Major Explorations: Sexuality, Women's & Gender Studies

Welcome to SWAGS

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.

SWAGS students in classroom

SWAGS Major Program

Students interested in a SWAGS major need to complete a total of nine courses, three of which are required. The three required courses are:

  • SWAG 100 The Cross-Cultural Construction of Gender
  • SWAG 200 Feminist Theory
  • SWAG 400 Contemporary Debates

SWAG 100 assumes little to no college-level experience in the study of gender and sexuality, and we advise students to begin their major studies there and to complete the course no later than the spring semester of the junior year.

The remaining six electives may be chosen from Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies offerings or from the list of related courses:

Related Courses

Courses outside our department and at other colleges and universities, including study abroad programs, that address sexuality, women and/or gender, may be counted toward the major if the student's SWAGS advisor approves them. A student seeking approval of such courses should provide the SWAGS Department with information about the institution where the courses were offered, the course titles, and syllabi. The SWAGS Department will share this information with the student's advisor.

Courses counting towards the SWAGS major may NOT be counted towards another major.

Starting with students entering in Fall 2015, at most 3 of the 9 courses that are required for the major may be taken outside the SWAGS Department.

For courses taken in Spring 2020, the SWAGS Department has decided to accept courses toward the major for which students have earned a grade of Pass.

To help students keep track of their progress towards the degree, please use the SWAGS Major Form.

Comprehensive Requirement

Senior majors not writing theses in SWAGS will satisfy the comprehensive requirement for the major by

  1. Assembling a portfolio consisting of three papers written in courses for the SWAGS major. One of your submissions can be a work of poetry, fiction, video, film, art or photography, as long as you include a written analysis of the project. 
  2. Writing a five-page reflective essay that explains why you have selected these three papers, explores their key themes, and describes the evolution of your thinking about women, gender, and sexuality
  3. Discussing your portfolio and reflective essay with members of the SWAGS Department

The portfolio and its accompanying essay are to be submitted by Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

Departmental Honors Program