Schools, Departments & Programs

Gender Studies

Major in Gender Studies

The B.A. Major in Gender Studies encourages students to ask critical questions about how gender operates within the cultures of the world. Required courses explore the making and meaning of gender across cultures and social formations and analyze gender in institutions, practices, representations, and knowledge across a range of cultural frameworks. They may also interrogate the intersections between gender and systemic forms of oppression and/or difference, including those based on race, ethnicity, class, and sexual identity and desire. Students achieve a scholarly understanding of the options and situations of both women and men, in the past as well as the present. They are often encouraged to devise and execute original research projects.

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.


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 30 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 must have an international/non-Western emphasis (G102, G215, or G410 are recommended, but students may also fulfill this requirement by petition).
  4. Majors must include the following:
    • 3 credit hours at the 100 level.
    • 3 credit hours at the 200 level
    • 9 credit hours at the 300 or 400 level
    • 9 additional credit hours at the 400 level
    • Additional electives to meet the 30 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.