Women's studies is an interdisciplinary academic program that aims to expand students' understanding and appreciation of women's lives and experiences both historically and in contemporary societies throughout the world.
Students learn how the application of a gendered lens has challenged traditional historical and cultural assumptions, while they gain a systematic knowledge of scholarship about women and gender. Courses examine the ways in which gender has structured intellectual and social traditions in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Study may also call attention to how issues of gender intersect with beliefs about race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
The curriculum emphasizes critical thinking from an interdisciplinary perspective, a skill students can apply to a multitude of careers or graduate programs. Transylvania students choosing a women’s studies minor have successfully entered competitive graduate programs in such fields as library science, public policy, law, medicine, dentistry, social work, counseling, education, history, business, anthropology, fine arts, and psychology.
Because the curriculum also prepares students to live and work in an increasingly diverse culture, students learn the skills needed to be effective leaders in corporations, government, and non-profit organizations.
Special topics courses, independent studies, or courses taken at other institutions may fulfill a minor requirement upon approval of the director of women's studies. Students have received credit for internships in such organizations as:
- The National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C.
- The ACLU in Louisville, Ky.
- The Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center
- The YWCA
- The Center for Women, Children, & Families
- The American Association for University Women
- The Kentucky State Legislature
- The Governor’s Task Force on the Economic Status of Kentucky Women