Critics of women's studies (WS) have charged that WS teaching overemphasizes students’personal experience and is overly politicized. They claim further that WS classes discourage critical, independent thinking and stifle open, participatory learning, causing student dissatisfaction. This study provides empirical evidence of the process of WS teaching from the perspective of 111 teachers and 789 of their students from 32 campuses in the United States. Contrary to WS critics, WS faculty and students reported strong emphases on critical thinking/open-mindedness and participatory learning and relatively weaker emphases on personal experience and political understanding/activism. In addition, student ratings of positive class impact were higher for WS than non-WS classes. The results support the pedagogic distinctiveness of women's studies.