Overview

The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program within the College of Liberal Arts offers an undergraduate major, minor and certificate in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies (GSWS) as well as a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies. The program offers a cohesive framework of inquiry into gender and sexuality issues in the U.S. and around the world. The curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies highlights the ways in which gender and sexuality relate to other social categories, such as race, class, disability, nationality and ethnicity. As an interdisciplinary field, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies takes into account social, historical, economic, political and cultural variables in its study of women's experience, the workings of gender as both an analytical category and identity, and the functioning of sexuality in social life. The field pays particular attention to inequality and discrimination based on gender, sexuality and gender identity. Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies also seeks to transform traditional fields of study by incorporating new methodologies, data, theories and frameworks developed by feminist scholars.

The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program offers students an interdisciplinary curriculum taught by faculty from various departments and other schools and colleges across the university. Students learn to apply the methods and theories of social scientists, historians, philosophers, film and literary critics, and legal analysts to the study of women's experiences, as well as gender, sexuality and trans identities. They explore a growing body of feminist theories that revise our understanding of gender, society and culture.

Campus Location: Main

Program Code: LA-GSWS-BA

Special Programs

Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies majors are required to take a Fieldwork course involving an internship which gives them the opportunity to get hands-on professional experience.

We encourage students to take advantage of university study abroad programs. Please contact the director for more information.

Accelerated Degree Programs

Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies majors have several options for a 4+1 accelerated BA + master's degree program:

For more information on these programs see the Accelerated Programs section of this Bulletin as well as the program's web site.

Advising Policy

We encourage students to take Foundations in Women's Studies (GSWS 1301), Critical Race Feminist Theory (GSWS 2051), Feminist Theory (GSWS 3097) and Field Work (GSWS 4389) before taking the Research Seminar (GSWS 4396).

Double-Counting of Credits

Students combining a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies and a major, minor, or certificate in GSWS may double-count for both programs only Field Work (GSWS 4389 or LGBT 4489) and Queer Lives (GSWS 2405 or LGBT 2405).

Distinction in Major

Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies students may graduate with a distinction in the major if they have a GPA of 3.5 or better in the major, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, and successfully completed an honors thesis (minimum 3 credits) under the supervision of a faculty member from Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies.

Awards

The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program has the following five annual undergraduate awards that honor academic and creative excellence in our students:

  • Barbara Brownstein Prize
  • Sonia Sanchez Scholarship
  • Lucia Beck Weiss and Howard J. Weiss Prize
  • Audre Lorde Prize
  • Certificate of Excellence

Professional Development

After graduation, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies students enter professional schools in law, medicine and business; take graduate degrees in the humanities and social sciences; and pursue careers in health, counseling, teaching, public advocacy and many other fields.

Contact Information

Department Office
811 Mazur Hall
215-204-1644

Dr. Barbara Thornbury, Program Director
811 Mazur Hall
barbara.thornbury@temple.edu

LaTasha Goodman, Administrator
1041 Mazur Hall
215-204-8516
latasha.goodman@temple.edu

Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies.

These requirements are for students who matriculated in academic year 2023-2024. Students who matriculated prior to fall 2023 should refer to the Archives to view the requirements for their Bulletin year.

Summary of Degree Requirements

University Requirements

  • MATH 0701 (4 s.h.) and/or ENG 0701 (4 s.h.), if required by placement testing.
  • All Temple students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses as part of the major. The specific courses required for this major are GSWS 3097 or ENG 3097, and GSWS 4396.
  • Students must complete requirements of the General Education (GenEd) Program. See the General Education section of the Undergraduate Bulletin for more details.

College of Liberal Arts Requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of 123 credits, including:
    • 90 credits in CLA/CST courses;
    • 45 credits of which must be at the upper level (numbered 2000-4999).
      • For Social Science majors, 6 upper level credits (numbered 2000-4999) must be taken in Humanities Subject Areas: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Greek (Ancient), Greek and Roman Classics, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Philosophy, Religion, Russian, and Spanish in the College of Liberal Arts, Art History in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, or any department in the College of Science and Technology.
    • A minimum GPA of 2.0, cumulatively, in CLA/CST coursework, and in the major.
    • Only courses in which a student receives a grade of at least C- can satisfy GenEd, major, minor, or CLA Foreign Language and Global Studies requirements.
    • Professional Development Requirement
      • All students in the College of Liberal Arts are required to take a 1 credit seminar in professional development. CLA 1002 Professional Development for Liberal Arts Majors is the appropriate course option for this major. Other courses that fulfill this requirement may be found on the CLA College Requirements page. Only one course in this category may count towards graduation.
    • Foreign Language/Global Studies Requirements:
      • All students must complete or test out of the first and second levels of a foreign language - these courses are numbered 1001 and 1002;
      • All students must complete at least one course from the GenEd Global/World Society category; and
      • All Bachelor of Arts students must complete one of the following options:
        • Third semester of a foreign language;
        • Demonstrated proficiency beyond the third semester in a foreign language (placement exam or certification from the language department);
        • Take one Global Studies course from the list on the CLA College Requirements page;
        • Study Abroad at an approved program; or
        • Take a second General Education Global/World Society course.
      • Notes on Foreign Language Study
        • The third level of language is numbered 1003 in French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese and numbered 2001 in all other foreign language subjects.
        • Students are strongly encouraged to take the third level of a foreign language as it is the minimum required for election to the prestigious honor society Phi Beta Kappa. (Taking the course does not guarantee admission but not taking it guarantees exclusion.)
        • See the College of Liberal Arts Policies section of this Bulletin for more information on the Foreign Language Placement, Regression in Coursework, and guidelines for students' other experiences with language.

