Gender and Diversity Studies

GDST Major

All undergraduate Gender and Diversity Studies Majors are required to take thirty-six credit hours of approved courses to fulfill one of three tracks offered in the program:

  1. A general major in Gender and Diversity Studies (36 credit hours distributed across the modules below).
  2. A major in Gender & Diversity Studies with a concentration  in Women and Gender.
  3. A major in Gender and Diversity Studies with a concentration in Race and Ethnicity

Required courses for all concentrations

(18 credit hours)

  • Students seeking a Women & Gender concentration must choose courses designated as W&G where available (see below)
  • Students seeking a Race and Ethnicity concentration must choose courses designated as R&E where available (see below).


Introductory Course

  • SOCW 206 - Introduction to Gender & Diversity Studies

Theory Course

(choose one)

  • ENGL 366 - Feminist Theory
  • SOCI 200 - Foundational Social Thought
  • SOCI 365 - Social Theory and Social Inequality


U.S. Diversity in American Culture 

(choose one)

These courses focus on the impact that the social, economic and cultural struggles of gendered, racial and ethnic minorities and/or women have had on the history and culture of the United States of America.

  • ENGL 484 - African-American Literature (R&E)
  • ENGL 489 - American Minority Literature (R&E)
  • HIST 222 - The Harlem Renaissance (R&E)
  • HIST 233 - Women in American History (R&E)
  • HIST 307 - Immigration and Ethnicity (R&E)
  • HIST 324 - African-American Struggle for Equality (R&E)
  • POLI 367 - Gender & Politics: Women, Elections and Representation (W&G)
  • SOCI 250 - Racial & Ethnic Minorities (R&E)
  • SOCI 262 - Women in American Society (W&G)
  • SOCW 318 - Trends in Modern Society: Race Relations (R&E)
  • SOCW 325 - Women/Men: Myth & Reality (W&G)

Diversity in a Global Context

(choose one)

These courses examine how racial, religious, and ethnic differences have shaped the history and culture of different regions across the globe.

  • ENGL 344 - Major Black Authors (R&E)
  • ENGL 352 - African Literature (R&E)
  • HIST 231 - Slavery in the Atlantic World (R&E)
  • HIST 275 - Urban Imaginaries in India (R&E)
  • HIST 314 - Africa Since 1945 (R&E)
  • HIST 343 - Religion & Empire in Latin America (R&E)
  • HIST 395 - History of South Africa (R&E)
  • HIST 427 - Race and Nation in Modern Latin America (R&E)
  • POLI 219 - Irish Government and Politics
  • POLI 224 - Middle East Politics
  • POLI 320 - Global Islamic Politics (R&E)
  • SPAN 351 - Latin American Civilization I (R&E)
  • SPAN 352 - Latin American Civilization II (R&E)


(choose one)

A 300-level course that explores both the social construction of identity and multiple axes of identity and difference, taking into consideration the various ways they may interrelate or intersect.

  • COMM 323 - Race, Class, Gender, & the Media
  • COMM 324 - Sex & Violence in the Media
  • ENGL 359 - Gender & Diversity in Film                    
  • HIST 324 - The African-American Struggle / Equality
  • SOCW 315 - Values, Poverty, & Society
  • SOCW 318 - Trends in Modern Society: Race Relations
  • SOCW 404 - Religion, Ethics, & Professional Practice
  • SPMG 410 - Sport Ethics
  • THEO 322 - Black Theology
  • THEO 358 - Immigration, Theology, & Ethics
  • THEO 372 - Seminar: Disability, Ethics, & Theology
  • THEO 316/ POLI 316/ HIST 350 - Globalization

Capstone Experience 

(both required)

  • GDST 498 - Capstone (1 ch)

  • GDST 499 - Thesis Direction (2 ch)

    In the Spring of senior year, all GDST students will submit a thesis for public defense. Students are expected to independently design and complete a research-based project on a specific diversity studies topic that synthesizes the scholarly literature in at least two of the disciplines that inform diversity studies and presents a clear, arguable thesis supported by evidence drawn from appropriate sources.  To this end, students will take a 1 credit hour thesis direction course in the Fall of the senior year, taught by the program director or other thesis advisor with guest lectures on methodology as appropriate.  Students will design their projects, identify two faculty readers from two different disciplines, work both independently and in groups, and complete a polished proposal by the end of the course.  Students will then sign up for the GDST Thesis Direction course (GDST 499) in the Spring.

    All thesis readers must be GDST affiliated faculty and must be approved by the director of the program as well as the chairs of the faculty members respective home departments. The focus of the thesis is multidisciplinary and addresses issues concerning gender and diversity studies that stem from the student's own elective concentration or interests.  For example, projects may include an internship component or be limited to textual analysis depending on the primary methodologies of the disciplines with which students are working.

Elective Courses

(18 credit hours)

The remaining (18 ch) elective courses must come upper division GDST electives from three or more disciplines. Students choosing a Women and Gender or Race and Ethnicity concentration must complete at least nine of their elective credit hours with courses that have the appropriate (W&G) or (R&E) designation. Otherwise, students may choose any course approved as a Gender and Diversity Studies elective at the 200-level or above.

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Interested in majoring in GDST?
Contact the program director to schedule an appointment!