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Interdisciplinary Concentration in Women in Learning and Leadership

Program Planner

Over the past several decades women have claimed leadership roles in the fields of politics, business, sports, and the professions. Consequently, women have assumed a prominent role in subverting the stereotypic gender-biased model of leadership. Although still statistically under-represented, women’s increasing visibility in leadership roles continues to raise major questions: Do women have an identifiably different way of leading? How does this leadership manifest itself? What discernible effects does women’s leadership have on the development and implementation of public policy? Are there differences in the ways in which women lead locally, nationally and transnationally?

This concentration examines ways in which gender bias is reflected in the perception of leadership and explores the increasing role of women in global leadership roles. Students examine differences and similarities between female and male styles of leadership through courses selected to offer a variety of examples. They also examine how those differences are reflected in local, national, and transnational cultures. Selected courses offer students a view of women as leaders in historical and contemporary settings through the examination of literature, media, and politics; additionally students examine the cultural and social impediments to women’s leadership.

Faculty Sponsor

Mary Lynn W. Hopps (Women’s & Gender Studies)



Required Course

  • WGS 200/Women, Culture, and Society-Leadership section*


Arts and Humanities

Three of the following

  • HON 362/Goodwives and Witches: Women in Colonial America
  • WGS 220/Gender and Popular Culture*
  • WGS 305/AAH 343/COM 343/Looking at Women: Representation, Feminisms, and Film*
  • WGS 325/Feminist Theories (Prerequisite 1 WGS course)
  • WGS 360/LIT 334/Literature by Latinas and Latin American Women*
  • WGS 376/LIT 316/Global Women Writers *
Social Sciences and History

Three of the following

  • WGS 318/Women and the Legislative Process*
  • WGS 260/AAS 280/Africana Women in Historical Perspective*
  • WGS 310/HON 337/HIS 324/Women in Eastern Europe *
  • WGS 375/Global Feminisms*
  • WGS 380/HON 338/Gender and Democracy*
  • WGS 496/Women’s Leadership and Social Change (Prerequisite: 2 WGS courses)
*Courses without prerequisites.

In addition to courses required by this concentration, a student must complete one approved course in quantitative reasoning and one approved course in laboratory science to satisfy breadth requirements in liberal learning. Students should consult their major or open option advisors about how best to complete other liberal learning requirements.