Undergraduate Major in Gender and Sexuality Studies
A major in Gender and Sexuality Studies covers a broad range of topics under the eleven course requirements, the BA Essay Seminar and the BA research project or essay. We recognize two main paths by which students can develop their undergraduate concentration. Each path consists of the two required introductory Problems in Gender and Sexuality Studies courses (GNSE 10100 and 10200), a group of nine electives chosen in consultation with the student's Gender and Sexuality Studies Adviser, a BA Essay seminar for fourth-year students, and a BA paper written under the supervision of an appropriate faculty member.
Summary of Requirements
- 2 Problems in Gender and Sexuality Studies (GNSE 10100-10200) or Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations (GNSE 15002-15003)
- 9 Elective courses distributed according to the requirements of Path A or Path B
- 1 BA Essay Seminar (GNSE 29800)
- 1 BA Essay (GNSE 29900)
Total requirements: 13
General Education Requirements
Gender and Sexuality Studies majors who enter the College in or after Autumn 2013 must take GNSE 15002 and 15003, Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations, Parts I and II, to fulfill their general education requirement in civilization studies. Students who take another sequence to fulfill the general education requirement may petition to count GNSE 15002 and 15003 towards major requirements, in place of GNSE 10100-10200 if approved.
Problems in Gender and Sexuality Studies
All students majoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies take the two-quarter theory sequence Problems in Gender and Sexuality Studies (GNSE 10100 and 10200) in their second or third year.
Path A Elective Requirements
Path A is for students whose central interest lies in the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality. It is designed to provide students with a range of conceptual and historical resources to pursue such study with creativity and rigor. For Path A, the nine electives must meet the following chronological, geographical, and methodological distribution guidelines:
At least one of each:
- Course with a main chronological focus that is pre-1900
- Course with a main chronological focus that is post-1900
- Course with a main focus that is North America or Europe
- Course with a main focus that is Latin America, Africa, or Asia
At least two of each:
- Courses in the Humanities
- Courses in the Social Sciences
Any given course may fulfill more than one distribution requirement; for instance, a course on gender in Shakespeare would count as fulfilling one course requirement in pre-1900, Europe, and Humanities.
Path B Elective Requirements
Path B is for students whose interest in gender and sexuality is primarily organized around another discipline or field such as History, English, or Political Science. It is designed to provide students with the conceptual and methodological resources to pursue Gender and Sexuality Studies within such a field. For Path B, the nine electives must meet the following guidelines:
- 5 Gender and Sexuality Studies courses in a primary field
- 4 supporting-field courses
Courses in the primary field focus on gender and sexuality in a single discipline or in closely related disciplines and develop a gender track within that discipline. Supporting field courses provide training in the methodological, technical, or scholarly skills needed to pursue research in the student's primary field.
Research Project or Essay
Students in their fourth year will complete an essay or research project under the supervision of a Gender and Sexuality Studies Adviser who is a member of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Core Faculty in the student's primary field of interest. Students must submit the essay by May 1 of their fourth year or by fifth week of their quarter of graduation. This program may accept a BA paper or project used to satisfy the same requirement in another major if certain conditions are met and with the consent of the other program chair. Approval from both program chairs is required.
Students should consult with the chairs by the earliest BA proposal deadline (or by the end of their third year, when neither program publishes a deadline). A consent form, to be signed by both chairs, is available from the College adviser. It must be completed and returned to the College adviser by the end of Autumn Quarter of the student's year of graduation.
Two of the supporting field courses may be taken P/F. All other courses must be taken for a quality grade.
Students with a 3.0 or higher overall GPA and a 3.5 or higher GPA in the major are eligible for honors. Students must also receive a grade of A on their BA project or essay with a recommendation for honors from their faculty adviser.
Each student will have a Gender and Sexuality Studies Adviser who is a member of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Core Faculty. By the beginning of their third year, students are expected to have designed their programs of study with the assistance of their adviser. Students may also consult the Director of Studies for advice in program design.