Major & Minor Requirements

The Major in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

A Bachelor of Arts degree with a Major or Second Major in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies requires a total of 27 credits, 21 of which must be taken in courses numbered 300 or above. At least 18 of the 21 upper level credits for the major may only count for the WGSS major and may not be double-counted towards another major. Classes that count for the major should be registered as WGSS courses (i.e., with the WGSS designation, L77). All courses taken for the major must be taken for a grade and earn at least a C- or above.

The following six requirements must be fulfilled through WGSS home-based or cross-listed courses taken at Washington University. The Theory and the Methods/Service Learning requirements MUST be completed at Washington University. Students wishing an exception, to transfer credits in Theory or Methods/Service Learning, may petition the Director and Associate Director, who will consider the request.

The following requirements start with the Class of 2022 .  If you have previously declared the major requirements differ, please meet with your advisor regarding requirements prior to the Class of 2022.

  • 3 credits of an Introductory-level course: WGSS 100B Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. You must file a copy of a paper from this course with the WGSS office (McMillan Hall, Room 210).
  • 3 credits of a Theory course
  • 3 credits of a Feminist Research Methods OR a Service Learning course. *Students who write an honors thesis must take the Feminist Research Methodologies class (L77 417W) and enroll in Honors Thesis:  Research and Writing (L77 499) to fulfill this requirement.  Students who take L77 417W must turn in a copy of their final paper from this class to the WGSS office located in McMillan Hall, Room 210.
  • 6 credits at the 400 level OR an Honors Thesis (Beginning Fall 2018 - Students who declared prior to Fall 2018 only 3 credits at the 400 level are required) - One of the 3 credit classes must be a home-based WGSS class; the second may be either home-based or cross-listed. Please see your WGSS advisor for approval of your choice and to ensure that one of your classes is a home-based course.  
  • 3 credits of a Historical Context course - A course home-based or cross-listed in WGSS that examines gender in a historic context. Note: A class that satisfies one of the above 4 areas may also fulfill this requirement.
  • 3 credits of an Ethnic/Global/Racial Context course-A course home-based or cross-listed in WGSS that examines gender in an ethnic/global or racial context. Note: A class that satisfies one of the above 4 areas may also fulfill this requirement.

The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program has three areas of focus around which courses are organized:

  • literature/theory/history
  • sexuality/the body/health; 
  • global and transnational feminist and gender studies; and
  • critical race in gender and sexuality studies


Students may choose to concentrate in one of these areas or to investigate all three.

We strongly encourage and support students who wish to study abroad and will accept up to 9 credits from approved programs. Please see Barbara Baumgartner, WGSS Study Interim Abroad Supervisor, about this option.

Current students wishing to take courses at another university during the summer may transfer up to 6 credit hours. These credits do not fulfill the methods, theory or intro. requirement.

Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

A Bachelor's Degree with a Minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies requires 18 units in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, 12 of them in courses numbered 300 or above. All minor courses /must/ be home-based or cross-listed in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. All courses taken for the minor must be taken for a grade and earn at least a C- or above.

We strongly encourage and support students who wish to study abroad and will accept up to 6 credits from approved programs.  Please contact the WGSS Study Abroad Supervisor for approval.

Transfer Students - Students transferring to Washington University, who wish to complete a major in WGSS, may transfer no more than 9 credits of WGSS course work taken elsewhere.