Academic Program

Academic Program

Course Minor | Honors Minor | Special Major | Special Honors Major

The Gender and Sexuality Studies Program foregrounds the study of social relations of power in a variety of cultural, historical, and national contexts. The objective of the GSST Program is to bring feminist and queer theory in conversation with new research methodologies in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The program emphasizes the inter-relationship not only between gender and sexuality but also between race and class as well as local and global politics.

The Gender and Sexuality Studies Program is distinguished by the courses it offers across the three academic divisions of the college - humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, and engineering.

Students in any major, whether as a course major or in the Honors Program, may elect a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies by fulfilling the requirements below. Students may also design a Special Major in Gender and Sexuality Studies in consultation with the Program Coordinator. Students who intend to pursue Gender and Sexuality Studies should submit their proposed GSST application form to the Coordinator when they submit their sophomore application. All proposals to minor and major in Gender and Sexuality Studies must be approved by the Committee.

The Jean Brosius Walton '35 Fund and the Wendy S. Cheek Memorial Fund generously contribute toward activities sponsored by Gender Sexuality Studies.

Course Minor

  1. Course minors must take a total of five (5) courses and/or seminar offerings which must be selected from at least two different divisions. Seminars count as one course toward program requirements.
  2. Only one course counted for GSST may overlap with the student's major or other minor.
  3. All GSST minors are required to complete:
    • GSST 001: Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies, and subsequently
    • GSST 020: Theory and Methodology
    • GSST 091: Seminar in Gender and Sexuality Studies in senior year
  4. With the approval of the GSST Coordinator, students may include courses offered by the GSST Program at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, and by the Women's Studies Program at UPenn in their program.
  5. Only one relevant course taken abroad may count toward fulfillment of the minor.
  6. With approval of the GSST Coordinator, students may elect to write a one-credit thesis (GSST 092) or pursue an independent study as a substitute for regular coursework. The thesis cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the student's major or other minor. Students must have adequate disciplinary background in gender and sexuality studies to carry out independent study and/or write a thesis.

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Honors Minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies

  1. Students must have a "B" average in GSST coursework at the college in order to be accepted into Honors.
  2. Honors minors must complete six GSST credits, and complete the written and oral external examinations at the end of the senior year.
  3. Honors minors must successfully complete the program requirements

    Honors minors must take GSST 091 in their senior year.

  4. Honors Minors must consult with the GSST Coordinator in spring of their junior year regarding Honors preparations.
  5. The examination preparation for the Honors minor will consist of GSST 091: Seminar in Gender and Sexuality Studies. In consultation with the seminar instructor, Honors minors will be required to assembly a Senior Honors Study Portfolio which may include materials such as independent essays, seminar papers, additional reading lists, research projects, etc.
  6. Honors minors may apply one (1) GSST-related foreign study credit toward their minor.
  7. With the approval of the GSST Coordinator, students may elect to write a one-credit thesis (GSST 092) or pursue an independent study as a substitute for regular coursework. The thesis cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the student's major or other minor. Students must have adequate disciplinary background on gender and sexuality studies to carry out independent study and/or write a thesis.

Special Major in Gender and Sexuality Studies

Students have the option of designing an individualized special major (such as GSST and Religion, GSST and Sociology and Anthropology, GSST and History, etc.). Students also have the option of pursuing the following curricular path:

  1. Special Majors must successfully complete the program requirements GSST

    Special Majors must complete GSST 091 in their senior year.

  2. Special majors must complete at least 10 credits and normally no more than 12 credits for a special major in GSST.
  3. Only two credits may overlap with the student's major or other minor.
  4. Special Majors may apply up to two (2) GSST-related foreign study credits to their program.
  5. With the approval of the GSST Coordinator, students may elect to write a one-credit thesis (GSST 092) or pursue an independent study as a substitute for regular coursework. The thesis cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the student's major or other minor. Students must have adequate disciplinary background on gender and sexuality studies to carry out independent study and/or write a thesis.

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Special Honors Major in Gender and Sexuality Studies

  1. Students must have a "B" average in GSST coursework at the college in order to be accepted into Honors.
  2. Honors Special Majors must successfully complete the program requirements

    Special Honors Majors must take GSST 091 in their senior year.

  3. Honors Special majors must complete at least 10 credits and normally no more than 12 credits for a special major in GSST.
  4. Only two credits may overlap with the student's major or other minor.
  5. Special Honors Majors may apply up to two (2) GSST-related foreign study credits to their program.
  6. Special Honors Majors must consult with the GSST Coordinator in spring of their junior year regarding Honors preparations and the Senior Honors Portfolio.
  7. One of the four Honors examination preparations must include GSST 091: Seminar in GSST.
  8. With the approval of the GSST Coordinator, special majors may elect to write a one-credit thesis (GSST 092) or pursue an independent study as a substitute for regular coursework. The thesis cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the student's major or other minor. Students must have adequate disciplinary background on gender and sexuality studies to carry out independent study and/or write a thesis.

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Guidelines for Courses Taken Outside the
Tri-College Consortium and UPenn

To receive academic credit for courses on women and/or gender and sexuality studies taken at other colleges and universities in the U.S., students must first apply for credit through the appropriate Swarthmore department, and then apply to the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program to have the course included in their program. If the institution that offers the course has a Women's Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, or similar program, the course in question must be part of that program in order to be approved as a Gender and Sexuality Studies course at Swarthmore.

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Guidelines for Study Abroad

The Gender and Sexuality Studies Program grants academic credit for courses relevant to the academic program taken while studying abroad.

Minors may apply for no more than one credit of work done abroad to meet their GSST requirements. Special majors may apply up to two credits from study abroad coursework to meet with GSST requirements.

In order to receive credit, the GSST Coordinator must pre-approve the course(s).

When the student returns to campus, the GSST Coordinator will evaluate the work (syllabus, exams, papers, and class notes) and assign the appropriate amount of credit.

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