Academic Program

Academic Program

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

The Gender and Sexuality Studies Program facilitates the interdisciplinary study of social relations of power in a variety of texts, practices, and cultural and historical contexts. The program emphasizes  the interrelationships among gender and sexuality, race, class, nation, and ability and connects such inquiry to local and global politics. Gender and Sexuality Studies brings feminist and queer theory in conversation with research in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences through courses offered across the three academic divisions of the College.

Students in any major, whether as course majors or in the Honors program, may elect a minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies by fulfilling the requirements below. Students may pursue a special major in GSST by following the guidelines below in consultation with the Program Coordinator. All proposals for a minor or major in Gender and Sexuality Studies must be approved by the GSST 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 courses and/or seminars. The courses (or seminars) must be selected from at least two different divisions. Seminars count as one course toward program requirements for the minor.
  2. GSST minors are required to complete GSST 001: Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies and to take GSST 091: Seminar in Gender and Sexuality Studies in their senior year.
  3. 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, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at UPenn in their program.

  4. Only one relevant course taken abroad may count toward fulfillment of the minor. In order to receive credit, the GSST Coordinator must pre-approve the course. If the institution offering 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.
  5. Only one course counted for GSST may overlap with the student’s major or other 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. All requirements and options for the GSST minor apply to students wishing to complete the Honors minor.
  2. Students must have a "B" average in GSST coursework at the college in order to be accepted into Honors.
  3. Honors minors must consult with the GSST Coordinator regarding their Honors preparations and submit an application for Honors with their sophomore plan or by the spring of their junior year.
  4. The Honors exam preparation usually consists of GSST 091: Seminar in Gender and Sexuality Studies

    and a 1-credit honors attachment GSST 091A. Students may propose an alternative preparation of at least two credits such as an honors seminar eligible for GSST, a thesis, or a combination of GSST courses. In consultation with instructor of the preparation, honors minors will assemble a senior honors study portfolio which can include independent essays, seminar papers, additional reading lists, research projects, etc.

  5. Honors minors must complete the written and oral external examinations for their preparation at the end of their senior year.

Special Major in Gender and Sexuality Studies

Students wishing to pursue a special major in GSST must meet the following requirements:

  1. Majors must successfully complete at least ten and normally no more than 12 GSST credits. The courses or seminars must be selected from at least two different divisions.
  2. Majors are required to complete GSST 001 and take the capstone GSST 091 in their senior year.
  3. Majors should consult with the Coordinator to identify and include courses in their program that place significant emphasis on the theories and methods specific to Gender and Sexuality Studies as an academic inquiry.

  4. The senior culminating exercise in the major is the GSST capstone (GSST 91).

  5. 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, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at UPenn in their program. Only two credits may overlap with the student's major or other minor.
  6. Up to two courses taken abroad may count toward fulfillment of the special major. In order to receive credit, the GSST Coordinator must pre-approve the course. If the institution offering 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.

  7. Only one credit may overlap with the student’s minor. Two credits may overlap with a second major.

  8. 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 GSST

In exceptional cases, students can pursue an honors special major in GSST. Interested students should consult with the Coordinator.

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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 have the course preapproved by the GSST Coordinator. 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 GSST requirements.

In order to receive credit, the student must have the GSST Coordinator 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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