Major Requirements

Students interested in pursuing a major or minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies are encouraged to start with WST 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: WST 105: Sex and Power and WST 200: History of Feminism/Colloquium in Women’s Studies.

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

Humanities Major

Social Sciences Major

  • WST 105 (Humanities)

  • WST 200 (Social Sciences)

  • 3 Foundation courses
    Two of which must be Humanities

  • WST 105 (Humanities)

  • WST 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:

    WST 394 Independent Study

    WST 395 Internship – Humanities

    WST 396 Research Seminar*

  • 1 of the following:

    WST 394 Independent Study 

    WST 395 Internship – Social Sciences 

    WST 396 Research Seminar*

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

SBAI Foundation Courses

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

Humanities SBAI Foundation Courses 

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

Social Science SBAI Foundation Courses

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

Other Foundation Courses

WST 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 WST majors successfully complete two upper-level writing courses:

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

  2. And ONE of the following courses 

a. WST 394: Independent Study, provided that it requires substantial research, writing, and revision
b. WST 396: Research Seminar, as a writing course, by arrangement with the instructor
c. Any other WST 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 WST 393H or WST 394H, and completed in WST 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 WST 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 WST 397. Students will need to identify a faculty advisor with whom to work.
    • Spring - WST 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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