Gender & Women Studies Department


Investigate the Role of Gender in Human Communities

Gender and Women Studies draws from scholarship in history, anthropology, economics, sociology, psychology, political science, literature, drama, art — focusing on women's lives throughout the world to learn about history, literature, culture and the structure of societies. 

Because there are differences in women’s lives and differences in the approach of various disciplines, Gender and Women Studies offers multiple perspectives in exploring the interrelations of race, class, culture, nation, sexuality and gender. The goal of Gender and Women Studies is to educate all people to understand the political, economic and social systems and processes that construct gender, race and class in cultures throughout the world — guaranteeing everyone is able to have a full voice in society and that diversity as a value permeates the culture of the college itself. 

Interdisciplinary in its methodology, Gender and Women Studies incorporates the scientific methods used in traditional social sciences but includes other forms in which women's experiences and voices are heard: poetry, theater, fiction, diaries, history and other reflections of personal experience. An important component is the global context of these.

Courses include: Women in American History; Issues of Gender, Race and Class in Women's Lives; Women in the Global Context; Women and Politics; Psychology of Gender; plus independent study options. Except for the introductory course, all classes are cross-listed — offered discretely as well as within the Integrated Studies program, in coordinated studies or as linked courses.  Independent studies are available, as well as an unpaid/for-credit TA internship, with the opportunity to work closely with your instructor on teaching and learning/pedagogical issues in the field.

With department courses, you can satisfy the U.S. Cultures, Global Studies and Integrated Studies requirements for the A.A. degree, get transfer preparation for a major or minor in Women Studies at the UW and other colleges and universities, or take individual courses if you are already in a four-year school.

Gender & Women Studies Draws Students into Serious Thought & Research That Includes Their Own Lives

Karen Stuhldreher
Gender & Women Studies Faculty

Karen Stuhldreher works with students in the interdisciplinary Gender and Women Studies program, where they learn to think critically and seriously about their culture and the larger world, engaging in research that includes their own life experiences.


As a single mother of four, working in sales to support my family, I completed my GED and, thereafter, enrolled at North — after yearning to go to college for 22 years! Coordinated studies courses, including Beginnings, led me to examine hegemony [dominance of one social group over another], women in global politics and oppression of marginalized groups. My Gender and Women Studies professor Karen Stuhldreher was my lifeline at the College. Her classes laid the foundation for completing my bachelor’s in International Cultural Studies and certification in Intercultural Peacebuilding. Most importantly, Karen helped me to confront the painful social injustices of my past. 


I firmly believe it was because of Karen and this program that I graduated magna cum laude and have been accepted as a master’s candidate at Eastern Mennonite University at the Center for Peace and Justice in Conflict Transformation.  

—Ema M. Billings, BA

Gender & Women Studies Department

Karen Stuhldreher
(206) 934-7007

Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Division

IB 2407
Division Contacts
(206) 934-3709
Mailing Address
NSC Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Division
9600 College Way N
Seattle, WA 98103

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