Majors & Minors

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

General Distribution Requirement

WGSS 105, WGSS 210, WGSS 220WGSS 240, WGSS 310, WGSS 315 and WGSS 330 count toward the general distribution requirement in humanities. WGSS 101, WGSS 102, WGSS 305, and WGSS 405 count toward the social science distribution requirement. WGSS 252 and WGSS 262 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 200, WGSS 300 and WGSS 400 will count toward either the humanities or social science distribution requirement, 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 multiculturalism 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 (http://www.macalester.edu/wgs) 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

The women’s, gender, and sexuality studies major consists of at least 12 courses (48 credits) of which at least 6 courses (24 credits) are WGSS core courses taught by core faculty.

  1. At least one 100-level (introductory) core course;
  2. WGSS 200 - Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies;
  3. One course in historical depth in women's/gender/sexual politics and culture (Criteria for Core Courses apply to this course when taught by non-core faculty);
  4. Four courses from College-wide offerings that must include approved cross-listed courses and may include WGSS core courses, planned with the WGSS advisor and the WGSS chair, and taken in one of the following thematic groupings: a) (Trans)National Women's/LGBTQI Histories and Genealogies OR b) Gender/Sexuality/Race/Class/Culture and Representation OR c) Theories and Philosophies OR d) Feminisms and Social or Political Change OR e) Gender/Sexuality/Race/Class/Culture and the Science/Technologies;
  5. Remaining electives may be from Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies core courses and/or cross-listed courses;
  6. WGSS 300 - Advanced Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies;
  7. WGSS 400 - Senior Seminar: Linking Theory and Practice or WGSS 405 - Senior Seminar: Topics;
  8. The major may include up to the equivalent of 4 credit hours from a study-away or study-abroad program; and
  9. The major may consist of no more than 8 credit hours of independent studies and 4 credit hours of internship. The department strongly  recommends civic engagement and other community work.

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor

Minor Requirements

The women’s, gender, and sexuality studies minor consists of six (6) courses (24 credits or more), in a combination of 3 or more CORE courses from Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and 3 or more courses from other departments, planned in consultation with the student's WGSS advisor and the WGSS chair. The latter courses may be organized in the form of one of the thematic groupings described for the WGSS major.

  1. One Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 100-level (introductory) core course;
  2. WGSS 200 - Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies;
  3. Minors are encouraged to take one 300-level (advanced) WGSS core course;
  4. Minors who have taken the necessary prerequisites may enroll in WGSS 400 - Senior Seminar: Linking Theory and Practice or WGSS 405 - Senior Seminar: Topics or a 600-number project (excluding preceptorships) with prior approval from the department; and
  5. Up to 4 credit hours of internship are highly recommended.