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About WILL*

WILL* is a four-year program that actively develops students’ intellectual and leadership skills, allowing students to excel in their chosen fields and realize their full potential. WILL* provides opportunities for women, transgender, and gender non-conforming students to explore the influence of gender and other identities both in their own lives and in society more broadly.  

WILL* uses a theory-to-practice model to help students apply their academic coursework to real-world situations through internships, leadership opportunities, activism projects, and diversity events. Students take classes together, develop close friendships, and engage in contemporary human rights struggles.

WILL* combines the following central features:

  • Academic Foundation: A minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), which provides the academic foundation of the program. Part of the minor includes the course Gender and Work and a supervised internship, both of which prepare students for the world of work. 
  • Leadership Opportunities: WILL* students take part in WILL*’s student leadership organization and present research at conferences. WILL* encourages and supports student initiatives.
  • Activism: WILL* enables students to draw on a strong base of support to stand up for their beliefs and put their WGSS knowledge into practice both on campus and in the Richmond community. WILL* students create positive social change.
  • Community: WILL* students form deep connections and close friendships with one another over the course of four years. They volunteer together, share coursework, and attend WILL*’s annual Speaker Series. WILL* students form community and make the most of their education.  
  • Career Preparation: WILL* takes career preparation seriously. Students learn to translate their academic experience into job preparation by working closely with Career Services and participating in a series of skills-building workshops, including salary negotiation, budgeting, op-ed writing, and public speaking. Additionally, WILL*'s supervised internship prepares students for the world of work.

By participating in these components of the WILL* program, students find a supportive and intellectually challenging community; develop close friendships with other students; meet with scholars and activists in small group settings; and interact with faculty and staff mentors across the university. Students leave WILL* with their eyes wide open and ambitions high, equipped with the awareness, confidence, and experience to effectively guide their visions for a better world.

The WILL* Asterisk

*This asterisk isn’t just a footnote. The asterisk after WILL*’s name means it is open to women, transgender, and gender non-conforming students.

Application Deadlines

Submit summer applications by Aug. 1 to take advantage of an expedited early admission process. Summer admits begin the WILL* program shortly after arrival on campus.

Fall applications are due Oct. 1.

Alumnae Voices

"WILL* helped me identify my work. And when I say work, I don't mean only my career or my profession, but also how I fit into the world and what I can give back to the world." —Jennifer Stolarski, Esq., WILL* Class of 1996