting social inequality and oppression.
  • Hands-on learning is emphasized at every level of the GWS program, with opportunities for you to intern or work with local agencies, activist organizations, community volunteer programs and campus-wide campaigns to educate and combat injustice. 
  • You will have many chances to apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations, preparing you with valuable experience for your future career or graduate study. Students have partnered with nationwide campaign “We Are Here” to raise awareness of sexual assault on campuses, New Directions to serve homeless people in the community, Planned Parenthood in Springfield to research statewide advocacy organizations and many more. 
  • As a senior, you will participate in student-faculty research or complete a project related to your future career goals, such as gender equity in politics in Spain, sexual assault on college campuses and regional efforts to end sex trafficking.


You can find recent GWS graduates serving organizations around the world, with IC alumni working for the Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault, AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps and the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Many other students have gone on to jobs in the fields of education, ministry, mental health counseling, business, management and nonprofit social service agencies.

Recent alumni from the GWS program have gone on to graduate programs in the areas of mental health counseling, social work and integrative studies at schools like Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Illinois Springfield and the University of Chicago.