Program information

The Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies analyzes local and global entanglements of knowledge, power, pleasure, and resistance. Drawing on histories of anti-racist, decolonial, feminist, queer, and trans work, courses examine shifting dynamics of privilege, exclusion, and marginalization. The program also cultivates action, practice, and reciprocal engagement with the many communities of which we are part. To study gender and sexuality in these ways is to refute simple assertions about identity in favor of richly detailed accounts of the specific conditions through which particular social positions are maintained and transgressed. Students may choose to either major or minor in gender and sexuality studies.

More information on the gender and sexuality studies program is available on the website (

Major Requirements

Students must complete ten courses, including:

1) All of the following:
GSS 100. Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies.
AF/GS 201. Race, Ethnicity, and Feminist Thought.
INDS 250. Interdisciplinary Studies: Methods and Modes of Inquiry.
GSS 400. Junior-Senior Seminar. Students must take one 400-level GSS course.

Majors are encouraged to take GSS 100 and INDS 250 before the end of the sophomore year.

2) Additional Courses. Five additional gender and sexuality studies courses or program-approved courses offered by other departments and programs. At least two of these five courses must be at the 300- or 400-level. No more than one Short Term course may be counted toward the major. The list of committee-approved first-year seminars includes the following:

FYS 177. Sex and Sexualities.
FYS 305. Corporal Culture: Body and Health in America.
FYS 346. Desire, Devotion, Suffering.
FYS 419. Tobacco in History and Culture.

3) GSS 457, 458. Senior Thesis.

Students should consult the program chair about transfer credits or other courses that may be used toward fulfillment of major or minor requirements.

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program, many courses in gender and sexuality studies have prerequisites in other departments. Majors should plan their schedules carefully and are urged to consult regularly with the chair to ensure that their program has both breadth and depth.

Senior Thesis

Planning for the senior thesis should begin in the junior year. In consultation with the chair of the program, each student chooses a thesis advisor according to the subject matter of the thesis. With the assistance of the thesis advisor, each major submits a thesis proposal to the faculty Committee on Gender and Sexuality Studies according to a schedule determined by the program. Students should consult the program website for thesis guidelines and a schedule of deadlines.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

Aside from the thesis, which must be taken for a grade, there are no restrictions on the use of the pass/fail option within the major.


A minor in gender and sexuality consists of GSS 100, AF/GS 201, INDS 250, GSS 400, at least one other 300- or 400-level gender and sexuality studies course, and two other committee-approved courses. No more than one Short Term course may be counted toward the minor.

Pass/Fail Grading Option

There are no restrictions on the use of the pass/fail option within the minor.