Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies (B.A.)

The Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree and a minor concentration in this discipline. The program's interdisciplinary undergraduate curriculum is designed to give students the theoretical bases and methodological skills for analyzing gender, sexuality, and women from the perspective of the humanities, historical studies, and the social sciences. Students will gain an understanding of the various contexts and constructs including literary, social, cultural, economic, psychological, philosophical, and political that shape our perceptions of these issues in different geographical locations and across time. Through the program, students will:

  1. gain an interdisciplinary understanding of current scholarship in this discipline;
  2. explore the multicultural and international histories and contexts of questions related to gender, sexuality, and women;
  3. grasp the intersections between race, class, gender, and sexuality from different disciplinary perspectives;
  4. challenge commonly held notions about gender, sexuality, and women in ways that promote social change;
  5. explore individual and professional interests in this field in ways that enhance their personal lives as well as their professional goals;

Students wishing to pursue the major or minor in gender, sexuality, and women's studies should meet with the undergraduate advisor.

Candidates must complete 120 credits in course work including satisfaction of the University General Education Requirements and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Group Requirements, as well as the departmental major  requirements cited below. All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the University and the College governing undergraduate scholarship and degrees. 

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS consist of thirty-two credits distributed as follows:

Core Courses
GSW 2500Humanities Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality, and Women3
GSW 2600History of Women, Gender and Sexuality in the Modern World3
GSW 2700Social Science Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality, and Women3
GSW 5200Feminist, Gender, and Queer Theory 3
GSW 5990Senior Project Seminar4
Select 16 credits of one of the Areas of Focus (see lists below)16
Total Credits32

Electives from Areas of Focus

Students are encouraged to take sixteen credits from within one of the following areas of focus:

  • Literature, Film, and Media Studies
  • LGBTQ Studies
  • Social Sciences
  • Historical Studies

Areas of focus allow students to specialize within the program in ways that enhance their academic and professional goals. However, students are not required to take all of their credits within one focus area; they can take sixteen credits from among all of the listed courses. Because new courses are created by faculty on a rolling basis, students are encouraged to consult with the director or the undergraduate advisor about any courses not on the following list which may be included in their major.

NOTE: some of the courses in the following curricula are offered for variable topics and only suitable as electives in this program for particular content. All such courses are cited below as “when approved” options.

Literature, Film, and Media Studies

AFS/GSW 5110Black Women in America3
ANT 5240Cross Cultural Study of Gender3
CLA 3050/5050Cleopatra3
CLA 3190Topics on Women in Antiquity3
COM 3010Media Analysis and Criticism3
COM 5020Studies in Film History (when approved)3
COM 5360Gender and Communication3
ENG 2570Literature By and About Women: Literature and Writing3
ENG 5020Topics in Media and Modern Culture (when approved)3
ENG/GSW 5030Topics in Women's Studies3
ENG 5070Topics in Film and Media (when approved)4
ENG 5150Shakespeare (when approved)3
GER 5400Cultural Studies and Criticism (when approved)3-4
GSW 5300Topics in LGBTQ Studies 3
GSW 5400Topics in Gender and Women's Studies 3
NE/GSW 3520Women and Gender in Middle East History3

LGBTQ Studies

COM 1010Oral Communication: Basic Speech (when approved)3
ENG 5080Topics in Global and Transnational Studies (when approved)3
GSW 5300Topics in LGBTQ Studies 3
PHI 5800Special Topics in Philosophy (when approved)2-4
PSY 3380Human Sexuality3

Social Sciences

AFS/GSW 5110Black Women in America3
ANT 5240Cross Cultural Study of Gender3
PSY 3250Psychology of Gender3
CRJ/GSW 2750Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice3
PSY 3380Human Sexuality3
SOC 3400Exploring Marriage and Other Intimate Relationships3
SOC 4460Women in Society3
SOC 5400The Family3
SOC 5410Marriage and Family Problems3
SOC 5870Violence in the Family3

Historical Studies

CLA 3050/5050Cleopatra3
CLA 3190Topics on Women in Antiquity3
HIS 3250The Family in History3-4
HIS 5200Women, Gender, and Sexuality in US History3
HIS 5251History of Feminism4
NE/GSW 3520Women and Gender in Middle East History3

Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Honors

Qualified students planning post-baccalaureate work in GSW or in a professional school are especially encouraged to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree 'With Honors in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies.' Honors majors must have a 3.5 g.p.a. in GSW courses and a 3.3 cumulative g.p.a. in all courses. Honors majors must complete at least fifteen credits in honors-designated coursework, including at least one 4000-level seminar offered through the Honors College; six additional credits in GSW honors courses, of which at least three credits must be in an upper-division (numbered 3000 or above) honors-option course; and GSW 5990 (Honors-designated Senior Project Seminar). For information about honors-designated coursework available each semester, visit the Honors College website.