Majors & Minors

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major | Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor

Chair: Lin Aanonsen (Biology)

Department Faculty: Corie Hammers, Sonita Sarker

Steering Committee: Rebecca Hoye (Chemistry), Joan Ostrove (Psychology), Susanna Drake (Religious Studies), Victoria Malawey (Music),

Cross-Listing Faculty:  Beth Cleary (Theatre and Dance),  Diana Dean (Anthropology), Paul Dosh (Political Science), Susanna Drake (Religious Studies), Duchess Harris (American Studies), Joanna Inglot (Art and Art History), Elizabeth Jansen (Biology), Zornitsa Keremidchieva (Political Science), Anastasia Kayiatos (Russian Studies), Mahnaz Kousha (Sociology), Jim Laine (Religious Studies), Brian Lush (Classics), Victoria Malawey (Music), Karine Moe (Economics), Alicia Munoz (Latin American Studies), Joan Ostrove (Psychology), Sonia Patten (Anthropology), Beth Severy-Hoven (Classics), Dianna Shandy (Anthropology), Satoko Suzuki (Asian Languages and Cultures), and Xin Yang (Asian Languages and Cultures)

In the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department (WGSS) at Macalester College, students investigate key questions raised within feminist and queer theories and the fields of women's, transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay studies. Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary field interlinking the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts. Through a rich array of core and crosslisted courses, students examine interlocking systems of cultural and political difference based on gender, sexuality, race, nation, class, ethnicity, and ability, through comparative national and transnational perspectives; and develop practical and theoretical skills for understanding and engaging the historical, social, cultural, economic, and political contexts shaping our world. The department strongly encourages students to engage diverse communities at Macalester and beyond, and supports students in completing independent research, internships, study away, and senior and honors projects. Our graduates have applied their work in a wide variety of careers in academia, literature and the arts, law, politics, business, health and medicine, and non-profit work.

General Distribution Requirements

WGSS 210, WGSS 220WGSS 240, WGSS 310, WGSS 315WGSS 325, WGSS 330  count toward the general distribution requirement in humanities. WGSS 101, WGSS 102, WGSS 305, WGSS 364 and WGSS 405 count toward the social science distribution requirement. WGSS 252, WGSS 262 and WGSS 354 count toward the general distribution requirement in fine arts. WGSS 117 counts toward the math/natural science distribution requirement. Courses in the department numbered WGSS 100, WGSS 200WGSS 300 and WGSS 400 will count toward either the humanities or social science distribution requirement (announced at registration), depending on the subject matter. Any topics courses (WGSS 194, WGSS 294, WGSS 394, WGSS 494) require approval by the department to qualify for general distribution credit. Courses approved for women's, gender, and sexuality studies offered through other departments meet the general distribution requirements of that department.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism, and U.S. identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar's web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding the general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department participates in the honors program and strongly encourages its majors to consider doing an honors project for their senior year. Eligibility requirements, application procedures, and specific project expectations for the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department are available on the department website or from the Director of Academic Programs.

Topics Courses

WGSS 194, WGSS 294, WGSS 394, WGSS 494 

Examination of special topics of interest to faculty and students. Occasionally offered. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum section of the catalog.

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Major

Major Requirements

NOTE: The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies major and minor plans may not include more than 3 courses which are already used on any other single major, minor or concentration plan the student has declared.

The major consists of 10 courses (40 credits). These courses must include the following:

     1.  WGSS 100 - Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 

     2.  WGSS 200 - Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies 

     3.  WGSS 300 - Advanced Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies 

     4.  WGSS 400 - Senior Seminar: Linking Theory and Practice 

     5.  Six additional WGSS courses, two of which must be 300-level courses.

Points to consider in developing your WGSS major:

  •  You should plan your WGSS major in consultation with a department faculty member in WGSS and as you do so, consider what you'd like to accomplish with this major.
  •  Although not required, we recommend you take at least one 300-level elective (see #5 above) from a WGSS department faculty member since these specific courses will build most directly on the knowledge obtained in WGSS 200.
  • The major may include up to the equivalent of 4 credit hours from a study-away program.
  • The department strongly recommends civic engagement or other community work. Up to 4 credit hours of independent study or internship may count toward the major.
  • The major may not include more than 3 courses which are already used on any other single major, minor or concentration plan the student has declared.

 

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor

Minor Requirements

The minor consists of 5 courses (20 credits). These courses must include the following:

     1. WGSS 100 - Introduction to Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 

     2. WGSS 200 - Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies 

     3. One 300-level WGSS course

     4. Two additional WGSS courses at any level

Points to consider in developing your WGSS minor:

  • Although not required, we encourage you to consider taking WGSS 400 or complete an independent study or internship in WGSS. Completing one of these options will help you better link WGSS theory to practice and provide a tangible opportunity to link this minor to your major area of study.
  • The minor may include up to the equivalent of 4 credit hours from a study-away program.
  • The department strongly recommends civic engagement or other community work. Up to 4 credit hours of independent study or internship may count toward the minor.