Skip to main content

Major and Minor

Explore and Discover. The Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies examines gender and sexuality in historical and contemporary contexts. We teach our students to re-examine traditionally held beliefs about gender and sexuality, to conduct groundbreaking research in human beliefs and behaviors, and to bring a critical perspective to everyday events and practices that shape human lives in the country and the world.

The Major in Gender and Sexuality Studies

The interdisciplinary major in gender and sexuality studies consists of 30 hours of course work distributed as follows:   

  • GSS 1150: Sex and Gender in Everyday Life (2+ sections offered every semester, 1 of which is a W class) or GSS 1160: Sex and Society (2+ sections offered every semester, one of which is a W course)
  • One course approved for the International/Global Feminism Requirement
  • One course approved for the History/Social Movements Requirement
  • One course approved for the Sex, Sexuality, and Society Requirement
  • Five courses approved for gender and sexuality studies electives; please note that elective hours may be earned through any department at Vanderbilt, provided that the course has a gender component.
  • GSS 4960: Senior Seminar (spring semester only; topic varies)

A degree in gender and sexuality studies offers an excellent foundation for students who plan to enter professional schools such as law, medicine, and business; students who move into careers such as public policy, government, teaching, and administration; and those who plan to pursue advanced degrees in the sciences and the humanities.

Honors in Gender and Sexuality Studies

The honors program in gender and sexuality studies requires 36 hours of course work and is designed to afford exceptional students the opportunity to undertake independent research on a topic in feminist and gender scholarship. This is done in consultation with faculty members.

The program is open to all majors in the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies with junior standing who have completed at least 21 credit hours of the major and who have earned a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and a 3.3 grade point average in gender and sexuality courses. Students must be approved for acceptance into the honors program by the program director and must:

  • Complete 36 hours of course work.
  • Complete the required courses for the major.
  • Submit for approval a short description of the proposed project to the Chair of The Department by the spring semester of the junior year.
  • Complete 6 hours of independent research, GSS 4998 and 4999 (honors research and project) typically during the senior year.
  • Undertake an honors project to be completed in the spring of the senior year.
  • Pass an oral examination on the topic of the project.

The Minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies

The minor in gender and sexuality studies consists of 18 hours of course work distributed as follows:

  • GSS 1150: Sex and Gender in Everyday Life (2+ sections offered every semester, 1 of which is a W course) or GSS 1160: Sex and Society (2+ sections offered every semester, 1 of which is a W course)
  • One course approved for the International/Global Feminism Requirement
  • One course approved for the History/Social Movements Requirement
  • One course approved for the Sex, Sexuality, and Society Requirement
  • GSS 4960: Senior Seminar (spring semester only; topic varies)
  • One GSS elective course. Please note that elective hours may be earned through any department at Vanderbilt, provided that the course has a gender component.

Declaring a Major or Minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies

To declare a major or minor in gender and sexuality studies, complete the Declaration of Major/Minor Form and submit it via email. When you turn in your form, you will be assigned an adviser who will help you plan out your major or minor.