Portland-State-University 2017-2018 Bulletin

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

150 Parkmill Building (PKM)

1633 SW Park Ave.



  • B.A., B.S.—Women's Studies
  • B.A., B.S.—Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies
  • Minor in Women's Studies
  • Minor in Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies
  • Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Women's Studies

In the School of Gender, Race and Nations, the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies offers an interdisciplinary program designed to foster students’ personal and intellectual development and to prepare them for socially responsible citizenship as well as a broad range of careers. Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies advisers work closely with each student to craft a course of study appropriate to the student’s academic interests and post-graduate goals.

An expanding field of scholarship, women, gender, and sexuality studies is on the cutting edge of educational and intellectual innovation. The department offers two different majors: the Women's Studies major, and the Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies major. The Women's Studies major encourages students to develop critical thinking skills and an appreciation for the range of theoretical frameworks and methodologies present in contemporary feminist scholarship. Courses incorporate the diversity of women’s experience with attention to race, class, and sexual orientation as well as gender. Core courses also encourage students’ active participation through discussion, informal as well as formal writing, and collaborative learning in the classroom.

The major in Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies (SGQS) is designed to provide an in-depth study of sexual desire, sexual behavior and identity, gendered behavior, gender identity, and the sexed body as socially, culturally, and historically produced. The core curriculum emphasizes queer and trans of color theorizing and critiques including queer indigenous, Two-Spirit, and transnational perspectives; critical analysis of the relationships between sexuality and other power formations such as gender, race, class, nation, ability, nature, citizenship, age, and size; historical contexts and contemporary connections among rigorous theoretical, activist, political, and practice-oriented approaches; and an interdisciplinary, queer, and decolonial approach to analyses of the creative arts, humanities, and health and social sciences.

Experiential learning plays an important role in a student’s progress through the women, gender, and sexuality studies curriculum. The program’s extensive and long-established ties with organizations in the metro area provide wide-ranging opportunities for students to apply their classroom knowledge in a community setting. Many students discover a life’s vocation through these experiences, and all develop new skills. Guidelines for women, gender, and sexuality studies practica and independent study are flexible in order to meet individual needs. Degrees in Women's Studies and Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies provide the foundations for life-long learning as well as background and experience for careers in teaching, counseling and social work, business, law, health sciences, public administration, public relations, and academia.