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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Students pursuing a major in women, gender, and sexuality studies are required to complete at least 30 credits, which includes five core courses. Students must also complete 15 credits in electives at the 200-level or higher, one of which must come from the high impact/civic engagement category, one of which much come from the advanced theory category, and one must come from the feminist (con)texts and communities category.

Required Courses

High Impact/Civic Engagement

Civic engagement has long been a core value in the field of women, gender, and sexuality studies, reflecting the field's deep roots in activism. The high impact/civic engagement courses offer students the opportunity to engage in reflective application of theory through direct engagement with community partners or through developing a vision and a strategy for social justice activism. Students are required to take at least one of the following:

Advanced Theory

Understanding theory is essential in the field of women, gender, and sexuality studies. The advanced theory courses build on a foundation of feminism and allow students to engage in deep theoretical analysis. Students are required to take at least one of the following:

Feminists (Con)Texts and Communities

In this category students will have the opportunity to focus on one or more specific topics relevant to the discipline of women, gender, and sexuality studies. Students are required to take at least one of the following:

  • WGS 310 LGBTQ Rights and the Law (3 credits)
  • WGS 335 Women, Health, and Environment (3 credits)
  • WGS 336 Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Literature (3 credits)
  • WGS 352 Black Women's Culture and Communities (3 credits)
  • WGS 380 Special Topics in WGS (3 credits)

Elective Courses

For the remaining four electives, students can choose from a wide range of courses within WGS, courses cross-listed with and taught by other departments, and other approved electives.

Other courses that have significant content devoted to the study of women, gender, and/or sexuality during a particular semester may also be counted toward the major on an individual case basis with department chair approval.

Choose two courses (minimum of six credits) from the following:

B.A. and B.S. Degree Requirements

B.A. Degree Requirements

Candidates for the B.A. degree must demonstrate third-semester proficiency in a foreign language, either by successful completion of a 201-level language course or by passing a proficiency examination.

B.S. Degree Requirements

Candidates for the B.S. degree must complete one of the following tracks.

Track One

Track Two

AND one of the following:

Double Major

A double major in women, gender, and sexuality studies and another area of study carries many advantages for students with multiple interests. WGS faculty advisors are available to meet with students to explore options for double majors or additional minors that align well with their academic and career interests.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to consider study abroad experiences with programs that examine issues and topics related to women, gender, and/or sexuality studies. WGS faculty currently facilitate a study abroad program in Cape Town, South Africa which combines academic curriculum with service to the community. Participants examine how issues such as reproductive health, education, violence, political representation, and Apartheid have intersected and gain a deeper understanding of race and class through a global feminist perspective. Students learn about and visit several sites of historical and cultural significance in and around Cape Town and Johannesburg.

For more information about opportunities to study women, gender, and/or sexuality abroad, contact the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department or the Padnos International Center.

Suggested Order of Coursework

Year One

Year Two

  • Four general education-Foundations courses
  • One foreign language course (B.A. candidates)
  • One approved course that focuses on mathematics, statistics, quantitative reasoning, or scientific analysis (B.S. candidates)
  • WGS 201 - Foundations of Feminism (3 credits)
  • WGS elective

Year Three

Year Four

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program Description

Click here for the program description.

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.