General Electives are typically one-third of a student's program of study and can be focused on a second major, a minor, or towards some other personal enrichment or professional goals. See an academic advisor for assistance in developing an academic plan for these courses.

Major Requirements (36 credits in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies)

Introductory Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies courses
GSWS 1301Foundations in Women's Studies3
Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies elective numbered 1000-19993
GSWS 3097Feminist Theory3
or ENG 3097 Feminist Theory
GSWS 3551Critical Race Feminist Theory3
Elective Courses
Select two courses in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies at any level (numbered 0800-4999)6
Select two courses in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies numbered 2000-49996
Select one elective from the GSWS Sexuality Electives List3
Select one elective from the GSWS Race Electives List3
Two-course sequence 1
GSWS 4389Field Work3
GSWS 4396Research Seminar3
Sexuality Electives
The American Sexual Past
Gender in the Cinema
Queer Lives
Sexuality and Gender in American History
Religion and Human Sexuality
Topics in LGBT Studies
Queer Lives
Politics of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Sex & Society
GSWS Race and Diversity Electives
The Literature of American Slavery
History of Blacks in Cinema
Black Politics in America
Mass Media and the Black Community
The Black Woman
Black Social and Political Thought
Critical Readings in African American History
The Black Family
The Black Child: Development and Socialization
Women Writers in Black Literature
Dimensions of Racism
African American Experiences
Peoples of Latin America
Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean
People and Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa
Peoples of South Asia
Asian American Experiences
Asian Women in Transition
Social Justice and Literature
African-American Literature II
Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures
Language and Race
Studies in African-American Literary Genre
The Harlem Renaissance
African-American Literary Criticism
Blacks/Literature/Drama/Media
Topics in Postcolonial Literature
Postcolonial Theory
African Development
East and South Asia
African Americans in Philadelphia
African American History to 1865
African American History 1865-Present
Race and the U.S. Constitution
Introduction to Latin America
Asian American History
Civilization and Modernity in the Caribbean
Third World Issues through Film
Modern Islamic History
Imperialism, Race, and Empire
African Diaspora
Anti-Semitism/Holocaust/Racism
Colonial North Africa in European History
African American Church and Black Liberation
Jewish Experience in America
Southern Africa: A History
The Chinese Revolution
Contemporary China
Modern India
Women and Society in Japan
History of Vietnam
History of Brazil
Puerto Rican History
Caliban's World: Cultural Politics in the 20th Century Americas
Israel: History, Politics and Society
Modern Middle East
Third World Women's Lives
Colonialism and Decolonization
Topics in Latino Studies
Topics in Caribbean Studies
Latin America through Film and Fiction
Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean
Latino Identity in the United States
"Other Voices" in Latin American Literature
African Culture in Brazil
African American Political Theory
Racial and Ethnic Stratification
East to America: The Sociology of Asian Americans
Constructing Race and Ethnicity
Social Inequality
Total Credit Hours36
1

The final requirement for the major is a two-course sequence. This sequence should be taken during the major's last three semesters of enrollment. Students will select a field assignment (internship) with the assistance of the advising coordinator. This sequence is designed for students to learn how to write a research paper.

Suggested Academic Plan

Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

Suggested Plan for New Students Starting in the 2023-2024 Academic Year

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
FallCredit Hours
ENG 0802
Analytical Reading and Writing
or Analytical Reading and Writing: ESL
or Honors Writing About Literature
4
GenEd Quantitative Literacy Course GQ 4
Foreign Language 1001 - first level 4
GenEd Breadth Course 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
IH 0851
Intellectual Heritage I: The Good Life
or Honors Intellectual Heritage I: The Good Life
3
Foreign Language 1002 - second level 4
GenEd Breadth Course 3
GenEd Breadth Course 3
GSWS 1301 Foundations in Women's Studies 3
 Credit Hours16
Year 2
Fall
IH 0852
Intellectual Heritage II: The Common Good
or Honors Intellectual Heritage II: The Common Good
3
GenEd Breadth Course 3
GenEd Breadth Course 3
Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Elective - any level 3
One 0800-4999 Elective in Any School or College 2
Select one of the following: 3
Foreign Language - third level
GenEd Global/World Society Course
Internationally-Focused Course From Approved List
 Credit Hours17
Spring
Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Elective - 1000-1999 3
GSWS 3097
Feminist Theory
or Feminist Theory
3
CLA 1002 Professional Development for Liberal Arts Majors 1
GenEd Breadth Course 3
GenEd Breadth Course 3
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Elective 2
 Credit Hours15
Year 3
Fall
GSWS 3551 Critical Race Feminist Theory 3
Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Elective - any level 3
CLA/CST 2000+ Course 3
CLA/CST 2000+ Humanities/CST Course 3
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
Course from the GSWS Race Electives List 3
Course from the GSWS Sexuality Electives List 3
CLA/CST 2000+ Humanities/CST Course 3
CLA/CST 2000+ Course 3
One Elective numbered 0800-4999 in Any School or College 3
 Credit Hours15
Year 4
Fall
GSWS 4389 Field Work 1 3
One 2000+ Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Elective 3
CLA/CST 2000+ Course 3
CLA/CST 2000+ Course 3
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
GSWS 4396 Research Seminar (Capstone Course) 1 3
One 2000+ Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Elective 3
CLA/CST 2000+ Course 3
CLA/CST 0800-4999 Elective 3
One 0800-4999 Elective in Any School or College 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours123
1

These courses may not be offered every semester. Please see advisor for offerings.