Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Study Of Women, Gender and Sexuality

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the diversity of feminist thought in the past and present.
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with key issues in the study of women’s lives and histories.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of social, political, and cultural features of gender and sexuality in the US and globally.
  4. Understand diverse global feminist perspectives, including critical race studies and feminist contributions to social and critical theory.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the feminist concept of engaged research based upon cumulative practice as engaged researchers in extra-classroom activities.
  6. Develop skills in analytical writing as well as in oral and visual presentation.

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality must complete: 

  • A minimum of 10-11 courses (30-31 credit hours), depending on course selection, to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 5 courses (15 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above. 

All students must work out their individual courses of study with their faculty advisors. Each student’s course of study must be approved by the SWGS Undergraduate Advisor. Course requirement tracking forms are available in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality office.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality30-31
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality120

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
SWGS 101INTRODUCTION TO WOMEN & GENDER3
or SWGS 201 INTRODUCTION TO LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER STUDIES
Select 1 course from Global South Electives (see course list below)3
Select 1 course from Critical Race Electives (see course list below)3
Select 1 course from Theory Electives (see course list below)3
Research, Practicum, and Seminar
Select 1 from the following:6-7
Research, Practicum, and Seminar
PRE-SEMINAR IN ENGAGED RESEARCH
ENGAGED RESEARCH PRACTICUM
ENGAGED RESEARCH SEMINAR
Senior Thesis
RESEARCH IN THE STUDY OF WOMEN GENDER SEXUALITY
RESEARCH IN THE STUDY OF WOMEN GENDER SEXUALITY
Elective Requirements 1
Select 4 elective courses from department approved electives or from additional elective courses in Global South, Critical Race, or Theory Electives (see course lists below)12
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Women, Gender and Sexuality30-31
Additional Credit Hours to Complete Degree Requirements *58-59
University Graduation Requirements *31
Total Credit Hours120

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Course Lists to Satisfy Requirements

Elective Requirements

Students must select a minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) from Global South Electives and a minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) from Critical Race Electives, and a minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) from Theory Electives. To fulfill the remaining major requirements, students must complete a total of 4 courses (12 credit hours) from the department approved electives, or from additional elective courses in Global South Electives, Critical Race Electives, or Theory Electives. Course offerings may vary from year to year, and students are urged to consult with the undergraduate advisor or with the director at the beginning of each semester.

Global South Electives

Select a minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) from the following:

ASIA 381SOUTH ASIAN DIASPORAS3
FREN 337SHAKESPEARE IN THE CARIBBEAN: POST/COLONIAL READINGS3
FREN 340GENDER AROUND THE WORLD3
FREN 414SEX AND RACE IN THE FRENCH ATLANTIC3
SOCI 389RACE, GENDER, CLASS IN FILM3
SPPO 361WOMEN AND GENDER IN SPANISH CULTURE3
SWGS 250 / POLI 250 / ASIA 251SEX, MONEY, AND POWER AROUND THE WORLD3
SWGS 315 / RELI 315 / ASIA 315GENDER AND ISLAM3
SWGS 384 / HIST 384 / ASIA 328MODERN GIRL AND ASIA IN THE WORLD3
SWGS 399 / ASIA 399 / MDEM 379WOMEN IN CHINESE LITERATURE3
SWGS 449 / ANTH 449CULTURES OF SEXUALITY3

Critical Race Electives 

Select a minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) from the following:

