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Major Overview

Our aim is to provide you with a coherent and comparative study of gender and sexuality within the social sciences and the humanities. Drawing from psychology, feminism, literary theory, sociology, politics, visual culture, and other fields of inquiry, you will develop an informed understanding of the fundamental concepts, theories, issues, and debates that surround gender and sexuality from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives. This will lay the foundation for a comparative investigation of interdisciplinary epistemologies and will prepare you for more focused topical, theoretical, and region-specific explorations within three fields of specialization. 


The educational goals for this major are as follows:

  • You will demonstrate knowledge of the developmental, social, theoretical and historical frameworks that define the study of gender and sexuality from both a social sciences perspective and a humanities perspective.
  • You will identify, compare, critique, and analyze the historical, social and cultural specificity of different conceptions of gender and sexuality.
  • You will apply their knowledge of gender and society to a globally informed understanding and evaluation of the pressures, politics and debates of representations of gender and sexuality, particularly those bearing upon legal rights and social justice.
  • You will be able to read and critique literature on sex and gender in the social sciences and the humanities.

Learning Environment

No matter your specialization, you will examine larger social, cultural, and political explorations that involve subjects like the representation and construction of gender, the teaching of sexuality in schools, feminist rights within the workplace, gender and sexuality within colonial and post-colonial studies, and LGBT activism. Your studies will prepare you to interpret and critically analyze the scientific, biological, artistic, and poetic articulations of gender and sexuality at the center of contemporary social, cultural, and political debates.

Major Components
Build Your Degree

With every single one of our majors, you’ll find a carefully curated medley of core courses and electives, which will provide you with the tools you need to establish an unshakeable foundation in the principles and concepts fundamental to your growth within your disciplines of choice. Many majors also enable you to specialize further within the broader area of study.

Core Courses

Core Courses

We aim to help you develop a range of skills, capacities, and modes of inquiry that will be crucial for your future since employers and graduate schools are looking for the critical thinking and innovative problem-solving skills that are associated with a liberal arts education, including sophisticated writing abilities, willingness to pose difficult questions, and an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts surrounding a topic or decision.

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You will be required to take at least six elective courses from within the GSS major, including at least three courses from the specialization you choose and two courses from a different specialization, in order to ensure you a well-rounded base from which to pursue your own path. 

See all Major Electives



The Gender, Sexuality and Society major offers courses in the following three specializations: 

  • Politics of Gender and Sexuality: Representations, Rights & Social Justice
  • Psychological and Psychoanalytic Foundations of Gender and Sexuality
  • Constructions of Gender and Sexuality: Global and Historical Perspectives

See the Specializations' Requirements

Core Courses

The Gender, Sexuality and Society core courses, which you must take as part of the major requirements, will provide you with the tools you’ll need to ground your present and future studies. Your introduction to the fundamentals of Gender, Sexuality and Society will help pave the way for your successful completion of other GSS courses.

GS2006 Contemporary Feminist Theory

Introduces the methodology of Gender Studies and the theory upon which it is based. Examines contemporary debates across a range of issues now felt to be of world-wide feminist interest: sexuality, reproduction, production, writing, representation, culture, race, and politics. Encourages responsible theorizing across disciplines and cultures.

GS2010 Introduction To Gender, Sexuality, And Society

Surveys major issues concerning gender and the science of psychology in an attempt to answer the question: why is there such a gender gap when women and men share more psychological similarities than differences? Topics include: developmental processes and gender; gender roles and stereotypes, biology and gender; cross-cultural perspectives of gender; social-cultural theories of gender; language and gender, emotions and gender, health and gender.

GS2016 Gender And Sexuality: Global Perspectives

Interrogates the concepts of ‘gender’ and ‘sexuality’ from a comparative, global perspective, drawing from multiple disciplines such as anthropology, ethnography, philosophy, sociology and history. Engages with questions of inequality, social justice and diversity as they are mapped onto gender and played out in institutional, political and socio-cultural power relations.

GS2120 Writing The Social World

This class is uniquely tailored to the interdisciplinary focus of students majoring in Psychology and/or Gender, Sexuality, and Society. Juxtaposing different forms of writing, evidence, and rhetorical practices in psychology, the social sciences, and the humanities, students will reflect on methods and writing practices in order to develop an authentic disciplinary voice. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing, EN 1010, and PY 1000 or GS 2006

GS4095 Senior Project

A Senior Project is an independent study representing a Major Capstone Project that needs to be registered using the Senior Project registration form. (Download: https://aupforms.formstack.com/workflows/senior_project)