The undergraduate degree in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies provides students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the creation, reconstruction, and perpetuation of asymmetrical gender, sex, and sexuality systems and their connections to other operations of power and inequities. Explorations of how gender, sex, and sexuality intersect with race, ethnicity, class, and disability include the imperial and globalizing contexts shaping these systems of power.
Considering historical, contemporary, and transnational perspectives, the program investigates and critiques how ideologies of gender, sex, and sexuality have influenced and been influenced by social and cultural systems; literature and the arts; economic and political systems; law and public policy; and health, medicine, science, and technology. The program’s critical, intersectional lens closes gaps in traditional higher education resulting from the historic exclusion of marginalized groups from many fields of study.
In this 120-credit degree, students take three core courses (12 credits): Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS); Feminisms, Bodies, Power, a feminist theories and methods course; and a Practicum. Introduction to WGSS and Feminisms provide a grounding in feminist theory, research, and activism. The Practicum serves as an applied learning experience for majors in the junior or senior year. Students select an additional 28 credits from a series of electives organized around the following interdisciplinary categories: Historical and Political Contexts, Cultural Productions and Representations, and Intersectionality. Students must include a course in each of the three categories; four must be upper-division courses.
A limited selection of WGSS courses are available in the evening. Completion of a major in WGSS requires daytime course attendance.
The major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies can be completed in a two-year period with appropriate planning. With an advisor’s approval, a maximum of four courses will be accepted in transfer toward the 10 courses required for the major. Transfer students should note that WS1000/ AS1512 Intro to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is a pre-requisite for enrollment in WS4900 Practicum in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, as well as for a number of other courses in the major. It is recommended that transfer students take this course in their first semester at Old Westbury if the expectation of completing the program in two years is to be met.