Minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

Minor Description

The minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies is a perfect complement to majors across any discipline: from American & Ethnic Studies, to Biology, to Educational Studies. The minor positions students to examine social, political, and cultural realities shaped by gender, sexuality, and power. GWSS approaches topics from transnational and intersectional perspectives, enabling students to analyze and address issues of gender, sexuality, and social difference at personal, historical, institutional, and structural levels.

Students who may benefit from the minor:

  • Women and underrepresented minorities in STEM areas in need of a supportive learning community.
  • Students pursuing careers in education or healthcare fields.
  • Students pursuing graduate school in the humanities, social sciences, or law.
  • Students pursuing careers in policy, advocacy, human rights, or community based non-profit organizations.
  • Students pursuing careers in business areas where demonstrating a capacity to work with diverse communities is an asset.

Learning Objectives

Students minoring in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies will be able to:

  1. Think critically about the operation of gender and sexuality at personal, institutional, and structural levels.
  2. Situate and analyze gender and sexuality at local, national, and transnational levels.
  3. Critically examine the intersection of gender and sexuality with other vectors of identity, power, and privilege such as race, ethnicity, nationality, class, age and ability.
  4. Undertake critical interdisciplinary research that understands the role of cultural norms and assumptions especially, but not limited to, gender and sexuality in knowledge production.
  5. Collaborate with peers and off campus communities to engage in scholarly and creative activities that intervene in existing debates and create new ways of engaging issues of gender and sexuality.
  6. Write and communicate clearly about feminist theories and manifestations of power and resistance.

Minor Requirements

Students pursuing the minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies must complete a minimum of 25 credits in the following areas:

  • 5 Credits in Core Course in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies – BISGWS 301 Critical Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • 20 Credits in Coursework in Gender Women & Sexuality Studies – Students are required to take at least 15 credits at the 300 or 400 level coursework.

Note: Students pursuing the GWSS Major will not be able to pursue the GWSS minor. Students pursuing a different major offered by IAS will be able to count up to 10 credits toward their IAS major and the GWSS minor.

Core Course – 5 Credits

  • BISGWS 301 Critical Gender & Sexuality Studies (5 credits): Explores how sex, gender and sexuality studies has emerged. Examines intersections of gender and sexuality with race, ethnicity, dis/ability, class and nation in order to understand the key terms guiding inquiry in gender and sexuality studies.

GWSS Coursework – 20 Credits

GWSS elective courses must either focus on gender, women, and sexuality studies histories, themes, and experiences and/or use theoretical frameworks and methods grounded in gender, women, and sexuality studies approaches.

Students must take 20 credits course from the following GWSS approved coursework *at least 15 credits of course work must be at the 300 or 400 level:

  • BIS 219 The Politics of Sex Education
  • BIS 222 Introduction to Human Sexuality (formerly offered under BIS 316)
  • BIS 224 Introduction to Feminist Studies
  • BIS 227 Rad Women in the Global South
  • BIS 307 Environmental Justice
  • BIS 310 Women, Culture & Development
  • BIS 324 Gender, Human Rights, and Global Cinema (formerly offered under BIS 339)
  • BIS 387 Women and American Literature
  • BIS 431 Issues in Sexual Politics and Cultures
  • BIS 433 Gender, Work and Family
  • BIS 436 Comparative Family Systems
  • BIS 455 Literature and Sexuality
  • BIS 471 Women in Art
  • BIS 486 Studies in Women and Literature
  • BISGWS 302 Histories and Movements of Gender and Sexuality (5 credits)
  • BISGWS 303 Approaches to Feminist Inquiry (5 credits)
  • BISSTA 331 The Family in U.S. Society
  • BISSTS 420 Race, Gender, Science and Medicine (formerly offered under BISSTS 497

GWSS Special Topics Courses

GWSS coursework includes the following approved topics courses:

  • BIS 322 Topics in Performance Studies
    • Performing Race and Gender on Film
  • BIS 341 Topics in the Study of Culture
    • Race, Gender and Sexuality in Museum Archives
  • BIS 351 Topics in American Culture
    • Women in Film
  • BIS 387 Women and American Literature
    • American Women Writers and the Question of Coalition
  • BIS 464 Topics in Advanced Cinema Studies
    • Queer Cinema
  • BIS 480 International Study Abroad
    • Gender, Media and Human Rights in India
  • BIS 490 Advanced Seminar
    • The History and Politics of HIV/AIDS
    • Memory Work and Cultural Production in Diaspora
    • Gender and the Politics of Numbers
    • Regulating Sexuality-Activism Policy and Everyday Life
    • Gender, Law & Policy
    • Women, Race, and Class
    • Hollywood Cinema, Gender and Sexuality
    • Commercial Sex Work, Sexual Health, and Global Human Rights
    • Theory and Practice of Queer and Trans Media
    • Culture and Resistance in the Americas
    • Sex Work, Human Trafficking, and Social Justice
    • Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Science Fiction
    • Gender Violence, Policing and the Law
    • Participatory Action Research to Address Sexual and Relationship Violence @ UWB

GWSS Courses Taught by Other Schools

GWSS courses from other UW Bothell Schools include:

  • B EDUC 461 Educational Implications of Gender Inequality
  • B HLTH 223 Feminist Approaches to Women’s Health
  • B HLTH 420 Women’s Global Health and Human Rights
  • BST 205 Women in STEM
  • CSS 205 Women in STEM Seminar: College Life
  • CSS 405 Women in STEM Seminar: Career/Professional Life


Interested students should review the minor requirements and declare the minor as early as possible. To declare or receive advising on the IAS minor, please email IAS Advisors at iasadv@uw.edu.