Women and Gender Studies

If you seek a life-changing experience and to change the lives of others, we have a program that will focus your education on issues surrounding women and gender and your resulting actions on social justice.

Our graduates work at the Child Abuse Council, Next Gen Climate Iowa, and SafePath Survivor Resources (part of Family Resources) .

Ambrose Advantages

  • Tradition of Service and Social Justice
  • Inspiring and Supportive Community
  • Opportunities to Lead and Educate Others

students in classroom

students in beehive

Students on Campus in Fall

As a Women and Gender Studies major, you gain critical thinking skills and make lifelong friendships as you work with your peers and the greater community to solve problems and make the world a better place. You graduate ready to step into a career or pursue graduate studies.

See Our Women and Gender Studies Fact Sheet (pdf)

More Information on the Women and Gender Studies Program

What will I learn?

Women and Gender Studies majors are strong writers, excellent speakers, and know how to promote justice and human rights for all people. Courses include feminist theory, women's literature, psychology of gender, health issues, marriage and family, social justice, and theology of Christian marriage.

You can pursue a major or minor in Women and Gender Studies.

We give you a comprehensive education that's valued in the workforce and education community. Over 95% of our alumni are working in their field of choice or are enrolled in graduate programs.

What makes the Women and Gender Studies program at SAU unique?

We are active - on campus and in the community. Women and Gender Studies has organized events to raise awareness about trauma-informed care, body image and eating disorders, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault; promote diversity during Multicultural Week; and write letters for the UN Day of Peace and Justice.

We get involved and educate others. Our students can attend national conferences, or even the prestigious N.E.W. Iowa Leaders seminar which trains women how to run for public office. We bring speakers and performers from around the world -- including Iran, EI Salvador, Russia, South Africa -- to campus. Our students get to meet internationally recognized leaders, such as Native American activist Winona LaDuke, during the annual Ambrose Women for Social Justice conference.

We intern and serve. You can work one-on-one with experts in the field to explore careers. Through internships, our students have advocated for survivors of violence at Family Resources, educated pregnant mothers about prenatal care at Edgerton Women's Health Center, assisted survivors at Winnie's Place shelter, worked with students at Annie Wittenmyer School, developed a fitness plan for women at Center For Active Seniors (CASI), and helped homeless youth at The Place2B.

We make it easy. Through the BA-MSW program, you can earn your undergraduate degree and a Master of Social Work in five years. Women and Gender Studies gives you a framework for supporting human rights and social justice advocacy. Our MSW program pairs remarkably well because it focuses on empowering clients, families, communities, and organizations to be agents of change in the world. You save a year of tuition and you get a head start on making a difference through your career or in the community.

We bring you together. Our Women's Studies Resource Center offers programs and research resources, including books, journals, and videos. Located in Ambrose Hall, it is available to the entire campus community. If you want to spend time with like minds, join Triota, the Women's Studies Honor society.

What are some potential career outcomes?

This major can prepare you for careers in advocacy, social services, community education, and more. Some of our graduates work with immigrants and violence survivors through AmeriCorps, served in the Peace Corps, work in the federal technology sector, and are public school educators.

Our graduates also have landed prestigious scholarships, fellowships, and enrolled in top graduate programs at Washington University in St. Louis, DePaul University, and the St. Ambrose Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.Over 95% of our recent graduates are employed or have been admitted to graduate school.

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Cat Roth '15 paired her WGS degree with a Biology minor. She is a Doula Home Visitor at the Child Abuse Council, and provides traditional labor support to clients at the hospital and prenatal and postnatal home visits. Cat works with mothers to encourage a positive birth experience and assists with the transition to parenthood.
  • Two recent graduates, Bernadette Muloski '12 and Jessica Pera '13, served in Americorps, supporting social justice for immigrants and survivors of violence in the U.S.
  • Emily Block '12 works for the federal government in Maryland.
  • Kyla Hadenfeldt '12 is a Support Services Therapist at Safe Connections in St. Louis, Mo.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Women and Gender Studies

WGS 201 Introduction
WGS 325 Feminist Theory
WGS 405 Seminar

Choose 18 credits from these core courses:
ENGL 222 Women's Literature
+HIST 318 American Women: Topics
+PSYC 203 Psychology of Gender
PYSC 312 Women and Aging
+SOC 325 Sex and Gender
+THEO 324 Women Theologians
+WGS 310 Topics in Women's Studies
+WGS 315 Latin American Women's Issues
+WGS 320 Women in Irish Film
+WGS 330 Women's Studies in Practicum
+WGS 340 Women and Madness

No more than 9 credits from the affiliate courses:
+COMM 203 Interpersonal Communication
CRJU 487 Race, Gender, Class and Criminal Justice
+ENGL 304 Renaissance Literature
KIN 273 Women's Health Issues
PSYC 205 Psychology of Human Sexuality
SVLN 201 Service Learning (1 credit)
+SOC 323 Marriage and Family
+SOC 340 Race and Ethnicity
THEO 305 Theology of Christian Marriage
+THEO 310 Social Justice
+THEO 321 Contemporary Theological Issues
WGS 350 Independent Study (1-3 credits)

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in Women and Gender Studies.

