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Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
See course descriptions for this department or program
Director, Assistant Professor Lisa Arellano
The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program is a feminist interdisciplinary program designed to acquaint students with scholarship on women, gender, sexuality, and feminist theory. WGSS courses examine the way gender is culturally constructed and the relation of gender to other systems of social difference, such as race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation. WGSS scholarship covers a variety of theoretical and empirical studies from within both traditional disciplines and interdisciplinary frames. In addition to the core WGSS courses, the program offers a wide range of cross-listed courses taught by faculty members from many departments and programs, and students are encouraged to develop a broad foundation through study in several fields. A WGSS major or minor graduates with a program of study that is often unique to the student’s developing interests.
Students may pursue a major or a minor in WGSS. Descriptions for courses cross-listed with WGSS are listed under the various departments.
Requirements for the Major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Twelve courses, including an introductory course (typically WGSS 201); a course in feminist theory (typically WGSS 311); a senior seminar (typically WGSS 493); and nine additional courses designated as WGSS courses or courses cross-listed under WGSS, at least two of which must be at the 300 or 400 level. Students may also petition the program director to have a non-listed course counted toward the major by demonstrating that the majority of their own course work is on WGSS topics.
Students may count toward fulfillment of the major requirements a maximum of one semester of independent study (WGSS 491 or 492) or four credits of Senior Scholars work (if approved by the WGSS coordinating committee).
The point scale for retention of the major applies to all courses taken toward fulfillment of the major. Courses counted toward the major may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Honors in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Students majoring in WGSS may apply to participate in the honors program their senior year by submitting a formal statement of their intention to the WGSS coordinating committee by April 15 of their junior year. The written proposal must include a description of the proposed work, a timeline, and the agreement of a faculty sponsor and a secondary faculty reader. A 3.50 major average at the end of the junior year is a condition for entry into the program. By the beginning of the senior year, students must develop and circulate to the WGSS coordinating committee a prospectus for the project, written in consultation with the project’s faculty advisor. A 3.50 major average at the end of the senior year and a public oral presentation of the project are conditions for successful completion of this program. Honors course credits do not count toward elective credits in the major. The final project will usually consist of 50 pages or more of superior quality.
Requirements for the Minor in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Six courses, including an introductory course (typically WGSS 201); a course in feminist theory (typically WGSS 311); and a senior seminar (typically WGSS 493); and three additional courses designated as WGSS courses or cross-listed under WGSS, at least two of which must be at the 300 or 400 level. No more than one semester of independent study (WGSS 491 or 492) may be counted toward fulfillment of the minor requirements.
The point scale for retention of the minor applies to all courses taken toward fulfillment of the minor. Courses counted toward the minor may not be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Courses from other departments that may be applied to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies major or minor
(please note: as course offerings change yearly, this list is not exhaustive)