Gender & Sexuality Studies Minor | Academic Advising Handbook

Gender and Sexuality Studies (GSS) is an interdisciplinary minor that investigates the significance of sex and gender in all areas of the human experience. The minor is grounded in the notion that sex and gender are crucial factors in the organization of our personal and public lives and our social institutions. The Gender and Sexuality Studies minor includes courses that reevaluate the assumptions at work in traditional disciplines and expand the study of individuals, cultures, social institutions, social policy and other areas of scholarly inquiry.

The GSS minor is designed to encourage students to critically interrogate and actively engage in social processes related to gender and sexuality. The GSS minor is the academic and research arm of the Center for Gender Equity (CGE), the mission of which is to support gender equity through dialogue, programming, service, research, education, and advocacy in order to facilitate collaborative, humane, and sustainable University, local and global communities.

The GSS minor has as its framework 1) the introductory course, 2) the “GSS in Practice” requirement, and 3) topics courses. 1) The introductory course lays the groundwork for the minor by exposing students to the guiding questions, frameworks and theories in Gender and Sexuality Studies. 2) The “GSS in Practice” requirement allows students to apply, outside the classroom, the theoretical constructs covered in GSS courses. 3) Elective topics courses concentrate on contemporary issues and provide a multidisciplinary approach to the study of gender and sexuality in a breadth of electives.

Students must not take more than 8 elective credits within one of the three schools (Social Sciences, Art & Humanities, and Natural Sciences). Students should plan to take GSS 201 in the spring semester of either their freshman or sophomore year. GSS 201 will be taught only in the spring. Students who wish to declare the Gender and Sexuality Studies minor are advised to do so by the spring of their sophomore year.

Classes in GSS draw from a variety of departments including sociology, history, English, art history, theatre and French. Many of these classes have a civic engagement component.  GSS courses provide opportunities for students to travel to India to engage in service learning

Gender and Sexuality Studies: Requirements for the Minor (20 credits)

  • GSS 201: Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies (4 credits) or GSS 303 Advanced Gender and Sexuality Theory (if you have already taken 2 upper div GSS classes, replace GSS 201 with GSS 303).
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies in Practice (4 credits)
    • GSS 341: Gender Equity (Work for CGE) (2 credits)*
    • GSS 453: Creative Work or Research in GSS (2 credits)*
    • GSS 456: Mentoring in GSS (2 credits)*
  • GSS Electives: (12 credits)
    • (Students should not take more than 8 credits in one school; at least 4 should be upper division.)

GSS Electives include:


  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Gender and Politics


  • Advanced Gender and Sexuality Theory
  • Studies in Criticism and Theory
  • Medieval Women 

*Students may repeat one of these courses (GSS 450, 341, or 451) for two additional credits toward the elective requirement.

Rev 2019