Ethnic and Gender Studies, B.A.

Ethnic and Gender Studies Student Outside at Campus Event.

Recognize the complexities of intersectionality so you can better empower others.

Earn your bachelor’s in Ethnic and Gender Studies (EGST) in the only program of its kind on the East Coast. This interdisciplinary and intersectional major integrates race, class, gender, and ethnicity into your coursework. You’re encouraged to be creative when choosing and combining your area(s) of identity and social justice study for your ethnic and gender studies degree—such as African/American/Africana Studies, Latino/a Studies, LGBT/Queer Studies, and Transnational Feminist Studies. Focus your studies in one area or take a broad variety of courses to suit your professional goals. 

Program Highlights

  • On campus, online, or remote synchronous learning
  • Develop career-relevant skills
  • Prepares students for community outreach and social justice advocacy

Make the world a better place.

Gain the knowledge and skills you need to create and empower anti-racist, inclusive social justice for all.

Engage in culturally powerful and historically informed work.

  • EGST student listening at film screening event

    Be effective and make an impact 

    Explore the complexities of gender, ethnicity, and intersectionality while also developing career-relevant skills like research, critical thinking, analysis, collaboration, advocacy, and effective communication and presentation. 

  • Dr. Shoba Rajgopal speaking to students at a film screening event

    Hands-on experience 

    Through your ethnic and gender studies major, learn how to bridge the relationship between your academic knowledge and the development of an engaged and critical citizenry. You’ll gain firsthand experience through outreach with other departments, prisons and jails, hospitals and clinics, food pantries, K-12 schools, and other regional universities. Our students are scholar–activists who positively impact our campus, community, country, and the world.

  • Ethnic and Gender Studies Student with laptop in library.

    Unique, progressive learning 

    The Westfield State University bachelor’s degree in ethnic and gender studies is the only major of its kind in New England to integrate race, class, and gender. Our program offerings on global and domestic topics provide a powerful career major as well as diversity courses that satisfy our Westfield Core and Massachusetts state requirements. 

Program Details

Program Mission

The Ethnic and Gender Studies (EGST) program embraces a critical race pedagogy which puts students at the center of the learning process and emphasizes collective work and community responsibility as well as intellectual rigor. We emphasize a multidisciplinary and comparative approach to the study of race, class, ethnicity, and gender. Community work is highlighted in several of our classes, thus reinforcing the relationship between academic knowledge and the development of an engaged and critical citizenry. We are the first department combining both Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies in all of the East Coast.

Program Vision

We challenge our students to seek social justice and truth for themselves and their communities through teaching that is global, intersectional, and interdisciplinary in content. Our students make the world a better place by creating and empowering an anti-racist and inclusive social justice education for others. We seek to do this culturally powerful and historically informed work on race, class, gender, and ethnicity in collaboration with all departments and programs on campus both academically and outside the classroom through events, faculty panels, films, speakers, and community outreach as well as internship opportunities. Our students are scholar–activists who positively impact our campus, community, country, and world.

Learning Outcomes
  • Students will demonstrate a sophisticated critical consciousness concerning the complexity and diversity of relationships between and among racial, cultural, and ethnic groups within the U.S. and globally. 
  • Students will develop written and verbal analytical skills to examine and critique political, social, and cultural institutions. 
  • Students will demonstrate new abilities to identify and to challenge racism, homophobia, ethnocentrism, sexism, and other oppressive practices. 
  • Students will be able to identify various historical conditions and workings of oppression and the methodologies of resistance to these forms of oppression. 
  • Students will demonstrate the capacity to look beyond their own gender, racial, economic, and cultural backgrounds to develop global perspectives. 
  • Students will develop a course of action to address inequality and injustice in context of their personal lives, in the community, and globally. 
  • Students will apply all these skills to become critical citizens and participate in community outreach and activism.

How invigorating and inspiring it was to work within an environment and with people who so obviously care about humanity. Thank you!

- Meaghan Shepard Ellis (EGST Class of 2022)

Start your career supporting others or prepare for graduate studies.

