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Women's and Gender Studies Academic Programs


Women's and Gender Studies Major

The Women's and Gender Studies major at SUNY Geneseo is a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary program designed to be flexible to accommodate multiple focuses. It includes feminist analyses of the construction and enforcement of gender differences and gender inequalities in various contexts, with an emphasis on the intersection of gender with race, class, sexuality, and nationality in the lives of women. Students are encouraged to apply what they learn in Women's Studies classrooms to other areas of their lives. All students take a core set of Women's Studies courses plus at least one course in five content areas in which the study of women and gender provide significant insights, using feminist methodologies and pedagogy. Additionally, each student completes a three-course sequence in one of the clusters and completes a capstone experience designed to apply concepts from the Women's Studies Program toward their future career goals.

Minimum Competence Requirement

A grade of C- or better is required for all courses used in fulfillment of the Women's and Gender Studies Major.

Program Writing Requirement

All courses offered in WGST at the 200 level or above require significant writing assignments. Successful completion of WGST 310, 320, 330, and WGST 490, 493, or 495 fulfills the writing requirement.

Total Required Hours: 36-41 semester hours
Basic Requirements: 15 credits:

  • WGST 100: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies: 3 Credits
  • WGST 310: Race, Class, and Gender: 3 Credits
  • WGST 320: Gender and Sexualities: 3 Credits
  • WGST 330: Feminist Theories: 3 Credits
  • WGST 490 OR: Senior Capstone Seminar: 3 Credits
  • WGST 493 OR: Honors Thesis: 3 Credits
  • WGST 495: Internship: 3 Credits

Course Cluster Requirements
One course from each of the five following clusters: 15-18 credits

1) Historical, Political, Activist Studies:

  • BLKS 220 - Black Lives Matter: 3 Credits
  • HIST 260 - S/U/Issues in the History of American Women: 4 Credits
  • HIST 261 - M/U/ Native American History: 4 Credits
  • HIST 266  - Civil Rights Movement in America: 4 Credits
  • HIST 267 - S/U/Women and U.S. Social Movements: 4 Credits
  • HIST 270 - S/M/ History of Latin America to 1825: 4 Credits
  • HIST 271 - S/M/ History of Latin America since 1825: 4 Credits
  • HIST 275 - Global History of Sexual Science: 4 Credits
  • HIST 292 - The Modern Islamic World: 1800 to the present: 4 Credits
  • HIST 413 - Black Power and Structural Inequality: 4 Credits
  • HIST 441 - Women in the Medieval World: 4 Credits
  • PLSC 250 - Women and Politics: 3 Credits
  • HIST 480 - Advanced Studies in LACAANA History: (subtitle: Gender, Sexuality, and the Body): 3 Credits
  • WGST 201 - Historical and Political Topics: 3 Credits
  • WGST 232 - Safe Zone Train the Trainer: 2 Credits
  • AND WGST 395 - Safe Zone Internship: 1 Credit
  • WGST 495 - Internship: 3 Credits

2) Theories and Representation in the Humanities and Arts

3) Gender in the Social World

4) Global Issues in Sex and Gender

5) Gender, Sexuality, and Queer Studies

In addition to one course from each area, students should select one cluster, from among the above, in which to focus by taking two or more additional courses to form a cluster. 6-8 Credits 

A minimum of 18 credits across the major must be at the 300/400-level.
*Students who wish to use WGST 395 for the Historical, Political, Activist Studies Cluster may not select WGST 495 for the capstone.


Women's and Gender Studies Minor

The Women’s and Gender Studies minor and concentration at SUNY Geneseo focuses on women and gender using multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. It includes feminist analyses of the construction and enforcement of gender differences and gender inequalities in various contexts, with an emphasis on the intersection of gender with race, class, sexuality, and nationality in the lives of women. Students are encouraged to apply what they learn in Women’s Studies classrooms to other areas of their lives. All students take a core program of Women’s Studies courses plus elective courses offered by other departments that study women and gender issues, using feminist methodologies and pedagogy. Additionally, each student completes a capstone experience individually designed to apply concepts from Women’s Studies to her/his life and career choices. The Women’s Studies Advisory Committee is willing to work closely with students to design feasible, individualized study, especially when students’ study abroad or other academic requirements make it impossible for them to take one of these courses.

