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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 24, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Women and Gender Studies

Women and Gender Studies at Laurier 

Women and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that emphasizes the important role that gender plays in shaping an individual’s experience, and how women’s lives continue to be left out of traditional approaches to knowledge. We stress the complex ways in which gender is fundamentally linked to class, race, ethnicity, nationality, age, and sexual orientation, and how these aspects shape and construct our sense of self, our roles in society and our institutions. 

You can earn an Honours BA in Women and Gender Studies in combination with another Honours BA program such as global studies, English, communication studies, sociology, cultural studies, psychology or history. 

Program highlights

  • Upper-level students lead a research and writing supplemental instruction project aimed at developing the skills of first- and second-year students. 
  • Key courses include a service-learning component which allows students to connect their coursework with community learning experience. 
  • Our mentorship program helps first-years students integrate into university and community life with the help of upper level students. 

Course offered 

First Year Courses

  • Intro to Women's Studies

Popular courses

  • Girls, Women and Popular Culture
  • Gender and Visual Culture
  • Women and Social Justice

Admission requirements 

Honours BA Women's Studies (in combination with another Honours program)

4U Requirements IB Requirement  Admission Range 
English at 60%  HL or SL English at 4 

Mid 70s

IB Minimum score: 28  


Recent changes in policies and practices in the public and private sectors have led to an increasing number of job possibilities for people knowledgeable about women's issues. Personnel offices, human resources, public policy, government, police forces, social services agencies and educational institutions are all interested in employees with such knowledge, especially for positions such as employment equity and sexual harassment positions. 

Women and Gender Studies courses can also help to prepare students for careers in areas such as law, medicine, business, politics, community action, social policy and planning, fine arts, teaching and research.

Student experience 

000Fradley_Davis__Danielle_.jpgAfter sitting in on Dr. Ramirez’s introductory class to WS 100, Danielle Fradley-Davis knew she had found her passion. “The class went on to be one of the most inspiring and challenging courses of my first year,” she says. 

To Fradley-Davis, Women and Gender Studies is more than just a program of study. “It challenges me to question the world I live in,” she says, “and to see in a new light ideas and values of my own that I have taken for granted. The program teaches me about myself as much as it does the world I live in. It motivates me to make change within myself and the world.”

Whatever she chooses to do after graduation, Fradley-Davis knows that “helping people and working for change will always be my priority.”

Faculty experience 

0000Khan_.jpgSpecializing in gender and Islam, Dr. Shahnaz Khan’s work examines the representations of Muslim women in Hindi cinema. In 2008, Khan was granted Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funding for a three-year project examining the ways in which such representations are taken up in Pakistan and in Canada by their Muslim audiences. She is the author of Muslim Women: Crafting a North American Identity, and Zina, Transnational Feminism and the Moral Regulation of Pakistani Women. She has published articles in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Feminist Review, Feminist Studies and Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies.

Khan has been teaching at Laurier since 2002. “I like the enthusiasm of the students and the small university atmosphere at Laurier,” she says.