EDUC 304RACE, CLASS, GENDER IN EDUCATION3
ENGL 397TOPICS IN LITERATURE AND CULTURE 13
FREN 308BEAUTY AND THE BEAST(S): SEX, VIOLENCE, AND FOLKTALES IN THE AFRICAN DIASPORA3
FREN 337SHAKESPEARE IN THE CARIBBEAN: POST/COLONIAL READINGS3
FREN 340GENDER AROUND THE WORLD3
FREN 413BLACK VENUS/VÉNUS NOIRE: REPRESENTATIONS OF BLACK WOMEN IN THE LONG 19TH CENTURY3
FREN 414SEX AND RACE IN THE FRENCH ATLANTIC3
SOCI 343RACE, SOCIETY AND POPULATION CHANGE3
SOCI 389RACE, GENDER, CLASS IN FILM3
SWGS 234 / HIST 241U.S. WOMEN'S HISTORY I: COLONIAL BEGINNINGS TO THE CIVIL WAR3
SWGS 235 / HIST 242U.S. WOMEN'S HISTORY II: CIVIL WAR TO THE PRESENT3
SWGS 327 / ENGL 381TOPICS IN WOMEN WRITERS3
SWGS 329 / ENGL 369THE AMERICAN WEST AND ITS OTHERS3
SWGS 338 / HIST 33819TH CENTURY WOMEN'S NARRATIVES3
SWGS 354 / ENGL 371 / SPPO 354CHICANO/A LITERATURE3
SWGS 370 / ENGL 370AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE3
SWGS 389 / ENGL 389YOUTH STUDIES3
SWGS 415 / LING 415SOCIOLINGUISTICS3
SWGS 453 / ENGL 470STUDIES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE3
SWGS 466 / SPPO 430LATIN AMERICAN WOMEN'S CULTURE3

Theory Electives  

Select a minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) from the following:

SWGS 317TRANSGENDER STUDIES3
SWGS 345 / HIST 340HISTORY OF FEMINISM3
SWGS 380 / ENGL 382FEMINIST THEORY3
SWGS 407 / ENGL 481FEMINIST STUDIES3

Department Approved Electives 

Select up to 4 courses (12 credit hours) from the following (or select additional courses from the course lists above):

ANTH 380GLOBAL HEALTH JUSTICE: HEALTHCARE INEQUALITIES IN CONFLICTS3
ANTH 382BODY, TECHNOLOGY, AND ENHANCEMENT3
ANTH 428FEMINIST SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY STUDIES3
FREN 370WOMEN IN TALES OF THE FANTASTIC3
FREN 460WOMEN IN FICTION AND HISTORY: NOTIONS OF THE FEMININE SINCE THE FRENCH REVOLUTION3
FWIS 103WOMEN ARTISTS: VON BINGEN TO BEYONCÉ3
HART 356SEX AND MONEY: THE SPECIES DIVIDE3
HART 364GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN FILM3
LING 303LANGUAGE AND GENDER3
PHIL 267PHILOSOPHY OF SEX AND LOVE3
PHIL 275FEMINIST PHILOSOPHY3
POLI 339GENDER AND POLITICS3
POLI 459SEX, GENDER, AND POLITICAL REPRESENTATION IN LATIN AMERICA3
POLI 461WOMEN AND POLITICAL LEADERSHIP3
RELI 238SPECIAL TOPICS 11-4
RELI 393MUTANTS AND MYSTICS: RACE, SEXUALITY, AND THE FUTURE OF THE HUMANITIES3
SOCI 301SOCIAL INEQUALITY3
SWGS 205 / LING 205LANGUAGE AND SOCIETY3
SWGS 238SPECIAL TOPICS1-4
SWGS 273 / ENGL 273MEDICINE AND MEDIA3
SWGS 301 / ENGL 317 / MDEM 317ARTHURIAN LITERATURE3
SWGS 303GENDER AND SCIENCE3
SWGS 305 / ENGL 316 / MDEM 316CHAUCER3
SWGS 306 / HEAL 306HUMAN SEXUALITY3
SWGS 308THE FUTURE OF FOOD: FEMINIST, QUEER, AND CRITICAL APPROACHES3
SWGS 320 / THEA 320GENDER, SEXUALITY AND THE ADAPTATION OF TRANSNATIONAL LITERATURE TO PERFORMANCE3
SWGS 324 / SOCI 306SOCIOLOGY OF GENDER3
SWGS 325 / SOCI 334SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY3
SWGS 327 / ENGL 381TOPICS IN WOMEN WRITERS3
SWGS 331 / PSYC 331PSYCHOLOGY OF GENDER3
SWGS 332 / ANTH 325SEX, SELF, AND SOCIETY IN ANCIENT GREECE3
SWGS 333 / ANTH 311MASCULINITIES3
SWGS 336 / ANTH 308THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE HISTORICAL IMAGINATION3
SWGS 343 / ENGL 343JANE AUSTEN'S WORLDS3
SWGS 346 / HART 346SEMINAR ON LOVE: MAKING LOVE IN MODERN ART AND THOUGHT3
SWGS 353 / ANTH 354ILLNESS, DISABILITY, AND THE GENDERED BODY3
SWGS 361 / GERM 338 / HUMA 373NEW GERMAN FILM: HITLER'S CINEMATIC CHILDREN3
SWGS 364 / ENGL 354QUEER LITERARY CULTURES3
SWGS 372 / ENGL 342SURVEY OF VICTORIAN FICTION3
SWGS 385SEXUAL DEBATES IN THE U.S.: SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXTS OF SUPREME COURTS DECISIONS3
SWGS 390 / SPPO 385TRENDS IN HISPANIC CINEMA3
SWGS 393SCIENCE, FEMINISM AND CHRISTIANITY IN THE AMERICAN 20TH CENTURY3
SWGS 424 / FREN 424WOMEN IN FRANCE3
SWGS 434 / HART 434 / MDEM 434SEEING SEX IN EUROPEAN ART, 1400-17003
SWGS 465 / SOCI 465GENDER AND HEALTH3
SWGS 495INDEPENDENT STUDY1-4