This plan assumes the student has taken three years of foreign language in high school.

Year One

WGS 201 3 WGS 210 3
COMM 203 or ENGL 101 3 KIN 273 3
SOC 101 or PSYC 105 3 SOC 101 or PSYCH 105 3
PHIL or THEO 101 3 PHIL or THEO 3
InfoLit (if needed) and NSS 2 NATURAL SCI 3
KIN 149 1
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Two

PSYC 203 OR PSYC 205 3 Psyc 101 SOC 325 or 323 3 SOC 101
SOC 325 OR 323 3 SOC 101 PSYC 203* or 205 3 *PSYC 101
Creative Arts 3 THEO 305, 310 or 324 3 THEO 100-level
MATH (STATS if possible) 3 KIN Activity 1-2
ENGL 222 3 ENGL 101 SVL - Service learning 1
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 14-15

Study Abroad
Students are encouraged to study abroad during the Spring semester of their 2nd or 3rd year. Please see your advisor for suggestions.

Year Three

WGS 325 3 WGS 201 PSYC 312# or Elective 3 PSYC 105, ENGL 101
THEO 324 or 321 3 THEO 100-Level WGS 310 3 WGS 101
HIST 318 or CRJU 487 3 WGS 201 Electives 6
Elective or Foreign language 3 Elective or Foreign language 3
Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

WGS 405# 3 WGS 201, 325 WGS 330 or WGS 310 3 WGS 201, 325
WGS 330 or WGS 310 3 WGS 201 Elective or PSYC 312 3
Electives 9 Electives 9
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

#=must be taken at SAU to satisfy writing intensive

Minor in Women and Gender Studies (18 credits)

+WGS 201 Introduction
WGS 390 Seminar

At least six credits from:
+ENGL 222 Women's Literature
+HIST 318 American Women
+PSYCH 203 Psychology of Gender
PSYCH 205 Psychology of Human Sexuality
PSYCH 312 Women and Aging
+THEO 324 Women Theologians
+WGS 210 US Latina Literature and Culture
+WGS 310 Topics (Fall 2014-Cross listed with KIN 273 Women's Health/Women and Sport)
+WGS 320 Women and Irish Film
WGS 325 Feminist Theory (Fall 2014-Cross listed with Sociology 380)
+WGS 330 Practicum
+WGS 340 Women and Madness

Up to six credits from:
+COMM 203 Interpersonal Communication
CRJU 487 Race, Gender, Class and Criminal Justice
+ENGL 304 Renaissance Literature
KIN 273 Women's Health Issues
PSYC 205 Psychology of Human Sexuality
SVLN 201 Service Learning (1 credit)
+SOC 323 Marriage and Family
+SOC 340 Race and Ethnicity
THEO 305 Theology of Christian Marriage
+THEO 310 Social Justice
+THEO 321 Contemporary Theological Issues
WGS 350 Independent Study (1-3 credits)

+=fulfills general education requirement

Click here to read course descriptions in the online course catalog


Scholarships and Grants

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student athletes. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2018-19 academic year. For questions about any of the awards below, give our friendly Financial Aid Office a call at 563-333-5775.

Guaranteed Minimum Scholarship Award 

based on GPA (Grade Point Average)
3.5-4.00 GPA: $12,000 per year scholarship award
3.0-3.49 GPA: $11,000 per year scholarship award
2.5-2.99 GPA: $10,000 per year scholarship award
2.0-2.49 GPA: $8,000 per year scholarship award


Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society

Based on Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society membership. Award is $12,500 per year for new transfer students.

Awards are renewable each year up to a maximum eight semesters, including transfer hours. Scholarships awarded for fall and spring semesters only. GPA is based on 4.0 scale.

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.

Nathan Tappen Headshot Mobile Version Nathan Tappen Headshot

Nathan Tappen

Class of 2021

Nathan Tappen was undecided on a major when he became an Ambrosian in 2017, but “undecided” is OK. We offer more than 60 undergraduate majors, and Nathan was eager to explore. “I like the academic programs SAU offers, and maybe what I want to do in the future will be inspired by a class I take.”

See My Story

Apply Visit Info


Katy Strzepek, Director

Women and Gender Studies
Ambrose Hall 224
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!