Gender & Queer Studies

About the Program

Why should you ask about people’s pronouns?  Why is "feminisms" more accurate than "feminism"? What does "queer" mean? How might masculinity studies help explain school shootings? Why does gender and sexuality studies problematize the very nature of "identity" as a product of interlocking systems of power and inequalities? How can we bring gender, feminist and queer studies into our everyday lives, including activism and movements for social change?

The Gender & Queer Studies program is one of the first and oldest Women’s Studies programs in the United States. Its interdisciplinary ideas and theories apply across the university, from Biology, Psychology, Education, to Sociology and Anthropology and English. We study topics like masculinity studies, the history of feminisms, the pay gap, sexual violence, body image, asexuality, gender and queer theory, activism, and intersex and transgender studies. GQS classes encourage flexibility of thought, empathy, and curiosity. They build strong analytical, writing and communication skills—all highly relevant skills to careers and engaged citizenship.

A class called “Prisons, Gender & Education” brings students out of the classroom and into the local women’s prison education program. It combines academically rigorous content along with weekly participation in a college program at the local prison. Students describe the class as “life-changing” and “transformative.”

The student-run and student-edited publication Wetlands publishes student creative and non-fiction work about gender and sexuality.  Students organize their own “Quoffee & Quonversation” discussion group on queer and gender theory.

GQS graduates pursue careers in medicine, law, psychology, social work, marketing, civic engagement, civic engagement and other fields. Since gender and sexuality are central parts of everyone’s lives, studying GQS is a highly relevant area of study.  As one alum writes, who manages a grassroots advocacy organization’s curriculum, “GQS provided me with the concise language to articulate systemic oppression, which has been invaluable in my career. Additionally, GQS strengthened my ability to research and apply various analytical frameworks to core responsibilities of my organization.”

For more information on courses and major requirements contact
Greta Austin, Director of Gender & Queer Studies at

Download GQS Info Sheet