Academic Catalog

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

With a major or minor in gender, sexuality and women's studies (GSW), you can study gender and sexuality through the lenses of feminism, queer and trans studies, with special attention to critical intersections with race, class, religion, health, and geography. GSW is also a place for feminist, queer, and ally students to find community. We come together outside of the classroom for programs, events and service learning on campus and throughout Detroit.

A degree in gender, sexuality and women's studies is flexible and interdisciplinary with a focus on social justice, real-world praxis, and community engagement. Students often chose GSW as a co-major to complement another program of study, or use our minors to amplify their expertise in gender and sexuality and enhance their qualifications by signaling their commitment to diversity and equity.  

Our program offers a major in gender, sexuality, and women's studies and two minors, one in GSW and one in queer studies. A major or minor in GSW is great for careers in health, psychology, communications, business, law, education, and non-profit/community justice. Students wishing to pursue the major or minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies or the minor in Queer 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

Major requirements consist of thirty-one credits distributed as follows:

Foundations Courses
Select two of the following course options:6
Introduction to Queer Studies
Humanities Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality, and Women
History of Women, Gender and Sexuality in the Modern World
Social Science Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality, and Women
Interdisciplinary Gateway Course
GSW 3200Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies 3
Two Additional GSW Courses
Select two GSW courses at the 3000-level or above (minimum of 6 credits)6
At least three Electives Courses
Select nine credits from GSW electives list (see below); GSW courses beyond those meeting other requirements may also be counted toward elective credits.9
Capstone Theory Course
GSW 5200Feminist, Gender, and Queer Theory 3
Senior Project
GSW 5990Senior Project Seminar4
Total Credits31


For elective credits toward the B.A. or minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, students may take any GSW course not fulfilling a requirement or any of the following:

AFS/GSW 5110Black Women in America3
ANT 5240Cross Cultural Study of Gender3
COM 4041Rhetoric and the Body3
COM 5360Gender and Communication3
CRJ 2650Gender and Crime3
CRJ 2750Diversity Issues in Criminal Justice3
ENG 2570Women Writers: Writing about Texts3
ENG/GSW 5030Topics in Women's Studies3
ENG 5035Topics in Gender and Sexuality Studies3
HIS 3250The Family in History3-4
HIS 5200Women, Gender, and Sexuality in US History3
HIS 5251History of Feminism4
PH 3900LGBTQ Health3
PHI 2360Feminist Philosophy3
PHI 5260Philosophy of Sex and Gender3
PS 3080Gender and Politics4
PSY 3250Psychology of Gender3
PSY 3380Human Sexuality3
SOC 2202Gendered Worlds3
SOC 3900LGBTQ Health3
SOC 3400Exploring Marriage and Other Intimate Relationships3
SOC 4202Seminar in the Sociology of Gender3
SOC 5410Marriage and Family Problems3
SW 3110Diversity, Oppression and Social Justice3

In some cases, courses not listed here may be counted toward the GSW electives requirement based on their content and assignments. Please contact the GSW advisor if you would like to request that a course not listed above be counted toward this requirement. 

Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Honors

Qualified students, but especially those planning graduate studies in a GSW-related field or professional school, are encouraged to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree 'With Honors in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies.' Honors majors must have a 3.3 g.p.a. in GSW courses and a 3.3 cumulative g.p.a. in all courses. Honors majors must complete a minimum of twelve credits in honors designated coursework, comprised of one 42xx-level seminar offered through the Honors College and the following three GSW courses taken with an Honors Option: GSW 3200 (Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies), GSW 5200 (Advanced Feminism, Gender, and Queer Theory), and GSW 5990 (Honors-designated Senior Project Seminar). For information about honors-option coursework available each semester, visit the Honors College website.

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