Total Required Hours: 21 semester hours
Required Courses: 12 semester hours

  • WGST 100: Introduction to Women’s Studies
  • WGST 310: Race, Class, and Gender
  • WGST 320: Gender and Sexualities
  • WGST 499: Research or Creative Project in Women’s Studies OR
  • WGST 495: Internship in Women’s Studies OR
  • WGST 490: Senior Capstone Seminar

Electives: 9 semester hours
Choose from:
WGST 201-205: Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies (3 hours, may be repeated) and/or courses cross-listed in other departments: ANTH 224 M/Ethnography of Gender in Latin America; ANTH 243 S/M/Women in Cross-cultural Perspective; ENGL 343 Women and Literature: (subtitle); HIST 200 Women in Western Society; HIST 260 S/U/Issues in the History of American Women; PHIL 204 Philosophy of Woman; PLSC 250 Women and Politics; PSYC 236 Human Sexual Behavior; PSYC 308 Psychology of Women; SOCL 201 Black Women in American Society; SOCL 210 Sociology of the Family; SOCL 215 Women and the Law; SOCL 225 Sociology of Gender.

Departmental slot or topics courses with appropriate subtitles can be submitted to the Women’s Studies Advisory Group for inclusion on an individual basis.

Guidelines for choosing electives:
1) No more than one at the 100 level.
2) No more than two with the same prefix (i.e. ENGL or HIST or SOCL).
3) At least one in the broad category of Humanities/Arts.
4) At least one in the broad category of Social Sciences.


Women's and Gender Studies Concentration

(For Students of Childhood, Early Childhood, and Special Education)

The Women’s Studies concentration at SUNY Geneseo focuses on women and gender using multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. It includes feminist analyses of the construction and enforcement of gender differences and gender inequalities in various contexts, with an emphasis on the intersection of gender with race, class, sexuality, and nationality in the lives of women. Students are encouraged to apply what they learn in Women’s Studies classrooms to other areas of their lives. All students take a core program of Women’s Studies courses plus elective courses offered by other departments that study women and gender issues, using feminist methodologies and pedagogy. Additionally, each student completes a capstone experience individually designed to apply concepts from Women’s Studies to her/his life and career choices. The Women’s Studies Advisory Committee is willing to work closely with students to design feasible, individualized study, especially when students’ study abroad or other academic requirements make it impossible for them to take one of these courses.

Total required hours: 30                                      
Required Courses (15 hours): 

  • WGST 100: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
  • WGST 310: Race, Class, and Gender 
  • WGST 320: Gender and Sexualities 
  • WGST 340: Gender and Global Education 
  • WGST 399: Direct Study
  • WGST 490 OR: Senior Capstone Seminar 
  • WGST 495: Internship

One from WGST 201-205:

  • WGST 201: Historical and Political Topics 
  • WGST 202: Topics Representation in Humanities and Art 
  • WGST 203: Topics in Gender in the Social World 
  • WGST 204: Global Issues of Sex and Gender  
  • WGST 205: Topics in Gender, Sexuality, Queer Studies

Elective Courses: 12 hours of elective courses from:
ANTH 224/M, ANTH 243, ARTH 310, ENGL 443, ENGL 446, HIST 260 S/U, HIST 267 S/U, HIST 480: Gender, Sexuality and the Body, INTD 207, PHIL 204, PLSC 250, PSYC 236, PSYC 308, SOCL 201, SOCL 210, SOCL 225, SOCL 281: Gender and Development, an additional topic of WGST 201-205, and WGST 230, WGST 330, WGST 395, WGST 399, selected under advisement to meet the following requirements: (a) no more than two courses with the same prefix (other than WGST); (b) at least one under each of the broad headings of humanities/arts and social sciences. Students who have trouble scheduling any specific course due to requirements of education blocks should see the Women’s Studies Coordinator for a waiver.