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality

Program Restrictions and Exclusions

Students pursuing the major in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality should be aware of the following program restriction:

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the SWGS Undergraduate Advisor (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 

Distribution Credit Information

The determination of distribution credit eligibility is done initially as part of the new course creation process. Additionally, as part of an annual roll call coordinated each Spring by the Office of the Registrar, course distribution credit eligibility is routinely reviewed and reaffirmed by the Dean’s Offices of each of the academic schools.  

Faculty and leadership in the academic schools are responsible for ensuring that the courses identified as distribution-credit-eligible meet the criteria as set in the General Announcements. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet graduation requirements by completing coursework designated as distribution-credit-eligible at the time of course registration. 

Distribution courses from the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality (SWGS) are broad in theme and scope and prompt students to probe knowledge about how gender and sexuality are crucial components of political life, social life, and general well-being. They involve a broad, interdisciplinary spectrum of such knowledge and provide students with the tools for thinking critically about formations of gender and sexuality in diverse contexts. Current DI courses are 100- and 200-level introductions to the study of women and gender and to LGBT studies.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality website: https://cswgs.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Senior Thesis

Students wishing to pursue the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality senior thesis program will complete a thesis under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Students wishing to undertake a senior thesis should confirm their eligibility with the SWGS Director of Undergraduate Studies (major advisor) in the spring of their junior year.

Requirements for admission to the program are: 

  • a major in SWGS
  • a cumulative Rice GPA at the end of the junior year of at least 3.00
  • a SWGS major GPA of at least 3.50

The process of preparing the thesis begins in the spring of the junior year, when the student works with the SWGS Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) and chooses an additional advisor from the SWGS faculty. With guidance from those two advisors, the student produces a proposal for a thesis project. The proposal must be approved by the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality DUS by the last day of the exam period in the spring of the junior year. In the fall of the senior year, students enroll in SWGS 498 for directed research supervised by a CSWGS faculty affiliate and consult regularly with their advisors.

In the spring of the senior year, students enroll in SWGS 499 and work closely with their advisors as they complete the thesis. Thesis students present their projects in a public event at the end of the semester.

The length and content of the thesis is to be coordinated with the student's faculty advisor, but generally senior theses are between 40-50 double-spaced pages in length. The bibliography and theoretical apparatus of the thesis must demonstrate an informed engagement with feminist, gender, and sexuality studies. 

It is often useful for students and advisors to write up and co-sign a project timeline that includes deadlines for various components of the work. SWGS theses are frequently interdisciplinary. Students wishing to undertake a thesis combining SWGS with another discipline in a substantive way should select one primary inter/discipline (e.g., SWGS, ANTH, ECON, HIST, etc.) for their thesis 'home' department and work with an advisor in each discipline to create a hybrid thesis in terms of content, methods, and theoretical orientations. The thesis may receive academic credit in only one home inter/discipline.

Research, Practicum, and Seminar 

The Engaged Research Practicum and Seminar courses (SWGS 494, SWGS 496, and SWGS 497) are open to non-majors. Permission of the instructor is required as well as some background in the study of women, gender or sexuality.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality website: https://cswgs.rice.edu/.

See https://humanities.rice.edu/student-life for tables of fellowships, prizes, and internships/practica that may be relevant to this major.