Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major

Department Chair: Neda Atanasoski, Ph.D.

Rooted in the academic and political histories of Women’s Studies, the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies B.A. centers the study of structural inequity, as grounded in intersecting hierarchies of gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, and ability. The WGSS major provides students with an opportunity to develop a scholarly and applied understanding of social justice, honing a radical vision for political, economic, and societal freedom. Students will take courses informed by intersectional scholarship and methodologies from the arts and humanities, social sciences, public health, psychology, government, and public policy, among others. Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies offers students a flexible program of study in which there is focused attention on building students’ analysis and critique of the most pressing issues of the day, such as anti-black racism, reproductive justice, discriminatory practices against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, xenophobia and antisemitism, silencing of indigenous communities and structural exclusion by practices of ageism and ableism. 


Our introductory courses, which offer the option of focusing on social sciences or artistic methods, equip students with the tools and vocabulary to both analyze and respond creatively to social problems. Upper-division courses, which are usually run as small-size seminars, focus on building students’ research skills for pursuing topics of special interest. The final year of the B.A. degree specifically prepares students for jobs through guided internship courses that involve regular interaction with both a worksite supervisor and an assigned faculty member.  Senior-level seminars focus on the development of skills and knowledge that can inform careers in a wide range of areas, including non-profit management, social justice advocacy, digital and media expression, law, health-related fields, student affairs, academia, and government and public policy.  We seek to shape a new generation of scholars and leaders who, with us, will work to acknowledge, understand, and critically interrogate hierarchies of difference, while imagining more just futures.

Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronyms: WGSS, LGBT.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to fully engage with the curriculum and the opportunities presented for learning and research. Having completed the program, students should have acquired the following knowledge, skills, and practices:

  1. An ability to critically analyze issues related to women, race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class
  2. A demonstrated engagement with the practices of feminist, critical race, and LGBTQ social action
  3. An ability to do independent research using appropriate methods
  4. An ability to use effective forms of communication

Students will earn a total of 37 credit hours, distributed as indicated below. Drawing from approximately fifty courses, many of which are cross-listed with other academic units, students will have the opportunity to design an emphasis within the major relevant to their special interests. A number of courses may count in more than one category. At least 31 credits must be at or above the 3xx level. No course with a grade less than "C-" may be used to satisfy the major. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the major is required for graduation. Students will design their programs in consultation with a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies advisor.

Course Title Credits
College Requirements
Introductory Courses
Select one of the following courses:3
Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
WMST200
WMST250
WMST263
WMST298
(WMST298D: Women's Bodies in Contention)
Foundation Courses
WMST3013
WMST3023
WMST3193
Thematic Concentrations
Select at least four courses from the following thematic concentrations (see courses below). 112
Area 1: Social Justice
Area 2: Transnational Politics and Perspectives
Area 3: Race, Ethnicity, and Class
Area 4: Bodies, Genders, and Sexualities
Area 5: Arts, Technologies, and Cultural Production
Area 6: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Studies
Capstone
WMST4873
Select one of the following courses:3
WMST489
Seminar in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
WMST488
WMST486
Scholarship in Practice
Select one of the following courses:3
WMST385
WMST386
WMST387
Professional Development1
WMST497
Cognate3
Three upper level credits in a course outside LGBT/WMST that provides supporting context for the thematic concentration. 2,3
Total Credits37
1

Nine of the 12 Thematic Concentration credits must be upper level. Six of the 12 credits may overlap with courses fulfilling other major requirements. Regardless of the overlap of courses between the categories of the major, students must complete a minimum of 37 credits in the major.

2

Students with a double major will be considered to have fulfilled their cognate requirement.

3

In fulfilling the above requirements, students must complete nine hours of upper-level credit in courses that provide the following perspectives (three hours each): historical, transnational, cultural production.

 Social Justice

Course Title Credits
WMST250
Homophobia in the U.S. Society in the New Millennium
WMST298
(WMST298D: Women's Bodies in Contention)
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People and Communication
Women and the Civil Rights Movement
Special Topics in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBT448B: Queer Space and Media Cultures)
Women in the Media
Women and Reform Movements in the Twentieth-Century United States
WMST468
(WMST468C: Feminist and Queer Theatre and Performance Art in Theory and Practice)
Seminar in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBT488D: Queer Theory and the Politics of Death)
WMST488
WMST488
(WMST488T: Girlhood: A Transnational Historical Perspective)
WMST498
(WMST498N: Religion, Militarism and Gender)
WMST498
(WMST498X: Doing Social Justice Research)

