Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

The women’s, gender and sexuality studies (WGSS) program is an interdisciplinary major that examines gender as a socially created identity and a system of inequality. Throughout the program’s courses, students analyze how gender intersects with sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, religion, disability and other categories of culturally created differences to understand how these intersections result in a range of experiences and meanings for people’s daily lives. The theories and methods in the program cross a variety of disciplines, but analyzing the complexities of systems of power and oppression in people’s daily lives is central to the major.

The program requires eight courses that focus on women’s lives, women of color, and gender and sexuality concepts and theories. Students can choose from a wide selection of courses across the curriculum to fulfill the major’s requirements. This dynamic curriculum allows students flexibility in choosing courses that most interest them while at the same time providing a solid training in gender theories and concepts. WGSS encourages experiential learning, Principled Problem Solving experiences, internship opportunities, independent studies and study abroad.

DEGREE OFFERED

The Bachelor of Arts degree is offered in women’s, gender and sexuality studies.

Women's, Gender and Sexuality Major

Bachelor of Arts

The women’s, gender and sexuality studies major is an interdisciplinary major that requires a second disciplinary major and an advisor in each.

Among the courses identified below, students are required to complete 8 credits at the 200-level, 8 credits at the 300-level, and 8 credits at the 400-level, one must be identified as IDS 400, to serve as a program capstone. Further, students must complete at least 3 courses (12 credits) focused on women of color in the U.S. or internationally (designated by the suffix (WoC).

Because the WGSS major is an interdisciplinary major, courses must be selected from at least two departments, with some courses in both the humanities and the social sciences. Other integrative experiences, internships, independent study or thesis, are encouraged.

Students must take a minimum of 32 credit hours (eight courses) in women’s, gender and sexuality studies in the following pattern:

CHOOSE TWO COURSES (8 credits)
ENGL 151 Black Women's History and Literature (WoC) - 4 credits
HIST 223 Gender and Power in U.S. History - 4 credits
PHIL 232 Philosophy and Gender - 4 credits
WGSS 110 Introduction to Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WoC) - 4 credits
CHOOSE TWO COURSES (8 credits)
ENGL 331 Black Women Writers (WoC) - 4 credits
FREN 311 The Francophone World (WoC) - 4 credits
HIST 268 History of Chinese Women (WoC) - 4 credits
HIST 343 Women in Modern Africa (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 411 Gender & Development in Africa (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 415 Understanding Eating Disorders - 4 credits
IDS 421 Border Crossings (WoC) - 4 credits
JAPN 220 Women in Modern Japan (WoC) - 4 credits
PSY 351 Psychology and Gender - 4 credits
REL 317 Women in Tibetan Buddhism (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 330 Inequality in Latin America (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 432 Women of Color in the U.S. (WoC) - 4 credits

CHOOSE TWO COURSES (8 credits)
ART 279  Identity, Race and Gender in Art (WoC) - 4 credits 
ENGL 331 Black Women Voters - 4 credits
ENGL 400 Arab Women Writers (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 415 Understanding Eating Disorders - 4 credits
IDS 418 Science, Sex and Nature - 4 credits
IDS 421 Border Crossings - 4 credits
IDS 481 Notions of Beauty - 4 credits
IDS 482 Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 485 Arab and Islamic Feminisms (WoC) - 4 credits
PHIL 232 Philosophy and Gender - 4 credits
PHIL 336 Social and Political Philosophy - 4 credits
PSCI 305 Politics of Gender (WoC) - 4 credits
PSY 351 Boys into Men - 4 credits
SOAN 267 Race and Gender in Media Focus (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 313 Sociology of Sex and Gender - 4 credits
SOAN 323 Gender, Health and Illness - 4 credits
SOAN 416 Gender and Sociology of the Body - 4 credits
THEA 262 Gay and Lesbian Cinema - 4 credits

CHOOSE TWO COURSES (8 credits)
IDS 409 Gay, Lesbian and Queer Studies - 4 credits
IDS 418 Science, Sex and Nature - 4 credits
IDS 455 Human Sexuality - 4 credits
JAPN 220 Women in Modern Japan (WoC) - 4 credits
PHIL 231 Philosophy and Sexuality - 4 credits
PHIL 232 Philosophy and Gender - 4 credits
SOAN 234 Culture and Sexuality in Africa (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 313 Sociology of Sex and Gender - 4 credits
THEA 262 Gay and Lesbian Cinema - 4 credits

Total credit hours required for A.B. degree in women’s, gender and sexuality studies – 32 credits

First-year students should take ENGL 151 Black Women’s History and Literature, HIST 223, PHIL 232, REL 222 or WGSS 110 to begin the major.

Senior students should take a gender-related IDS 400 from the list above, as a capstone for the major.

Note: At any level, an internship or independent study may serve the function of one of the above courses. However, a student may count no more than two internships or two independent studies toward the major, and no more than two internships and independent studies combined. Approval from the program chair or one of the co-chairs shall be required for an internship or independent study to count for the major.