Earning your degree in ethnic and gender studies will help you prepare for a career working with the public or to continue on to graduate-level work in education, law, medicine, public health, and other community-centered occupations.  

Wondering what you can do with an ethnic and gender studies degree? Graduates with majors and minors in this program work in a variety of fields and careers upon graduation, including: 

  • Communications
  • Advocacy and research
  • Healthcare, human resources
  • Community management and resources 
  • K-12 and higher education
  • Community arts
  • Environmental justice
  • Marketing
  • Non-profit management 
  • Policy analysis
  • Law and social justice
Ethnic and Gender Studies Student at Campus Event with Light Board of Colors.

Ready to learn more?

Course Requirements

Requirements for the Ethnic and Gender Studies Major - 42 Credits
  • Each student must take ten EGST courses (30 credits): 18 credits in the core and 12 credits in the thematic areas- one EGST class in each thematic area.
  • At least 9 credits in the thematic areas must be at the 300 level.
  • EGST 0230 and EGST 0390: Special Topics in Ethnic and Gender Studies will fulfill an elective requirement in one thematic area dependent on the focus of the course in a given semester.
  • Students are encouraged to take EGST 0398: Ethnic and Gender Studies Internship (3-6 credits).
  • Students will also be required to complete at least one college semester of language study (including AP credit), or the equivalent. A student may also satisfy the language study requirement by passing a proficiency examination designed and administered by the Department of World Language Studies.

Required Major Core - 18 Credits

Thematic Areas - 24 Credits

Two courses from each category, one must have an EGST prefix.

Identities – 6 Credits


Cross-Cultural Literacies – 6 Credits


Social Policy and Social Justice – 6 Credits


Transnational – 6 Credits



*Some of the approved elective courses may have pre-requisites

Additional Graduation Requirements

All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core.

Get big school features with small school advantages. 

We offer high-quality academics, unique learning opportunities, and a gorgeous campus—and we have small classes, accessible faculty, and one-on-one support. 

You'll join fellow motivated students ready to make the most of the college experience through active participation. Become part of a caring and committed community that understands and embraces the bridge between academic study and civic responsibility.

  • 15:1

    student-faculty ratio

  • 300+

    service projects

  • 84%

    of grads are employed in their field

  • Study abroad

    in 35+ countries

Your passion is our passion

Westfield State University’s ethnic and gender studies program is led by a diverse group of highly experienced faculty, all of whom have graduate degrees in their areas of expertise. Specializing in multiple areas beyond gender or ethnic studies—such as communication, media, history, Black studies, Women’s studies, anthropology, Africana, post-colonial, and others—they also have extensive experience working in the field, both in the U.S. and abroad. 

You’ll benefit from one-on-one attention through faculty mentoring as you complete your own research and activism work, and be challenged to seek social justice and truth for yourself and your community through coursework and dialogue that is global, intersectional, and interdisciplinary. 

Elisabeth Stassinos, Department Chair Headshot Wearing Glasses with Westfield State screen in the back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to submit SAT/ACT scores or an essay when I apply?

Westfield State University does not require an application essay, SAT and/or ACT scores, or letters of recommendation (except for special program admissions).     

All first-year applicants are reviewed for admission based on their high school record. First-year applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) in order to qualify for admission to a state university.   

Learn more about the application process and admissions here.

Does the program have a language requirement?

Students will be required to complete at least one college semester of language study (including AP credit), or the equivalent. A student may also satisfy the language study requirement by passing a proficiency examination designed and administered by the Department of World Language Studies.

How much does Westfield State University cost?

Westfield State University offers a comprehensive university experience at an affordable cost—with many options for financial aid. Visit our Cost and Aid page to learn more. 

Will I receive academic support?

We’re invested in your success. Whether you need a little help adjusting to college, study strategies, tutoring, or disability services, the team at the Academic Achievement Department is ready to help. Our mission is to provide you with the tools to explore academic opportunities as well as to plot strategies for continued growth. 

Learn more about our student support services here.

Request Information

We’re here to answer your questions and deliver the support you need along your academic journey. Please provide your contact information and area of interest, and we’ll be in touch shortly.


Ethnic and Gender Studies, B.A.