Departments & Programs

Gender Studies

Major in Gender Studies—B.A.


The interdisciplinary major in gender studies offers students the opportunity to achieve an up-to-date, interdisciplinary, thematic, and problem-oriented understanding of gender. The major encourages students to ask critical questions about how gender operates within the cultures of the world. This program of study can complement minors or majors that students choose in other disciplines and area studies, and enhances the existing teaching and research on gender taking place at Indiana University Bloomington.

Fundamental objectives of the major pursued through each of its interdisciplinary courses are to:

  1. Train students to think critically about how gender has been formed and altered in different cultures, contexts, and historical eras.
  2. Equip students to identify and analyze assumptions about gender built into the varying approaches of disciplines and areas of knowledge, and to evaluate the effects of such assumptions on research, teaching, and professional profiles of the disciplines.
  3. Provide students with a solid understanding of ways in which "gender issues" involve not only the study of women, but, as centrally, the study of men, families, workplaces, organizations, nations, economies, science, industry, laws, sexual behavior and identities, customs, mass media, sports, leisure, religion, and many other subject areas relevant to future careers of graduates.
  4. Develop students' skills in undertaking research, critical analysis, and written and verbal presentations of their findings, and encourage a fully professional approach to the subject matter and content of the courses of the major.

Graduates will be prepared to enter the full range of graduate and professional education. Some will become specialized researchers and scholars. In addition, the gender studies major provides a sound background relevant to employment in a variety of occupations within the private sector, the professions, government, and the nonprofit sector. Graduates can pursue occupations in public relations, advertising, or the media. Others may become lawyers, doctors, journalists, social workers, or psychologists. Still others will work in education, social services, the arts, public administration, and international aid and social justice organizations.

Required Courses

In addition to fulfilling the requirements for the B.A. degree in The College of Arts and Sciences, all Gender Studies majors must complete a minimum of 27 credit hours, including the following:

1. Required courses: G101 Gender, Culture, and Society, and G300 Gender Studies: Core Concepts and Key Debates.

2. Any three out of the following six core elective courses (9 credits).

  • G206 Gay Histories/Queer Cultures
  • G215 Sex and Gender in Cross Cultural Perspective*
  • G290 History of Feminist Thought and Practice
  • G310 Representation and the Body
  • G335 Explaining Sex/Gender Differences
  • G410 International Feminist Debates*

3. At least one course fulfilling the international/non-Western requirement (denoted by * above).

4. Of the 21 credit hours majors must include the following:

  • One class at the 200 level
  • Three classes at the 300 or 400 level
  • One additional class at the 400 level

Additional electives to meet the 27 credit hour requirement are freely chosen by the student.

Joint-listed Gender Studies courses count toward these requirements. Additionally, students may petition to count one non–joint-listed course from outside the department toward their degree requirements. Students wishing to do so should contact the undergraduate academic advisor for additional information.