BA paper write-in

Gender and Sexuality Studies fourth-years Nia Sotto, Amber Sollenberger Matthews, Jennifer Wells-Qu, and Ellen Kladky (behind the camera) at a weekend BA paper write-in in January.

Undergraduate Major in Gender and Sexuality Studies

If you are interested in the GNSE major or minor, or just want to talk more about the courses and opportunities, please schedule an appointment here.

The GNSE major is designed with flexibility in mind and is meant to provide students with the opportunity to design a course of study tailored to their particular interests. The major requires a total of thirteen credits. The thirteen courses consist of a combination of courses from within Gender and Sexuality Studies and supporting courses in a different discipline (or further GNSE courses if the student chooses). Students who wish to pursue honors will be required to complete a BA research project or essay in their final year, in which case two of their thirteen credits will be related to completing their project (GNSE 29800/2900) and BA research project or essay (GNSE 29900). 

All Students are required to take one Foundations course (GNSE 12000–14999), one Problems course (GNSE 11000-11199 or 20100–20399), and one Concepts course (GNSE 23101–23399). The Foundations courses are designed to provide an introduction to theories in the field of Gender and Sexuality Studies and are recommended as an entry point for the major. Concepts and Problems courses delve further in to a specific subject area and are a way to build upon prior knowledge in the field. Additionally, students must take GNSE 20001 Theories of Sexuality and Gender (or an approved substitute). This course is recommended for third- and fourth-year students following enrollment in other GNSE courses.

To complete the major requirements, students must take additional GNSE electives (six if they do not plan to write a BA thesis and four if they do) and three supporting courses that can be further GNSE coursework or courses in a different discipline that provide training in the methodological, technical, or scholarly skills needed to pursue research in the student's primary field. Within the GNSE course requirement, students must enroll in at least one course that is grounded in the social sciences and one course that is grounded in the humanities in order to explore how gender and sexuality work across different disciplines. All Gender and Sexuality Studies majors are advised, but not required, to take GNSE 15002-15003 Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations I-II to fulfill their general education requirement in civilization studies. They may also fulfill this general education requirement with another sequence and count GNSE 15002-15003 in the major. 

Honors and BA Thesis

Students with a 3.25 or higher overall GPA and a 3.5 or higher GPA in the major are eligible for honors. In addition they must complete a BA project or essay and receive an A grade and recommendation for honors from their faculty adviser. 

The BA thesis involves a substantial essay or project to be completed in the student's fourth year under the supervision of a Gender Studies Adviser who is a member of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Affiliated Faculty in the student's primary field of interest. Majors will attend two workshops during the Spring Quarter of their third year at which point they will create a proposal for their thesis. (If students are studying abroad, they should meet with the BA preceptor individually in the quarter prior to departure.) Students are also required to attend a BA Seminar in Autumn and Winter Quarters of their fourth year. Enrollment in the corresponding course (GNSE 29800 B.A. Paper Seminar) can occur in either Autumn or Winter but attendance is required through both quarters. Registration for GNSE 29900 BA Essay is also required in any quarter during the student’s fourth year. Students must submit the completed thesis 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 for P/F grading. All other courses must be taken for a quality grade. 


Students are encouraged to meet with Bonnie Kanter, Assistant Director for Student Affairs and Curriculum, frequently to assist with selection of courses and construction of the major.

GNSE Projects

Interested in the research projects of past classes of GNSE students? Please browse these showcases of student works: