Welcome to the Department of Women's Studies at Old Dominion University! Established in 1977 as the first program in women's studies within Virginia's public universities, our dynamic interdisciplinary field of study now offers degrees and courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students in women's studies gain critical knowledge about the broader social, historical, and global conditions that shape women's and men's lives in a variety of contexts. We encourage students to apply this knowledge in ways that contribute to the improvement of women's lives throughout the world. As a core aspect of our service-learning philosophy, we sponsor a study abroad course to Cape Town, South Africa, where participants work with women leaders of community organizations ranging from maternity clinics to girls' education projects. Students are also provided with opportunities to specialize their curriculum by working closely with our affiliated academic departments of English, African and African American Studies, Sociology and Criminal Justice, and International Studies. In addition, through the support of our Friends of Women's Studies community organization, students may apply for one of our three endowed scholarships developed to enhance academic and community service opportunities for undergraduate majors and graduate students.
As a department, we sponsor a diverse range of educational events for the campus and local community, including our Friends of Women's Studies Annual Dinner celebration, a regional feminist scholarship conference, a mentoring program, an international film series, our student essay contest and ongoing professional development seminars. If you would like to learn more about women's studies, feel free to join us at one of our upcoming events, e-mail the Women's Studies Department, or call 757-683-3823 for more information.
-Jennifer N. Fish, Department Chair