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About WILL

Women In Learning and Leadership (WILL) is a curricular and co-curricular program, designed to provide leadership experience, encouragement, and opportunity for development of critical and analytical skills. WILL provides active learning opportunities that empower women as leaders, fosters a deeper understanding of women’s roles and contributions to society, and offers opportunities for women to investigate career and life choices.

Requirements for WILL

Students accepted into the WILL Program are required to complete 5 courses in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, in addition to attending at least 3 gender-related co-curricular programs each semester, and participating in the WILL student organization. When appropriate, WILL-only sections of WGS courses are offered. There is a section of the introductory course WGS200 (Women, Culture, and Society) designated as WILL-only and the senior capstone WGS496 (Women’s Leadership and Social Change) originally designed specifically for the WILL curriculum, is now open to WGS and WGS/ED majors.

WILL Program Brochure

2022 WILL Handbook

Academic Curriculum:

WGS 200: Women, Culture & Society (WILL-only Leadership section) – 1 unit (4 semester hrs.)
LL:  Gender, Behavioral, Social or Cultural Perspectives
This is an introductory level course that introduces the discipline of Women’s Studies. In the WILL-only section there is a special emphasis on leadership theory and women’s leadership.

Gender in Global Perspective (either 200 or 300 level) – 1 unit (4 semester hrs.)
LL:  Gender, Global, Literary, Visual & Performing Arts
A requirement that may be fulfilled by courses that examine feminist issues in a global context. Choose ONE of the following:

  • WGS376/LIT316: Global Women Writers
  • WGS260 /AAS280: Women of African Descent in Global Perspective
  • WGS360/LIT334: Literature by Latinas and Latin American Women
  • WGS381/ANT311: Women in Migration
  • WGS375: Transnational Feminism
  • WGS310/HIS324/HON337: Women in Eastern Europe
  • SOC303: Women in World Perspectives

WGS 325: Feminist Theories (Prerequisite: at least one WGS course) – 1 unit (4 semester hrs.)
LL: Gender, Worldviews & Ways of Knowing
Philosophical and sociological perspectives and feminist theories are used to illuminate the assumptions and ideologies that maintain the asymmetry that exists between women and men. The course analyzes the relationship of cultural values and assumptions to scientific processes and knowledge as the systematic nature of gender, race, class, and other forms of subordination and oppression are explored.


WGS 365: Black Feminist Thought (AAS 375) (Prerequisite: at least one WGS or AAS course) – 1 unit (4 semester hrs.)
LL: Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Writing Intensive, Worldviews & Ways of Knowing
Traces the evolution of feminist consciousness among Africana women. Students will trace the thoughts, social and political activism and ideologies generated by women of African ancestry from the early 19th Century free black “feminist abolitionists” to contemporary times. “Womanist,” “Feminist,” “Critical Race Feminist,” and “Black Feminist” ideologies will be emphasized through course readings and assignments that explore the emergence and perpetuation of an Africana women’s feminist consciousness.

(For non-Education majors)

WGS 398: Feminism in the Workplace:  Field Study in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Prerequisite: at least two WGS courses) and internship- 1 unit (4 semester hrs.)
LL:  Gender, Community Engagement
What does it mean to be a feminist on the job? Students placed in the corporate, governmental, and nonprofit sectors will meet to analyze the organizational structures, institutional objectives and daily life of the workplace. While each student will develop a research project tailored to her placement, class discussions will be based on common readings on feminist ethics, feminist social research, and the gendered politics of the workplace.


(For Education majors ONLY) 

WGS 350 Gender Equity in the Classroom  (4 semester hrs.)
LL: Gender, Behavioral, Social or Cultural Perspectives, Writing Intensive
This graduate seminar examines theoretical writings on feminist pedagogy and also addresses practical issues related to teaching Women’s and Gender Studies.  Participants will develop familiarity with  feminist pedagogies and their significance for the field of Women’s and Gender Studies; interpret their own educational experiences within the context of feminist reflections on education; formulate their own philosophies of education; and develop and test pedagogical strategies for developing critical consciousness about social inequalities.

WGS 499: Women’s Leadership and Social Change – 1 unit (4 semester hrs.)
LL:  Gender, Behavioral, Social or Cultural Perspectives, Community Engagement
In this capstone seminar course, students experience the interfaces between empirical knowledge and social policies through selecting, organizing, and implementing a class activism project.  This course is the culmination of the WILL Program in which students will expand and enhance their leadership skills using acquired strategies and tactics to influence social, political, or economic change.


WGS 498: Senior Seminar: Methods in Theory – 1 unit (4 semester hrs.)
LL: Gender, Behavioral, Social or Cultural Perspectives, Writing Intensive
This course is the capstone course for the Women’s and Gender Studies major. Students are expected to use the expertise gained from their previous WGS courses to research and write their senior theses. Drawing on the methodologies and theories learned in previously taken courses, students work in a small focused seminar that not only emphasizes their own work but also constructively critiques the work of their peers. Students will produce a research paper (25+ pages) applying feminist theories and methodologies. In addition, they will share their work with other students, providing analysis and critiques of one another’s papers in progress.