On November 5, 1981, the University of North Dakota Senate approved a women's studies program. The Association of Women Students had gathered 435 signatures in support of the program, and UND President Thomas Clifford had spoken in favor of it. The following year, the program was placed under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences, as recommended by the University Council.
The Women's Studies program gives students an opportunity to learn more about women's lives. Using gender as a category of analysis, courses examine women's experiences and the institutions and systems that affect women's lives. Women's Studies has been offered as a minor at the University of North Dakota since 1984.