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Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, BA

The WGSS major empowers students as advocates and agents of social justice for their communities, workplaces, and the wider world. Whatever their career goals, our curriculum prepares students to be conscientious citizens by focusing on large questions of social difference and inequality across categories such as gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, ability, religion, and nationality. Our courses pair academic rigor with civic engagement and range in scope from the local to the transnational. As an interdisciplinary field, WGSS courses provide students with a framework for developing and integrating a broad range of transferable skills. These skills include effective oral and written communication, strategic approaches to research, critical analysis of evidence, and the application of field-specific theoretical models. By critically analyzing the assumptions, norms, discourses, and systems that structure social identities and behaviors, WGSS aims not only to produce new knowledge but also to question and reshape what counts as knowledge.

The WGSS major consists of the following coursework:

Required Core Courses (5 course units)

  • WGS 200 – Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (a prerequisite for other core courses)
  • WGS 325 – Feminist Theories (a prerequisite for WGS 326 and WGS 495)
  • WGS 326 – Feminist Methodologies (a prerequisite for WGS 495)
  • WGS 398 – Feminism in the Workplace
  • WGS 498 – Senior Seminar or WGS 499 – Activism Capstone

Major Electives (5 course units)

At least one WGS course at the 300 level or above

At least one of the following to fulfill the Global Requirement:

  • WGS 222 – Nonviolence and Peace Action
  • WGS 260 – Women of African Descent in Global Perspective
  • WGS 310 – Women in Eastern Europe 1848-Present
  • WGS 327 – European Social History Since 1789
  • WGS 360 – Literature by Latinas and Latin American Women
  • WGS 375 – Transnational Feminisms
  • WGS 376 – Global Women Writers
  • WGS 377 – Gender and Democracy

The College Core

WGSS majors are required to take a second language. WGSS majors may fulfill College Core requirements for WVWK, LVPA, SCHP, and BSCP, as well as Global and Race/Ethnicity, through WGS-prefix courses. In choosing College Core courses outside the major, students should focus on meeting requirements in Natural Science and Quantitative Reasoning.

Double Majors and Minors

For double majors in the School of Education, see the Education/WGSS Planner.

WGSS majors may easily double-major or add one or more minors by choosing electives that count toward both credentials. For double majors, choose up to three courses that are approved as electives for both academic programs. For minors, choose one course that is approved as an elective for both academic programs.

The following majors and minors share one or more electives with WGSS:

  • African American Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Classical Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • Criminology
  • Economics
  • English
  • Environmental Studies
  • History
  • Holocaust and Genocide Studies
  • International Studies
  • Journalism
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Religious Studies
  • Sexuality and Queer Studies
  • Sociology
  • USA Studies