Message from the Chair - Elizabeth Marchant

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the UCLA Gender Studies Department, whose name was formally changed from Women’s Studies on July 1st, 2012.  Building on the path-breaking legacy of the first generation of Women’s Studies departments, the shift to Gender Studies marks the rich terrain of intellectual inquiry now encompassed by our interdisciplinary field, which includes exploration of the histories and experiences of diverse women as well as studies of sexualities, masculinities, and gender systems.  

Our department has grown significantly since 1975, when Women’s Studies first gained formal status as an academic program at UCLA. In 1987, the Women’s Studies Program was granted interdepartmental degree program status and began offering a major and minor. A Ph.D. degree, among the first in the country, was added in 2000. In January 2008, after functioning successfully for two decades as a program, we became a department. Today, the Gender Studies Department has 11 core and 18 joint faculty and is home to approximately 200 undergraduate majors, 50 minors, and 25 Ph.D. students. 

Having launched an updated undergraduate major in 2011, we are pleased to announce further improvements to our curriculum this year with the implementation of a revised graduate core sequence designed to train the next generation of Gender Studies scholars.  The new graduate courses include "Introduction to Interdisciplinary Methods in Gender Studies," "Key Theories and Concepts in Gender Studies," "Epistemologies of Gender," and "Research Design and Professional Development."  Rather than being gender additive, these courses teach interdisciplinary methods, relate debates in the field to key intellectual and social movements, explore intersections of feminist studies, masculinity studies, and queer studies, and assist students with professional development.  

If you would like to learn more about Gender Studies at UCLA, please explore this website, feel free to join us at one of our upcoming events, email us at, or call 310-206-8101 for more information.

Elizabeth Marchant, Chair, Department of Gender Studies