Transnational Politics and Perspectives

Course Title Credits
Women in Western Europe 1750-Present
Women in Western Europe to 1750
ITAL241
World Literature by Women
GERM/WMST281
International Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Studies
WMST298
(WMST298D: Women's Bodies in Contention)
Women and Japanese Literature: Japanese Literature in Translation
GERM360
WMST360
WMST410
History of Women and Gender in Africa
Women in the Middle Ages: Myths and Daily Life
JAPN416
Women and Culture in Colonial Latin America
Special Topics in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBT448B: Queer Space and Media Cultures)
SPAN459
WMST468
(WMST468B: Sonic Representations of Gender and Sexuality in the African Diaspora)
United States Latina Fiction
Seminar in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBT488D: Queer Theory and the Politics of Death)
WMST488
(WMST488D: Feminist Questions Queer Research: The Caribbean Context)
WMST488
(WMST488T: Girlhood: A Transnational Historical Perspective)
Women and Society in the Middle East
HIST493/WMST453
Lesbian Communities and Differences
Women in Medieval Culture and Society
WMST498
(WMST498N: Religion, Militarism and Gender)

Race, Ethnicity, and Class

Course Title Credits
Women in America Since 1880
WMST263
WMST265
WMST267
WMST298
(WMST298D: Women's Bodies in Contention)
WMST314
Women and the Civil Rights Movement
WMST360
WMST410
Asian American Women: The Social Construction of Gender
Special Topics in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBT448B: Queer Space and Media Cultures)
WMST468
(WMST468B: Sonic Representations of Gender and Sexuality in the African Diaspora)
WMST470
AASP483
Seminar in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBT488D: Queer Space and Media Cultures)
WMST488
(WMST488D: Feminist Questions Queer Research: The Caribbean Context )
WMST488
(WMST488T: Girlhood: A Transnational Historical Perspective)
WMST488
Feminist and Nationalist Thought in Black Communities
WMST496
WMST498
(WMST498N: Religion, Militarism and Gender)
WMST498

Bodies, Gender and Sexualities

Course Title Credits
History of Sexuality in America
WMST263
WMST265
WMST267
WMST298
(WMST298D: Women's Bodies in Contention)
Biology of Reproduction
Psychology of Women
WMST360
WMST410
Special Topics in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBT448B: Queer Space and Media Cultures)
WMST468
(WMST468B: Sonic Representations of Gender and Sexuality in the African Diaspora)
Women's Health
Seminar in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBT488D: Queer Theory and the Politics of Death)
WMST488
(WMST488D: Feminist Questions Queer Research: The Caribbean as Context)
WMST488
(WMST488T: Girlhood: A Transnational Historical Perspective )
WMST488
Sex, Gender, and Jewish Identity
Lesbian Communities and Differences
WMST498
(WMST498N: Religion, Militarism and Gender)

Arts, Technologies, and Cultural Production

Course Title Credits
Women Writers of French Expression in Translation
WMST250
Reading Women Writing
LGBTQ+ Literatures and Media
WMST267
World Literature by Women
GERM/WMST281
International Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Studies
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Film and Video
Special Topics in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Literatures
GERM360
Literature by Women Before 1800
FILM423
Feminist Critical Theory
Literature by Women of Color
Special Topics in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBT448B: Queer Space and Media Cultures )
Literature by Women After 1800
SPAN459
ENGL/LGBT465
WMST468
(WMST468B: Sonic Representations of Gender and Sexuality in the African Diaspora)
WMST468
(WMST468C: Feminist and Queer Theatre and Performance Art in Theory and Practice)
WMST470
United States Latina Fiction
WMST488
(WMST488P: Gendering Postmodern Performance)
WMST488
(WMST488T: Girlhood: A Transnational Historical Perspective)
WMST496
WMST498
(WMST498N: Religion, Militarism and Gender)
WMST498
(WMST498O: Women and Film)
Lesbian Communities and Differences

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Studies

Course Title Credits
Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
LGBTQ+ Literatures and Media
Homophobia in the U.S. Society in the New Millennium
International Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Studies
WMST298
(WMST298D: Women's Bodies in Contention)
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Film and Video
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People and Communication
Special Topics in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Literatures
WMST410
Special Topics in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBT448B: Queer Space and Media Cultures)
LGBT465
WMST468
(WMST468B: Sonic Representations of Gender and Sexuality in the African Diaspora)
WMST488
(WMST488D: Feminist Questions Queer Research: The Caribbean as Context )
Seminar in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBT488D: Queer Theory and the Politics of Death)
Sex, Gender, and Jewish Identity
Lesbian Communities and Differences

Click here for roadmaps for four-year plans in the College of Arts and Humanities.

Additional information on developing a four-year academic plan can be found on the following pages: