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Dear Amy,

I am 18 years old and preparing for college this fall. I want to major in Women's Studies/Social Welfare. I have not been able to find much information about Women's Studies programs across the country. In your opinion, what university(s) have the best WS programs? Eventually I want to work for NOW's Legal Defense Fund or with Sarah Mandelbaum at the ACLU...anything to get me started in the right direction would be appreciated!


Dear Sarah,

I've actually been traveling around the country the past couple months, so have a better perspective on women's studies programs. I've been lucky to visit lots of great programs as well as hear from students who are enrolled in various institutions. The best programs I have seen have no rhyme or reason to the various universities. For instance, some are from small schools other from bigger schools, some more prestigious and some more of an integrated curriculum.

As for specific schools, these are some of the best I have seen and/or heard of:

  • Brandeis University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Duke University
  • Hobart & William Smith
  • University of Florida at Gainseville
  • University of Oregon at Eugene
  • Smith
  • Wellesley
  • Barnard
  • Sonoma State University
  • University of Ohio
  • University of Michigan
  • Middlebury

Also, this spring I will be visiting Ball State University, Stanford, Syracuse, Humboldt State, and a few others. So based on their inviting me to their campuses I would guess that they have decent programs. I hope those suggestions help, but I also want to say that you could major in anything that you want and still go on to get the job you want. What's most important about our undergraduate studies is learning how to study and a way of thinking. Good luck.


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