Women's and Gender Studies Program

Mission Statement:

Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary minor degree program that explores gender as a system of relations and power. Students apply feminist, gender, and queer theory to understand intersectional issues of race, sexuality, and class, collectively creating a society free of discrimination, harassment, and violence.  (WGE approved 4/18/18). 

Minor Degree:  The minor degree complements a student’s major by focusing on women’s and gender issues in a variety of disciplines. It consists of 18 credit hours, up to 6 hours of which can overlap with a student’s major degree requirements. One introductory course is required (“Women’s & Gender Studies” WSTD 220) and five courses are designated electives from at least two different departments. Click on the “Class Schedules” link for course offerings each semester. 

Triota: Triota (Iota-Iota-Iota) is a student organization dedicated to encouraging and supporting scholarship in Women’s, Gender, & Ethnic Studies and to empowering students of any sex, gender, race, orientation, status, and ability. It promotes awareness of gender, ethnic, and racial issues on campus and in the community while also fostering activism and advocacy. Contact program director for more information. 

Scholarships: Students minoring in Women’s & Gender Studies are qualified to apply for an annual scholarship. The award is based on a student’s academic performance and her/his/their contribution to Triota and/or to women’s and gender issues in the larger Kearney community. Contact program director for more information. 

Program History: University faculty and administrators from across campus established the Women’s Studies Program at UNK in 1989. It is now one of over 650 such programs at colleges and universities throughout the United States. The first Women’s Studies Program began in 1970 at San Diego State University, and in 1977 the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA). formed to help develop this new discipline. Their goal at the time was to create space for the study of women; faculty and students wanted a university education to include women’s issues and perspectives. Since then, Women’s Studies Programs have grown to include new scholarship on gender, sexuality, and masculinities. The UNK program changed its name to reflect these developments, becoming the Women’s & Gender Studies Program in 2007. In 2016, the program emphasized the intersectionality of gender, race, class, and ethnicity by collaborating with the Ethnic Studies Program under one program director. The program continues to grow, adding a new course in LGBTQ+ Studies in 2018 and supporting experiential learning through research and presentation at the annual “No Limits” conference hosted on a rotating basis in Lincoln, Omaha, and Kearney. 

To add the minor degree to your academic program, complete the program change form to “add a minor” in MyBlue, or contact the Women’s & Gender Studies program director.


Dr. Linda Van Ingen
Director, Women’s, Gender & Ethnic Studies Program
Professor, History
103-C Copeland Hall



Triota at Blue and GoldWS Group PhotoGroup of Four Women