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 Studies Electives (see course list below)3
Select 1 course from Critical Race Studies 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 Studies, 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 Studies Electives and a minimum of 1 course (3 credit hours) from Critical Race Studies 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 Studies Electives, Critical Race Studies 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 Studies Electives

Select at least 1 course from the following:3
GENDER AROUND THE WORLD
SEX AND RACE IN THE FRENCH ATLANTIC
SEX, MONEY, AND POWER AROUND THE WORLD
GENDER AND ISLAM
MODERN GIRL AND ASIA IN THE WORLD
WOMEN IN CHINESE LITERATURE
CULTURES OF SEXUALITY

 Critical Race Studies Electives 

Select at least 1 course from the following: 3
RACE, CLASS, GENDER IN EDUCATION
TOPICS IN LITERATURE AND CULTURE 1
GENDER AROUND THE WORLD
BLACK VENUS/VÉNUS NOIRE: REPRESENTATIONS OF BLACK WOMEN IN THE LONG 19TH CENTURY
SEX AND RACE IN THE FRENCH ATLANTIC
RACE, SOCIETY AND POPULATION CHANGE
RACE, GENDER, CLASS ON FILM
U.S. WOMEN'S HISTORY I: COLONIAL BEGINNINGS TO THE CIVIL WAR
U.S. WOMEN'S HISTORY II: CIVIL WAR TO THE PRESENT
THE AMERICAN WEST AND ITS OTHERS
19TH CENTURY WOMEN'S NARRATIVES
SEX AND GENDER IN MODERN JEWISH CULTURE
CHICANO/A LITERATURE
AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
YOUTH STUDIES
SOCIOLINGUISTICS
STUDIES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
LATIN AMERICAN WOMEN'S CULTURE

Theory Electives  

Select at least 1 course from the following:3
TRANSGENDER STUDIES
HISTORY OF FEMINISM
FEMINIST THEORY
FEMINIST STUDIES

 Department Approved Electives 

Select up to 4 courses from the following (or select additional courses from the course lists above): 12
GLOBAL HEALTH JUSTICE: HEALTHCARE INEQUALITIES IN CONFLICTS
BODY, TECHNOLOGY, AND ENHANCEMENT
FEMINIST SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY STUDIES
WOMEN IN TALES OF THE FANTASTIC
WOMEN IN FICTION AND HISTORY: NOTIONS OF THE FEMININE SINCE THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
SEX AND MONEY: THE SPECIES DIVIDE
LANGUAGE AND GENDER
FEMINIST PHILOSOPHY
GENDER AND POLITICS
SEX, GENDER, AND POLITICAL REPRESENTATION IN LATIN AMERICA
SPECIAL TOPICS 1
MUTANTS AND MYSTICS: RACE, SEXUALITY, AND THE FUTURE OF THE HUMANITIES
SOCIAL INEQUALITY
LANGUAGE AND SOCIETY
SPECIAL TOPICS
MEDICINE AND MEDIA
ARTHURIAN LITERATURE
GENDER AND SCIENCE
CHAUCER
HUMAN SEXUALITY
THE FUTURE OF FOOD: FEMINIST, QUEER, AND CRITICAL APPROACHES
GENDER, SEXUALITY AND THE ADAPTATION OF TRANSNATIONAL LITERATURE TO PERFORMANCE
SOCIOLOGY OF GENDER
SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY
TOPICS IN WOMEN WRITERS
PSYCHOLOGY OF GENDER
SEX, SELF, AND SOCIETY IN ANCIENT GREECE
MASCULINITIES
THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE HISTORICAL IMAGINATION
JANE AUSTEN'S WORLDS
SEMINAR ON LOVE: MAKING LOVE IN MODERN ART AND THOUGHT
ILLNESS, DISABILITY, AND THE GENDERED BODY
NEW GERMAN FILM: HITLER'S CINEMATIC CHILDREN
QUEER LITERARY CULTURES
SURVEY OF VICTORIAN FICTION
SEXUAL DEBATES IN THE U.S.: SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXTS OF SUPREME COURTS DECISIONS
TRENDS IN HISPANIC CINEMA
SCIENCE, FEMINISM AND CHRISTIANITY IN THE AMERICAN 20TH CENTURY
WOMEN IN FRANCE
SEEING SEX IN EUROPEAN ART, 1400-1700
GENDER AND HEALTH
INDEPENDENT STUDY

Footnotes and Additional Information 

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

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 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 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-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 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.