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Requirements

Major in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

The major in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies gives students the opportunity to pursue their own intellectual interests within the multi-faceted study of women, gender, and/or sexuality. All majors take two interdisciplinary courses offered by the Program (WGSS72: Intro to WGSS and WGSS190: Doing Feminist Research); two core courses that explore the broad, foundational questions and arguments within specific disciplines or interdisciplinary fields of study; and five electives chosen from at least three different departments or programs that engage particular subjects, issues, and materials in the study of women, gender, and/or sexuality. Among the five electives, students take at least three within a concentration area chosen from those suggested on the Program page or designed individually in consultation with the Program Director based on a student's focus of interest. In addition, all majors do a capstone project in the senior year that develops from the concentration area, either as a mentored independent project (WGSS193) or, if eligible, an honors thesis (WGSS198/199). The Director of WGSS serves as academic advisor to the major and oversees the progress of all students in the Program. Two faculty mentors from different disciplines appropriate to the topic advise on the capstone project or thesis in the senior year. With the Director's approval, one internship for credit, one Experimental College course, and one independent research course may count as electives. All courses must be taken for a letter grade and receive a grade of C- or higher. With approval from the Director, up to four credits can be transferred from another institution towards the major.

  1. WGSS 72 Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Spring)

  2. Two courses which explore the broad, foundational questions and arguments in feminist approaches within specific disciplines or interdisciplinary fields of study, covering a diversity of perspectives, including attention to local, national and transnational issues and context. Courses currently available in this category:

    ED 192
    ENG 177
    PHIL 48
    REL 104
    SOC 30
    WGSS 73
     
    Feminist Theories in Education
    Feminism, Literature, Theory
    Feminist Philosophy
    Feminist Theologies
    Sex & Gender in Society
    Introduction to Queer Studies
     
  3. Five elective courses chosen from the WGSS course list and representing at least three different departments. Three of these electives should be clustered into a concentration area within the study of women, gender and/or sexuality towards developing the focus of the senior capstone project or thesis. Students define their own concentration areas or choose one from those suggested on the Program page with the advice and approval of the Director of WGSS.

  4. WGSS 190 Doing Feminist Research (Fall)

  5. WGSS 193 Senior Project (Fall or Spring) or WGSS198/199 (Full Year)

* NOTE FOR ALL COURSES: To count a course towards a WGSS major or minor, the significant writing/research projects in the course must focus on a relevant topic in the study of women, gender, and/or sexuality. Limit of 4 transfer credits for major and 2 for minor.

Minor in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

The WGSS interdisciplinary minor complements and may also integrate with a student's major. Students pursuing the minor in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies take a total of six credits, including two interdisciplinary courses offered by the Program (WGSS72: Intro to WGSS and WGSS190: Doing Feminist Research) and three electives from at least two different departments or programs that engage particular subjects, issues, and materials in the study of women, gender, and/or sexuality. It is recommended that one core course be included among the electives. In addition, all minors do a capstone project in the senior year, either as a mentored independent project (WGSS193) or, with approval from the Program Director, by doing a substantial research paper/project in a fourth WGSS elective course. The Director advises on course selection to fit each student's interests and to identify a framework for the capstone project. Two faculty mentors from different disciplines appropriate to the topic advise on the capstone project in the senior year. If completed by doing a substantial research paper/project in a fourth WGSS elective, the instructor of the course acts as mentor and grades the paper, a copy of which must be delivered to the WGSS office to fulfill the capstone requirement. All courses must be taken for a letter grade and receive a grade of C- or higher. With approval from the Director, two credits can be transferred from another institution towards the minor.

Required Courses for the Major and Minor

WGSS 72 Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
An interdisciplinary survey of major issues in the academic study of women, gender, and sexuality. This course emphasizes intersections with race, class, ethnicity, culture and other categories of identity and difference, and includes a strong global or transnational perspective.

WGSS 190 Doing Feminist Research
Taken in preparation for senior project, this course addresses the practices and methods of feminist interdisciplinary research in a cross-cultural framework. It explores how feminist inquiry rethinks assumptions and categories within the traditional disciplines; what counts as knowledge; the relation between subjects and objects of study; international issues in feminist analysis. It also focuses on developing a topic, compiling a bibliography, and drafting a project proposal.

WGSS 193 Senior Project
A one-semester mentored independent project culminating in an interdisciplinary research paper or other creative or activist work with an analytical component, which explores and tests traditional and contemporary scholarship on women, gender and/or sexuality. Two faculty members from different departments appropriate to the topic serve as mentors for student projects. Includes a series of group meetings during Spring semester. See Senior Project Guidelines for more information.

OR

WGSS 198/199 Senior Honors Thesis
For eligible students, a two-semester mentored independent project culminating in a substantial interdisciplinary research paper or other creative or activist work with an analytical component, which explores and tests traditional and contemporary scholarship on women, gender, and/or sexuality. Two faculty members from different departments appropriate to the topic serve as mentors for the thesis project through both semesters. Students doing an honors thesis participate in the WGSS193 group meetings during Spring semester. See Senior Honors Thesis Guidelines for more information.

OR (For Minors Only, with pre-approval by Program Director) An extended research paper/project in a fourth elective course, mentored and graded by the instructor of the course and submitted to the WGSS office. See Fourth Elective Course Capstone Option Guidelines for more information.

* NOTE FOR ALL COURSES: To count a course towards a WGSS major or minor, the significant writing/research projects in the course must focus on a relevant topic in the study of women, gender, and/or sexuality. Limit of 4 transfer credits for major and 2 for minor.

Link to Guidelines and Forms >