The Program in Women’s Studies at Duke University is part of a historical educational enterprise dedicated to the study of identity as a complex social phenomenon.

Since its founding in 1983, the Program has brought new scholarship on women to the university curriculum by linking the study of gender to race, sexuality, class, and nation. In the classroom as in our research, we reach across divisions of historical, political, economic, representational, technological, and scientific analysis in order to offer students innovative methods and theories that enhance the broad reach of their studies and their everyday lives.


Many students identify women's studies courses as among the most exciting and enlightening they take at Duke. The women and men who enroll in our classes each semester gain the opportunity to understand how social, historical, and psychological forces, organized by the central concept of gender, shape them as individuals; to attain a fuller understanding of human behavior, culture, and society made possible by investigating women's lives; to acquaint themselves with the experience of women of different economic classes, sexual orientations, and cultural, and racial backgrounds; and to transfer the critical and analytical skills they acquire in the study of gender and society to other classes, beyond the campus to other activities, and eventually to their professional careers.

Duke students find their background in Women's Studies to be a valuable resource for their professional development and lifelong intellectual growth. In recent years, Women’s Studies graduates have found themselves well prepared to pursue advanced degrees in every discipline; training in the legal and medical professions; employment in community service agencies; leadership roles in local, state, and national government; artistic expression in the creative arts; and positions in the corporate world. For more ideas check Career Opportunities for Women's Studies Majors.

Read,Five Reasons You Should Major in Women's Studies.

There are a number of reasons and benefits to pursuing Women's Studies at Duke. We invite you to explore the options and opportunities available in Women's Studies by contacting Kim Carlisle (919) 684-3770 or  in the undergraduate program.


Interested in majoring or minoring? Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies:

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To Declare a major or minor contact:

The Academic Advising Center to fill out your long-range plan.

  • phone: 919-684-6217
  • hours: Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm
  • email:

Office of Undergraduate Education

Bringing together students, faculty and staff to make Duke a more accessible, inclusive and engaged university.

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