Major Explorations: Sexuality, Women's & Gender Studies

To make sense of the world and to make changes in the world around us, we need a firm grounding in histories and politics that have shaped the conversation around women’s rights sexual rights, reproductive justice, and trans and queer identities.

Welcome to the Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies Department (SWAGS)

Courses on sexuality, women's and gender studies examine feminist and queer thought in a variety of global and historical contexts. Faculty specialize in literature, history, anthropology, film, and politics. Many courses taught by faculty outside of the SWAGS Department are cross-listed in the department.

Students who have questions about the major, but who do not have a SWAGS advisor, should reach out to the chair of the SWAGS Department.

For Non-Majors

  • Most of our courses do not have prerequisites or only have “recommended” requisites.
  • Non-majors who have never taken a course in the field of sexuality, women, or gender may wish to begin with a 100 or 200-level course.
  • All courses listed in our department may be counted towards the major.

Considering Majoring?

For Transfer Students

  • Students who transfer to Amherst and wish to receive credit towards the major requirements for previous work are bound by the same rules as non-transfer students: at most 3 of the 9 courses that are required for the major may be taken outside of the SWAGS Department. All outside courses must be approved by the student’s SWAGS advisor; if a student does not have a SWAGS advisor, they may contact the chair of the SWAGS Department instead.