Women’s Studies

Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary program focused on the study of women and gender. Students in this program explore important questions about gendered identities, gendered systems of discrimination, and how we may work towards gender equity and social justice.

The Women Studies minor is ideal for students interested in learning about issues such as gender-based violence (GBV), the intersection of gendered poverty and migration, the complex issues surrounding the changing nature of gender roles, the persistence of gender-based discrimination in the workplace and in education, and the complex issues of unpaid care and work, among other important topics.

Learn By Doing

A valuable aspect of the Women’s Studies Program is the opportunity to participate in internships focused on girls and women in our community.

For example, for human services or psychology majors, an internship at the YWCA’s Young Parents Program allows students to explore in great depth the impact of single parenthood on the psychological health of young mothers. At Abby’s House, a shelter for homeless women, sociology majors might gain a firsthand view of the feminization of poverty. A history major might obtain valuable research skills by serving as a member of seminars conducted at the American Antiquarian Society, while a Spanish major might participate in the collection and translation of oral histories from Worcester’s Spanish-speaking population in conjunction with the Worcester Women’s Oral History Project.

Research Opportunities

Working with a faculty mentor, students have conducted research on:


Students who complete the course, HUS/SOC/CRM 301 Victim Advocacy: Working with Survivors of Violence will be eligible, at minimum, for the NACP Provisional Credential, but potentially at a higher level of Credentialing based upon their verifiable field experience. For more information, please visit

Program Contact

Cinzia Pica, Ed.D.

Chair, Department of Health and Human Services, Director of the Women’s Studies Program, Professor, Human Services
508-767-7306 Switzer Building - Room 109

All classes taught by professors, none by teaching assistants
Students from 33 states and 11 countries
Student/Faculty ratio

Program Curriculum

  • Students interested in women’s studies have the option of constructing a special major within the discipline with the approval of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. This generally encompasses WMS 285, WMS 385, eight women’s studies electives, and an internship in a placement related to women and/or girls.

    Course Descriptions

  • Students take six courses, including the Women’s Studies I: Images “gateway course” from an array of Women’s Studies connected options.

    The minor program requires students to take the introductory course along with five other courses, three of which must be taken beyond the student’s major requirements as specified in Assumption’s policy on the “double counting” of courses. Women of the World (CLT/ENG/HIS/PSY/SOC/WMS 385), was added by Women’s Studies to expand the scope of our program by including the experiences and challenges of women worldwide. Students may also pursue internships focused on women’s issues in a variety of placements, including within educational or social service agencies. This minor is important for all students, but especially for those who intend to work in areas of policymaking, urban planning, business, social service, and counseling, or the law.

    In addition to the introductory Images course, students following the women’s studies minor select from an array of courses approved as Women’s Studies electives. These courses change from semester to semester, but often include many of the following:

    ANT 131 Cultural Anthropology
    ARD 217 Typography
    BIO 380 Biology of Cancer
    CLT 210 Classical Mythology
    CRM 325 Victimology
    CRM 333 Prisoner Rehabilitation & Re-entry
    CRM 335 Family Violence
    ECO 210 Economics of Women, Men, and Work
    ECO 264 Comparative Economic Systems
    EDU 101 Schools in American Society
    ENG 219 Approaches to Media Analysis
    ENG228 Voices of Multitudes
    ENG 263 Children’s Literature
    ENG/PHI 265 Introduction to Peace Studies
    ENG 281 Women in Literature
    ENG 287 Literature of American Women of Color
    ENG 353 Novels of Jane Austen
    ENG 363 Nineteenth-Century British Novel
    ENG 371 The 1920s
    ENG 396 American Film
    ENG 387 Survey of Afro-American Literature
    FRE 401 French Popular Culture Today
    GEO/SOC 108 World Population Issues
    HIS 269 The African American Dream
    HIS 279 Immigration and America History
    HIS 312 Women in Europe
    HIS 313 Women and the American Experience
    HIS 338 Classics of Spiritual Direction
    HIS 359 Revolutionary America
    HUS 121 Human Development and Disability Across the Lifespan
    HUS/SOC/CRM 301 Victim Advocacy: Working with Survivors of Violence
    HUS 420 Family Systems
    HUS 421 Loss and Bereavement Across the Lifespan
    IDS 250 Community Tax Assistance
    LAS 200 Introduction to Latin American Studies
    MGT 301 Business and Society
    MGT 311 Diversity in the Work Force
    MGT 330 Global Social Entrepreneurship
    NUR 420 Professional Nursing: Promoting Family Health
    NUR 421 Professional Nursing: Promotion Family Health Clinical
    PHI 312 Contemporary Women in Philosophy
    POL 376 Terrorism and the Modern World
    PSY 217 Psychology of Women
    PSY 220 Interpersonal Communication
    PSY 410 Stereotypes and Prejudice
    SOC 122 Social Problems
    SOC 223 Family in Society
    SOC 224 Gender Issues in Society
    SPA 255 Sports in the Hispanic World
    SPA 256 A Year of Celebrations
    SOC 315 Masculinities
    SPA 316 Emerging Modernities in the Hispanic World
    SPA 317 Border Identities in Spain
    SPA 318 Rebellion and Reinvention in Mexico
    SPA 370 Women Writers in Contemporary Spain
    SPA 381 Contemporary Spanish American Drama
    WMS 215 Introduction to Gender-Based Violence
    WMS 385 Women of the World

