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WGSS | BA in Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies


  • Women's, Gender / Sexuality St
    Fax: 202-885-1094
    Sports Center Annex, Room 174

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BA in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Admission to the Program

Formal admission to the major requires a grade point average of 2.00 (on a 4.00 scale) and the approval of the program director. To declare a major or minor in WGSS, please visit the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Advising Website: Declaring a Major or Minor

University Requirements

  • A total of 120 credit hours
  • 6 credit hours of college writing
  • 3 credit hours of college mathematics or the equivalent by examination

Women’s, gender, and sexuality studies majors are advised to take STAT-202 Basic Statistics to fulfill the University Mathematics Requirement.

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and
    Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same

Major Requirements

  • 39 credit hours with grades of C or better, including at least 18 credit hours at the 300 level or above

Course Requirements

  • WGSS-125 Gender in Society (3)
  • WGSS-150 Women’s Voices through Time (3)
  • WGSS-400 Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Theory (3)
  • WGSS-491 Internship in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (3)
  • WGSS-500 Current Issues and Research in Womens, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (3)
  • One course on women, gender, or sexuality in multicultural perspective from the following:
  • ANTH-215 Sex, Gender, and Culture (3)
  • JWST-320 Topics in Jewish Culture (3) (approved topic)
  • SOCY-235 Gender in Transitional Perspectives (3)
  • WGSS- 350 Interpreting Gender in Culture (3) (approved topic)
  • or another course approved by the program director

Area of Focus (12 credit hours)

  • 12 credit hours (9 of which must be at the 300 level or above) from one of three options; Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, or an individually defined theme or issue
  • Note: the same course may not be used to satisfy both the women, gender, or sexuality in multicultural perspective requirement (see above) and the Area of Focus requirement.

Arts and Humanities

  • AMST-330 Contemporary American Culture (3) (approved topics)
  • AMST-340 Research on the City of Washington (1-6) (approved topics)
  • ARTH-335 Twentieth Century Women Artists of the Americas (3)
  • ARTH-520 Seminar in Art History (3) (approved topics)
  • COMM-516 Topics in Film and Media Arts (3) (approved topics)
  • EDU-419 Children’s Literature: A Critical Literacy Perspective (3)
  • EDU-565 Gender and Cultural Diversity in School (3)
  • HIST-219 Women in America to 1850 (3)
  • HIST-220 Women in America since 1850 (3)
  • HIST-344 Topics in Jewish History (3) (approved topics)
  • HIST-449 Topics in U.S. History (3) (approved topics)
  • HIST-479 Topics in African American History (3) (approved topics)
  • HIST-500 Studies in History (3) (approved topics)
  • JWST-320 Topics in Jewish Culture (3) (approved topics)
  • LIT-310 Major Authors (3) (approved topics)
  • LIT-332 Shakespeare Studies (3) (approved topics)
  • LIT-370 Topics in Women and Gender Studies (3)
  • PHIL-416 Feminist Philosophy (3)
  • SPAN-559 Colloquium on Latin America (3) (taught in Spanish) (approved topics)
  • WGSS-350 Interpreting Gender in Culture (3) (approved topics)
  • or other courses approved by the program director

Social Sciences

  • ANTH-215 Sex, Gender, and Culture (3)
  • ANTH-254 Language and Culture (3)
  • ANTH-537 Topics in Language and Culture (3) (approved topics)
  • ANTH-544 Topics in Public Anthropology (3) (approved topics)
  • COMM-510 Women in Journalism (3)
  • COMM-534 Race and Gender in Communication and the Media (3)
  • ECON-374 Gender Roles in the Economy (3)
  • GOVT-482 Women and Politics (3)
  • GOVT-483 Women, Politics, and Public Policy (3)
  • GOVT-484 Women and Political Leadership (3)
  • GOVT-485 Topics in Women and Politics (1-4)
  • GOVT-486 Feminist Political Theory (3)
  • HFIT-245 Multicultural Health (3)
  • HFIT-323 Issues in Women’s Health (3)
  • JLS-526 Domestic Violence (3)
  • JLS-535 Gender and the Law (3)
  • PSYC-320 Women and Mental Health (3)
  • PSYC-430 Human Sexual Behavior (3)
  • PSYC-545 Psychology of Sex Similarities and Differences (3)
  • SIS-517 Gender and Conflict (3)
  • SIS-559 Selected Topics in Cross-National Studies (3) (approved topics)
  • SOCY-205 Diverse and Changing Families (3)
  • SOCY-235 Gender in Transitional Perspectives (3)
  • SOCY-354 White Privilege and Social Justice (3)
  • SOCY-352 Women, Men and Social Change (3)
  • SOCY-570 Sociology of Gender and Family (3)
  • SPAN-356 Spanish Topics (3) (taught in Spanish) (approved topics)
  • WGSS-225 Gender, Politics and Power (3
  • WGSS-350 Interpreting Gender in Culture (3) (approved topics)
  • or other courses approved by the program director

Individually Defined Area of Focus

  • An individually defined group of four courses (12 credit hours) centered on a particular theme or issue in women’s, gender and sexuality studies, with approval of the program director.

Electives (9 credit hours)

  • Elective courses focused on women, gender, or sexuality studies, to make a total of 39 credit hours, from a list of courses approved each semester by the program director.

University Honors Program

To graduate with University Honors, students must be admitted to the University Honors Program, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50, and receive grades of B or better in all University Honors course work. There are three levels of University Honors course requirements: Level I (100-200-level); Level II (300-level and above); and Level III (Honors Capstone Project). The department Honors coordinator advises students in the University Honors Program regarding requirements for graduating with University Honors in the major. For more information, go to the University Honors Program.

Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its accelerated bachelor’s/master’s programs. Undergraduate students may complete up to 3 credits for every 9 credits required for the graduate degree that may be applied to the requirements for both degree programs. The department that oversees the graduate program the student enters will determine if the courses the undergraduate student completes will satisfy master’s degree requirements.

Bachelor’s/master’s students must complete at least 18 in-residence credit hours at the graduate level after the bachelor’s degree is earned and maintain continuous, sequential enrollment in the two programs. Students must finish the master’s degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master’s program.