Major Requirements

Students interested in pursuing a major or minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies are encouraged to start with GSW 105 and other foundation courses during their freshman and sophomore years, as well as Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies courses cross-listed with other departments.

SBAI offers two majors in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies – one in Humanities, and one in Social Sciences. To complete a major, a student must take ten courses (40 credits) in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. The following two courses are required for both Humanities and Social Sciences majors: GSW 105: Sex and Power and GSW 200: History of Feminism/Colloquium in Women’s Studies.

To complete a major, students must fulfill the following requirements:

Humanities Major

Social Sciences Major

  • GSW 105 (Humanities)

  • GSW 200 (Social Sciences)

  • 3 Foundation courses
    Two of which must be Humanities

  • GSW 105 (Humanities)

  • GSW 200 (Social Sciences)

  • 3 Foundation courses
    Two of which must be Social Sciences

  • 4 Elective courses

    Three of which must be Humanities

  • 4 Elective courses

    Three of which must be Social Sciences

  • 1 of the following:

    GSW 394 Independent Study

    GSW 395 Internship – Humanities

    GSW 396 Research Seminar*

  • 1 of the following:

    GSW 394 Independent Study 

    GSW 395 Internship – Social Sciences 

    GSW 396 Research Seminar*

*GSW 396, Research Seminar, is any GSW Seminar style course with a research paper taken in consultation with your advisor.

SBAI Foundation Courses

Courses listed are subject to change. View all GSW courses and descriptions on our master course list, or contact SBAI for up-to-date listings. 

Humanities SBAI Foundation Courses 

GSW 105: Sex and Power
GSW 123/AH 100: Intro to Visual & Cultural Studies
GSW 204/AH 355: Feminist Film Theory
GSW 205/PHL 171: Philosophical Foundations of Feminism
GSW 212: Queer Theory
GSW 221/AH 205: Representing Differences
GSW 223/ENG 223: Madness, Marriage, and Monstrosity: The Woman Reader, The Woman Writer, and the 19th-Century Novel
GSW 224/AH 276: Gender & Representation
GSW 225/AH 259: Women, Cloth & Culture
GSW 239/REL 220: Jewish Women’s Writing
GSW 240/ENG 126: Writing Women’s Lives
GSW 243/ENG 243: Major Authors: Jane Austen
GSW 243/ENG 243: Major Authors: The Brontes
GSW 244/FR 243: Mutilated Bodies, Mutilated Discourse
GSW 247/ENG 248: Contemporary Women’s Writing
GSW 256/SP 260: Latin American Women Writers
GSW 260/AH 213: Race & Gender in Popular Film
GSW 264/CLT 216: Women in Hispanic Film
GSW 271/GER 220: Sexuality & Gender
GSW 272/GER 272: Gender and Sexuality in the 20th Century
GSW 273/JPN 273: Japanese Women Writers
GSW 288/CLT 212: Mothers, Comrades & Whores
GSW 291/REL 207: Women in Early Christianity
GSW 339/ENG 230: Contemporary Black Women Writers 

Social Science SBAI Foundation Courses

GSW 103/LIN 103: Language & Sexuality
GSW 200: History of Feminism/Colloquium in Women’s Studies
GSW 206: Feminism, Gender and Health
GSW 210: LGBTQ Experiences in US History
GSW 249: Women, Activism, and Social Change
GSW 266/CSP 267: Psychology of Gender
GSW 296/HIS 314: International Human Rights
GSW 235/HIS 234: History of Masculinity
GSW 219/HIS: Politics of Sport: Race, Gender, and National Identity in Athletic Competition
GSW 200/HIS: History of Feminism
GSW 208/HIS: The Case of Sherlock Holmes: Race, Gender, and Crime in the British Empire
GSW TBA: History of Sex (starting Spring 2017)
GSW TBA: Race, Gender, and the Environment (staring Spring 2017)

Other Foundation Courses

GSW 290/EDE 440: LGBTQ Issues in Education and Human Development 

(Designation dependent on type of major/minor – for example if you are completing a humanities minor, this would count as social science course)

Upper-Level Writing Requirements

We require that all GSW majors successfully complete two upper-level writing courses:

  1. GSW 200: History of Feminism/Colloquium in Women’s Studies (SS)

  2. And ONE of the following courses 

a. GSW 394: Independent Study, provided that it requires substantial research, writing, and revision
b. GSW 396: Research Seminar, as a writing course, by arrangement with the instructor
c. Any other GSW course, taken as an upper-level writing course by arrangement with the instructor.

Note for double-majors: the College requires that the upper-level writing requirement be satisfied separately for EACH major.

Honors in Research

Honors in Research recognizes the completion of a distinguished honors thesis, research paper of approximately 35 pages researched and written under the direction of a faculty advisor, and approved by the faculty advisor and a second reader. It is expected that this thesis will be based on research undertaken through GSW 393H or GSW 394H, and completed in GSW 397.

  • To graduate with honors a student must satisfy the following requirements:
  • Be a student majoring in Women’s Studies with a GPA of 3.3 or better in Women’s Studies courses completed for the major, including honors courses as listed below.
  • Successfully complete a minimum of twelve credit hours in courses designated by the department as honors courses. These courses include an advanced course or seminar in Women’s Studies (300 level or higher), preferably to be taken before the end of the junior year.
  • The following two honors courses to be taken in the senior year:  
    • Fall - either GSW 393H (Independent Research) or 394H (Internship) with substantial supervised research and written work in gender and women’s studies. This research should be directed toward work in GSW 397. Students will need to identify a faculty advisor with whom to work.
    • Spring - GSW 397, independent honors thesis course


Organizations/Companies who have offered internships to SBAI students:

  • Afterimage
  • Center for Dispute Settlement
  • Center for Youth
  • City Council of Rochester
  • Connect and Breathe
  • Division of Human Rights
  • Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley
  • Image Out
  • Metro Justice
  • Monroe County District Attorney’s Office
  • Rochester Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union
  • Perinatal Network of Monroe County
  • Planned Parenthood of Western and Central New York
  • St. Joseph’s Villa
  • Sojourner House
  • Susan B. Anthony House
  • Trillium Health
  • Urban League of Rochester
  • Visual Studies Workshop (Media Center)
  • Willow Domestic Violence Center
  • Wheatley Branch Library
  • WXXI
  • YWCA Children’s Collaborative

More information on internships can be obtained by emailing the office at

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