Women's, Gender and Sexuality Minor

Minor

The women’s, gender, and sexuality studies minor is designed to provide the opportunity for students to focus on concepts of gender, sexuality, and multiple identities, as well as women’s experiences from a number of different disciplinary perspectives. This minor also seeks to study efforts to foster gender equality and explore gender oppressions in several contexts.

The minor provides an opportunity for analyzing and theorizing about an area of important social change.

The women’s, gender & sexuality studies minor is not available to women’s, gender & sexuality studies majors.

The minor requires a minimum of 16 credit hours (four courses). Minors must take one course in each of the following four categories. In addition, two courses must be on Women of Color (WoC), and one must be identified as an IDS 400 course.

One introductory course from: (4 credits)
ENGL 151 Black Women’s History and Literature (WoC)
HIST 223 Gender and Power in U.S. History
PHIL 232 Philosophy and Gender
REL 222 Feminist Theologies
WGSS 110 Introduction to Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies

CHOOSE ONE COURSE FOCUSED ON THE LIVES AND EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS (4 credits)
ENGL 311 Black Women Writers (WoC) - 4 credits
FREN 311 The Francophone World (WoC) - 4 credits
HIST 268 History of Chinese Women (WoC) - 4 credits
HIST 343 Women in Modern Africa (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 411 Gender & Development in Africa (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 482 Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice (WoC) - 4 credits
JAPN 220 Women in Modern Japan (WoC) - 4 credits
PSY 351 Psychology and Gender - 4 credits
REL 317 Women in Tibetan Buddhism (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 300 Inequality in Latin America (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 432 Women of Color in the U.S. (WoC) - 4 credits

CHOOSE ONE COURSE FOCUSED ON GENDER THEORY AND ANALYSIS (4 credits)
ECON 441 Labor Economics - 4 credits
ENGL 331 Black Women Writers - 4 credits
ENGL 400 Arab Women Writers (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 481 Notions of Beauty - 4 credits
IDS 482 Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice (WoC) - 4 credits
IDS 485 Arab and Islamic Feminisms (WoC) - 4 credits
PHIL 232 Philosophy and Gender - 4 credits
PHIL 336 Social and Political Philosophy - 4 credits
PSCI 305 Politics of Gender (WoC) - 4 credits
PSY 351 Psychology and Gender - 4 credits
REL 341 Liberation Theologies (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 267 Race and Gender in Media Focus (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 313 Sociology of Sex and Gender - 4 credits
THEA 262 Gay & Lesbian Cinema - 4 credits

CHOOSE ONE COURSE FOCUSED ON SEXUALITY (4 credits)
IDS 409 Gay, Lesbian and Queer Studies - 4 credits
IDS 418 Science, Sex and Nature I - 4 credits
IDS 455 Human Sexuality - 4 credits
JAPN 220 Women in Modern Japan (WoC) - 4 credits
PHIL 231 Philosophy and Sexuality - 4 credits
PHIL 232 Philosophy and Gender - 4 credits
SOAN 234 Culture and Sexuality in Africa (WoC) - 4 credits
SOAN 313 Sociology of Sex and Gender - 4 credits
THEA 262 Gay and Lesbian Cinema - 4 credits

Total credit hours required for women’s, gender and sexuality studies minor – 16 credits

Note: At any level, an internship or independent study may serve the function of one of the above courses. However, a student may count no more than one internship or one independent study toward the minor. Approval from the program chair or one of the co-chairs shall be required for an internship or independent study to count for the minor.

Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Why Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies?

The women’s, gender and sexuality studies (WGSS) program is an interdisciplinary major that examines gender as a socially created identity and a system of inequality. Throughout the program’s courses, students analyze how gender intersects with sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, religion, disability and other categories of culturally created differences to understand how these intersections result in a range of experiences and meanings for people’s daily lives. The theories and methods in the program cross a variety of disciplines, but analyzing the complexities of systems of power and oppression in people’s daily lives is central to the major.

The program requires eight courses that focus on women’s lives, women of color, and gender and sexuality concepts and theories. Students can choose from a wide selection of courses across the curriculum to fulfill the major’s requirements. This dynamic curriculum allows students flexibility in choosing courses that most interest them while at the same time providing a solid training in gender theories and concepts.

Majors and minors have opportunities to develop close relationships with professors through discussion-based, student-centered classes. WGSS encourages experiential learning, internship opportunities, independent studies, and study abroad. The program also sponsors the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies conference, where students can showcase their research and creative performances.

WGSS graduates have pursued graduate degrees in women’s and gender studies or have engaged in a variety of interesting occupations such as teaching, restaurant management, graphic design, and holistic nutrition and lifestyle consulting. A recent graduate is also a member Greensboro’s new roller derby team, the Gate City Roller Girls!

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Internships

  • The Albert Kennedy Trust (London, UK)
  • Department of Family and Children’s Services (Atlanta, GA)
  • The Family Crisis Center (Asheboro, NC)
  • North Carolina Council for Women
  • North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission
  • Women’s Resource Center of Greensboro

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