The Women's Studies department and faculty at the University of Maryland enjoy an international reputation for theoretical and methodological innovations and for their attention to curriculum transformation and transnational women's and gender studies institution building.

We encourage you to explore our website to learn about the resources available for Women's Studies research, scholarship, and community at Maryland.

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Tyannis Carter Receives Laura Nichols Award

2016 Laura Nichols Award presentation

Congratulations to Tyannis Carter, inaugural recipient of the department's Laura Nichols Award which supports activist, service, or creative projects that reflect a commitment to social change and the values of equality, inclusion, and justice. The award comes with a certificate and $600.

Tyannis, a Women's Studies major, will use the award to support her work with a small group of 8th grade girls at the middle school she attended: KIPP: Ujima Village Academy in Baltimore, Maryland. In her application she wrote, "I still have strong relationships with the women who taught and inspired me. Equipped with my personal experience and my knowledge of women's studies I feel as though I am ready to give back to the place that gave so much to me." This semester Tyannis is interning at the school, meeting twice a week with the girls to discuss topics such as relationships, mental and physical health, and the importance of art and politics. Each week in their meetings with Tyannis the girls engage in dialogue around these issues, complete creative projects, and work toward their final activity--a community play when each will have a chance to write and perform their own monologue, dance, or poem that expresses who they are. The project's goal is that each young girl will have a greater realization of and ability to confidently answer the question "Who am I?" while at the same time developing their political views and becoming emboldened to affect change in their communities. The Laura Nichols Award will fund the group's activities, including a healthy and affordable cooking class, a photography project, and the community play.

2016 Laura Nichols AwardFrom her arrival at the University of Maryland in 1987 to her retirement in 2014, Laura Nichols was a key staff member in Women's Studies. As the department's Assistant Director and Academic Advisor, Nichols managed the administrative functions of the department and advised every Women's Studies major or certificate student; she also advised Black Women's Studies minors. In addition to the ways that she served the department, Laura Nichols was also an active proponent of equality and inclusiveness in the university as a whole, including service on the President's Commission on Women's Issues and the campus Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Committee. Throughout 2004 and 2005 she organized surveys and focus groups culminating in a co-authored Center for Leadership and Organizational Change report on campus climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender faculty and staff. A serious Terp, Laura and her four children all attended the University of Maryland. The Laura Nichols Award recognizes undergraduate students who exemplify her commitment to feminist principles and social change.

Novak Family TerpStart Endowed Scholarship in LGBT Studies Awarded to Sarah Stephens

2016 Novak TerpStartThe Novak Family TerpStart Endowed Scholarship is awarded to a student in the LGBT Studies certificate or minor program. The Department of Women's Studies announces that the 2016-17 recipient of the scholarship is Sarah Stephens, a Sociology major pursuing a Certificate in LGBT Studies.

Sarah, who received her Associate of Arts in Sociology from Georgia State University Perimeter College, writes, "I am proud to be both a nontraditional student and a graduate of a two-year institution." She plans to continue to graduate school with the goal of becoming a professor and conducting social psychological research. She says it was her LGBT200 course which helped her frame her research interest: studying intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence through a non-binary gender lens. "Much of the current knowledge in this area is gathered from a cisgender, heteronormative perspective, which does not speak to the nuanced and multi-layered experiences of the LGBT community. As long as we are invisible in research, we will be lacking knowledge we could use to heal ourselves and our relationships. I aim to fill that need. My scholarship and future research are grounded in my experiences, the experiences that others have shared with me, and my observations of the world. I feel incredibly fortunate to be completing my undergraduate degree at UMD, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to pursue LGBT studies."


2017 DC Queer Studies Symposium
"Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens," Twenty Years Later: A Celebration of the Scholarship of Cathy Cohen

Friday, April 21, 2017

In celebration of Cathy Cohen's landmark essay, and her overall breadth of scholarship and activism, this symposium invites Cohen and a wide range of other scholars and activists to revisit the influence of her vision and to explore the question: What does transformative political activism look like in the 21st century? Learn more details including how to register at

Feminist Theory Workshop at Duke University

Deadline Fri. 2/24, 12pm. The Department of Women's Studies will support the participation of two undergraduate students in the Eleventh Annual Feminist Theory Workshop at Duke University, March 24-25, 2017. This year's keynote speakers include Christina Crosby, Amelia Jones, Katherine McKittrick, and Kathi Weeks. The "workshop" approach of the conference requires active participation of all attendees. Small seminars following the keynotes allow for participants to discuss further the issues raised by the speakers.  The award will cover transportation, hotel, and meals. Any UMD undergraduate student pursuing a WMST major or certificate, Black Women's Studies minor, or LGBT certificate or minor is eligible to apply. Learn more about the workshop and how to apply.

Women's Studies Honor Program Applications

Deadline March 1, 2017.  The Department of Women's Studies Honors Program provides an opportunity for students within the university to pursue an academic interest in some aspect of women's, gender, and/or sexuality studies in greater depth than that allowed by formal classes. Applications are accepted from students of any major who have completed three WMST and/or LGBT courses at the time of application and have a 3.25 overall GPA and a 3.25 GPA in the WMST/LGBT courses taken. Learn more about the Honors program and how to apply.

TRIOTA (Women's Studies) Honor Society
Apply for Membership, Deadline Saturday, April 1

Membership is open to all UMD students, regardless of major, who have completed at least one Women’s Studies, Women’s Studies cross-listed, or LGBT Studies course and have at least a 3.0 GPA in Women’s Studies/LGBT Studies courses and a minimum cumulative GPA 2.7. Access the application here or send an email to to learn more about the Honor Society.

Undergraduate Academic Advising

The Department of Women's Studies offers five options for undergraduate students: Major in Women's Studies; Certificate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Studies; Certificate in Women's Studies; Minor in LGBT Studies; and a Minor in Black Women's Studies. Want to find out more? Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Elsa Barkley Brown at Or, make an advising appointment with the undergraduate advisor, Dr. JV Sapinoso, by visiting and selecting an available slot. Looking for classes? Review the lists of current course offerings.

News from the Graduate Director

For news, updates, and other information about graduate program, read the Fall 2016 Graduate Director's Newsletter. Or, visit the archive of Graduate Director's Newsletters.

Register as an Alumnus!

Stay connected; share your news; and help us build our Women's Studies community by registering as an alumnus at
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WMST/LGBT Undergraduate E-Newsletter

The Department of Women's Studies introduces a regular e-newsletter for undergraduate students with information of relevance to those in the WMST major and certificate program, the LGBT Studies certificate and minor program, and the Black Women’s Studies minor. This newsletter will serve as a clearinghouse for announcements about upcoming events and deadlines as well as internship, research, and job opportunities. Find the Undergraduate E-Newsletter here.

Get more information at our Events, News, and Resources pages!

Give to the Laura Nichols Women's Studies Undergraduate Award

From her arrival at the University of Maryland in 1987 to her retirement from the Department of Women's Studies in 2014, Laura Nichols served as Academic Advisor to all Women’s Studies majors and certificate students and also advised Black Women’s Studies minors. Her dedication to students’ success was unwavering and part of the legacy we hope to preserve through this award. Support this fund with a tax-deductible donation. Find out more about this and other Women's Studies giving opportunities.

Women's Studies is the home of the LGBT Studies Program

Read more about the move, and about the history of LGBT Studies at UMD.