The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) offers students an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary course of study that explores how the intersection of gender with race, class, sexualities, and other social categories of difference affects the ways power works in local, national, and global communities.

At URI, GWS students examine both the processes through which norms, discourses, and policies emerge from gendered cultural, political, and economic structures—as well as their impact on human rights, workplace inequalities, national and global politics, health care, and environmental sustainability.

Coursework includes feminist theories and methodologies, international women’s rights, queer and masculinity studies, human and sex trafficking, sex and gender in Latin America and Latinx communities, Black feminisms, leadership and activism for social change, and literary and autobiographical studies, among other areas.

GWS prepares students with the knowledge and skills to fully participate in decision-making and leadership roles. Graduates go on to work in public service, law, nonprofit, social and community service, advocacy, international development, and humanitarian organizations.


  • Develop your values and confidence, and understand how you can contribute to a changing world.
  • Practice critical thinking, writing, research, and collaboration skills.
  • Engage with diverse social actors and issues, develop empathy, and take action.
  • Evolve through your interactions with innovative thinkers and change agents.


  • Take initiative, develop a position, and implement action plans on and off campus.
  • Make informed and ethical decisions through a human rights lens.
  • Learn to strive for and secure decision-making roles and professions.
  • Encourage others to take leadership positions.


  • Influence and motivate others at URI, in your community, and in the workplace.
  • Be inspired by your peers and their life experiences to expand your knowledge and potential, and connect to community.
  • Aspire to promote social justice in all you do.
  • Learn to be a lifelong mentor.