field trip queer studies

GSW Major

The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Major requires 64 units; 20 of these units are lower-division and the remaining 44 are upper division.

Lower Division (20 units)
The Preparatory Subject Matter requirement is comprised of five (5) courses: three (3) core courses which consist of GSW 050, 060, and 070, one (1) additional GSW lower division course of the student's choosing, and one (1) additional interdisciplinary course from the selected list found in the Major checklist form. 

Upper Division (44 units)
To meet the depth subject requirements, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies majors are required to take five (5) core courses (103, 104, 137, 170 and 190),  and six (6) courses which coordinate with an interdisciplinary thematic track. 

Disciplinary or Thematic Track

Students majoring in GSW have the opportunity to devise their own course of study with the creation of their own thematic track under the guidance of the major advisor or faculty advisor. Students choose four (4) upper division Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies courses and two (2) elective courses that can be taken outside of the department.

Major Checklist

The senior honors thesis option in Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies provides students with an opportunity to spend three quarters working on a substantial original research project.  Generally, this project results in a written thesis of approximately 50 pages.  However, with the approval of the faculty advisor, students may also elect to incorporate creative or multimedia work such as poetry, artwork, videos, etc. into their project. Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies majors may choose to write a senior honors thesis for a variety of reasons. 

In order to benefit from and do well at writing a senior honors thesis, it is best if you enjoy the research process, think analytically about the material you encounter in all of your classes, care about the writing and the revision process, and, most importantly, have a significant amount of time to commit to the project during your senior year.
Students complete the thesis option in addition to the 64 units required for the major. This means that students completing the thesis will complete the major with 72-76 units.

Applications for the Honor’s Program are available in the GSW office and from the Major Advisor at the beginning of Spring Quarter.

Study Abroad

We encourage students majoring in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies to study abroad through the various programs offered by the Education Abroad Center. GSW students have participated in short term and year-long programs in Spain, Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Ireland, and India all while completing major and minor requirements. EAC and GSW advisers will work with students to find the programs and courses that best fulfill the students' needs.

Old Curriculum | New Curriculum (effective for students entering the major as of Fall 2020)

GSW Minor

The GSW minor affords students the option of augmenting their study in another field by completing a minor in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies. Students choosing to avail themselves of this option must successfully complete 24 units which include the following:

  • GSW 050: Introduction to Critical Gender Studies 
  • Choose any five upper division courses in Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies (GSW/WMS 1XX). 


Sexuality Studies


The interdisciplinary minor in Sexuality Studies offers students the unique opportunity to study human-made aspects of sexual identities, desires, and practices, which differ across cultures and historical moments, and are not reducible to biology or anatomy.  The minor in Sexuality Studies core and elective courses have sexuality at their center. Additional courses invite students to integrate their study of sexuality with issues of gender; race and ethnicity; class; politics and activism; literature and popular culture; law; and other domains.

Sexuality Studies Minor Checklist

Social, Ethnic & Gender Relations

The interdisciplinary minor in Social, Ethnic & Gender Relations explores the racial, ethnic, class, and gender aspects of human relations in the modern world. Students study human societies and cultures from a multi-ethnic perspective and across established academic departmental lines. The minor is jointly sponsored by African American & African Studies, American Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicana/o Studies, Native American Studies, and Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies. The minor in Social, Ethnic & Gender Relations requires students to choose one upper division course from five of the following six groups to total 20 units:

  1. African American & African Studies
  2. Asian American Studies
  3. Chicana/o Studies
  4. Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies
  5. Native American Studies
  6. American Studies; with Domestic Diversity GE designation