Requirements of the WGSS major
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies requires twelve term courses and may be taken either as a primary major or as one of two majors. For students in the Class of 2016 and previous classes, requirements include one gateway course and one intermediate course; for students in the Class of 2017 and subsequent classes, two intermediate courses are required. For all classes, the major also includes one transnational perspectives course, one methodology course, courses in an area of concentration, the junior sequence, and the senior sequence. The area of concentration consists of at least five courses, the majority of which should be drawn from program offerings. Courses for the area of concentration may also fulfill the requirements in transnational perspectives and methodology. Substitutions to the major requirements may be made only with the written permission of the director of undergraduate studies.
Gateway and intermediate courses for the Class of ’16 and previous classes
The gateway courses (WGSS 110, 111, 115, 120, 200, and 201) offer broad introductions to the fields of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. There are two intermediate courses: Globalizing Gender (WGSS 295) and Introduction to LGBT Studies (WGSS 296). Majors are encouraged to take both but need take only one, preferably after the gateway course and prior to the junior sequence. (WGSS 295 cannot fulfill both the transnational perspectives and the intermediate requirements.)
Intermediate courses for the Class of ’17 and subsequent classes
There are two intermediate courses: Bodies and Pleasures, Sex and Genders (WGSS 205) and Globalizing Gender and Sexuality (WGSS 206). Majors are required to take both, preferably prior to the junior sequence.
Transnational perspectives course
Ideally, each student’s course work engages a broad diversity of cultural contexts, ethnicities, and global locations. Such study illuminates the links among nations, states, cultures, regions, and global locations. Most students take several classes that focus on genders and sexualities outside the U.S. context; majors are required to take at least one (not including WGSS 205).
Given its interdisciplinary nature, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies necessarily relies on a wide range of methodologies: literary criticism, ethnography, visual analysis, historiography, and quantitative data analysis, among others. Each student is expected to acquire competence in at least one methodology relevant to his or her own concentration and planned senior essay. In preparation for the senior essay, students are advised to complete the methods requirement in the junior year.
The two-term junior sequence consists of Feminist and Queer Theory (WGSS 340) and Junior Seminar: Theory and Method (WGSS 398). All students in the major must take both courses. (Individualized alternatives are found for students who study abroad during the junior year.)
Senior sequence and senior essay
The two-term senior sequence consists of the Senior Colloquium (WGSS 490), in which students begin researching and writing a senior essay, followed by the Senior Essay (WGSS 491), in which students complete the essay. The senior essay is developed and written under the guidance and supervision of a WGSS-affiliated faculty member with expertise in the area of concentration. Students are expected to meet with their essay advisers on a regular basis.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Number of courses 12 term courses (including senior requirements)
Specific courses required
Distribution of courses
All classes—1 transnational perspectives course; 1 methodology course; 5 electives in area of concentration; Class of 2016 and previous classes—1 gateway course and 1 intermediate course, as specified.
Course Listings: For a full listing of WGSS courses for the current academic year, go to the Yale College Program of Studies (Blue Book) publication. Click here to be directed to the on-line YCPS.