An inside look at the Women and International Development Major

For those of you who have yet to hear about the Women and International Development major, the best way to describe it is found in a quote from the Program Director, Maria Tzintzarova in the St. Catherine Experience handout outlining the major. She says that “it is a collaborative, interdisciplinary major that gives students a wide view of the world through receiving knowledge and tools about how to address women’s economic under-development.”

You can especially see this quote come into play through looking at the coursework, which varies from taking economics to sociology. Topics range from looking at the economics of social issues, the effects of globalization on women, qualitative research methods to foundations of women’s studies and the biology of women.

According to the soon-to-be graduate Hannah Morgan, a Women and International Development major ’16, the major was created because there had been students with double majors in International Relations and Economics, as well as minors in Women’s Studies before it’s creation by Deep Shikha and Sharon Doherty.

“The perfect kinds of students for this major are those who aspire to have a holistic liberal arts degree that challenges the way we look at and act with the world,” said Morgan, who was also the first person to join the major. Her experience in the major has been an impressive one, consisting of spending a few of her semesters abroad in Tanzania and South Africa as well as partaking in GSJ abroad in India.

“It is not required to study abroad for the major, but I highly recommend it; it was when I experienced the most growth.” said Morgan.

Another student in the program, Lesley Haberman ’17, can also attest to that. Haberman is currently studying abroad in Thailand, and will continue her education abroad in the fall when she starts her studies in Rennes, France.

One of the many unique aspects of the major is that it requires students in the program to attend four programs and write reflections on them during their time at St. Kate’s. Some of these programs have included the showings of Poverty, Inc. and Girl Rising, as well as attendance at various women studies conferences and guest lectures of women with global careers. Attending and reflecting on these programs allows for students in the program to make connections between the theory and practice of international development.

Another unique aspect of this major in particular is that it is great for double majoring purposes. The St. Catherine experience handout says on the very first page that those in the major should consider earning a double major in Economics, International Relations, Political Science, or Public Health. Many of the classes required for the major are also required for the others, making it a good venue for “double-dipping,” as one might say.

For those interested in learning more about this program, make sure to pick up the St. Catherine Experience handout for majoring in Women and International Development. You can also contact or stop by the offices of Maria Tzintzarova, Sharon Doherty, Caroline Krafft, or Deep Shikha, all of whom are program faculty and more than willing to go over the program details with you.


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