education to empower 

Grounded in an area rich with feminist and women's history, Hobart and William Smith's Gender and Feminist Studies program examines the intricacies of topics such as gender, race, social expectations and more. As a major or minor, you'll engage in conversations regarding sexuality, gender, race, identity, disability and justice through interdisciplinary courses and cocurricular experiences. You'll graduate prepared for a career in many fields including law, healthcare, social work and the arts.

Gender and Feminist Studies lives under the Gender, Sexuality and Intersectional Justice department at HWS. The department links the Colleges’ programs on race, sexuality, gender, disability and more, providing holistic, interdisciplinary views on topics including sexual orientation and gender identity. 



Experiential EducationUnderstanding Gender

Study the legacy of social justice warriors in the gender and abolition corridor, which includes the site of the first women's rights convention and Harriet Tubman's historical home, or discuss feminist issues on a student written and produced podcast. 

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.


No Borders:Global Education

Explore gender dynamics in Brazil, feminist ideologies in the Czech Republic or health care access equality in England.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.


Belonging, Diversity and Equity

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of Gender and Feminist Studies and the Gender, Sexuality, and Intersectional Justice department. The program is based on understanding relations of power in gender, race, sexuality, and the workings of colonialism, as well as how social movements and political activism can create social transformation. Students engage with the intellectual work of diverse scholars, with the goal of providing students an intersectional and social justice driven education to create a more understanding, compassionate, and equitable world.



Amplify your Gender, Sexuality, and Intersectional Justice degree with the skills, knowledge and ethical foundation needed to be a leader in the 21st century. In partnership with the Centennial Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, our department offers the opportunity to engage in leadership development that culminates in a degree with leadership distinction and provides a competitive edge when applying to internships, jobs and graduate or professional school.

To graduate with leadership distinction, you will complete a series of foundational, action-oriented and reflective milestones within the Gender, Sexuality, and Intersectional Justice and Leadership curriculum. We encourage you to begin your leadership journey as early as your second semester on campus.


Alum ImpactPreparation to Succeed

tatianna suriel '20

Current Position: 
Master's Candidate in Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara 
Current Location:
Santa Barbara, CA   
Anthropology and Sociology, Women's Studies 

"I have found that the expectations HWS professors held me to and the level of critical thinking that was necessary to succeed has been applicable to just about everything I encounter. More importantly, HWS taught me the importance of advocating for yourself, your needs, and the needs of other people. I find myself thriving in nearly every environment I encounter because I understand what I need to succeed."

HWS Alums Engaged in Gender, Sexuality and Intersectional Justice work: 

  • Elizabeth Saucier Atkinson ‘07: Director of Accessibility Services; Husson University 
  • Tahisha E. Ayala-Dean ‘05: Behavior Specialist; McKinley Elementary School 
  • Alexandra Brind ‘22: Human Resource Analyst and Compensation Coordinator; St. John Fisher University 
  • Alyssa Deem ‘18: Physician Assistant Student; D’Youville College 
  • Zosia Borst-Censullo Freeman ‘10: Social Worker; Riverside County Regional Medical Center Foundation
  • Brendan Csaposs '09: Global Lead of Academic Operations; Nova Pioneer 
  • Sara Jones ‘00: Investigator Supervisor; Orleans Public Defenders 
  • Lauren Karam ‘15: Attorney-Environmental Law; Beveridge & Diamond 
  • Ashley Lima ‘06: Nurse; Rochester General Hospital 
  • Stacey Maceda ‘19: Development Operations Associate; Harlem Children’s Zone
  • Thomas Michaud '12: Lead Foreman; Dark Harbor Property Management 
  • Dereck O. Norville-Bowie '06: Associate Director of Institutional Research & Assessment; Hostos Community College
  • Ruby Verbitsky ‘21: Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Unit Administrator; Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office 

universities where our students are studying 

  • Yale School of Nursing's Midwifery and Women's Health
  • Johns Hopkins University Master of Science in Nursing
  • Maastricht University Master of Public Policy
  • University of New England Master of Social Work
  • Daeman College Master of Social Work
  • University of Buffalo School of Law