    Field-based courses in psychology, sociology, and human services and other disciplines count for the women’s studies minor if the field placement focuses on women and/or girls. An independent study with a focus on women and/or issues of significance to women may also count for the minor, as do courses with a focus on women offered in Continuing and Career Education, through the Worcester Consortium, or in study abroad.

    Course Descriptions

Experiential Learning

Assumption's Rome Campus

At Assumption's campus in Rome, Italy, the city and the country become your classroom through daily and weekend-long excursions throughout "the eternal city" and the Italian countryside. This unique study abroad experience will enrich your academic and cultural pursuits as you walk in the footsteps of emperors and gladiators then enjoy delectable Italian cuisine or perhaps a cappuccino after class in a local cafe. (Did you know that your financial aid follows you to Rome?)

Explore the Rome Campus

Learn the Skills Employers Seek

Faculty/Student Research

The Assumption curriculum encourages scholarly and real-world experience. With hands-on research conducted alongside faculty mentors, students gain a depth of knowledge and skills that lead to professional success and personal fulfillment.

Study Abroad

At Assumption University, the world is your classroom. Students can study and explore abroad in over 50 places from Vienna to England, South Africa, and even our own campus in historic, yet modern, Rome, Italy. Assumption’s study abroad program offers culture, history, and a living classroom for all.


Assumption starts planning for your future the day you arrive on campus. Our Career Development and Internship Center helps students secure exciting and fulfilling internships where you’ll apply knowledge obtained in the classroom in a professional setting, preparing for a future career or additional study. Assumption connects students to internship opportunities in corporations, government agencies, research hospitals, non-profit organizations, and more.

First-rate Academics in a Catholic University Setting

Assumption University awakens in students a sense of wonder, discovery, and purpose, forming graduates known for their intellectual seriousness, thoughtful citizenship, and devotion to the common good. Students are provided an education that shapes their souls, forms them intellectually, and prepares them for meaningful careers. Enlivened by the harmony of faith and reason, here, students’ minds and hearts are transformed.

Assumption is dedicated to providing a clear understanding of what your education will cost

We’ll help cut through the complexity of financing your education, ensuring you understand what you need, how to apply for aid, and what’s expected of you. You will be assigned a personal financial aid advisor who will guide you through the process and answer all of your financial aid-related questions.

NACP Provisional Credential

Students who complete the course, HUS/SOC/CRM 301 Victim Advocacy: Working with Survivors of Violence will be eligible, at minimum, for the NACP Provisional Credential, but potentially at a higher level of Credentialing based upon their verifiable field experience. For more information, please visit

2024 Women's Studies Event Focused on Feminist Economics

In Spring 2024, the focus of our programming was on feminist economics. In collaboration with the Economics Department, we invited Dr. Sarah Small, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Utah, and Assumption University alumna (major in Economics and minor in Women’s Studies) to deliver a lecture and engage in an interactive program with our students. The event was attended by over 110 participants.

2023 Women's Studies Programming on Women's Leadership

The program invited Massachusetts Senator Robyn Kennedy (a distinguished Assumption alumna) to Assumption and drew over 120 participants to the event. Senator Robyn Kennedy serves as the State Senator of the First Worcester District with a specific focus on the care economy, from childcare to elder care, investing in our workforce, improving regional public transportation, and reducing the gap on racial and health inequities. Sen. Kennedy is an alumna of Assumption University and in her lecture and Town Hall included a story about her journey from Assumption College, where her education focused on service and giving back to the community, to her run for public office to serve the people of Worcester as their representative.  

Programs Related to Women’s Studies

CTEQ Pre-College Program


Global Studies




Honors Program


Political Science