Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies: Course Descriptions

Consider the world through new lenses with a Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies major, LGBT Studies minor, Girls' Studies minor, Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies minor, or a graduate minor or certificate in Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies. For more information about our degree programs, contact Dr. Emily Lutenski,

Declaring a Major in Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies

If you have 30 or more earned hours, credit (or in progress) for RC 1000 and UCO 1200, and a 2.0 cumulative GPA, you can officially declare Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies as your major by following these easy steps!

If you have already declared your major and would like to change your major to Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, please fill out this form!

The Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies Program enables you to pursue the following academic offerings: 

Minor in Girls' Studies

Historically, the status of girls has evoked much less interest than that of women. Recently emerging scholastic and strategic study concerning the vulnerability of girls, and the impact the neglect has on the status of women, is adding a vital missing link to the discourse on women and development. Still, according to the most recent reports of the United Nations, girls continue to be the most abused and neglected group of citizens around the world.

Throughout history, girlhood has been limited, contained and defined by context and social forces. The minor in Girls' Studies enables students to utilize gender and age to examine girls' lives and girlhood from any variety of perspectives. It complements any number of majors and is not limited to the humanities. Students minoring in Girls' Studies examine the discourses and histories of girlhood to discover ways to empower girls and diminish the threats they face every day.

2023-24 Undergraduate Bulletin: Girls' Studies Minor

Minor in LGBT Studies

In the past two decades, LGBT issues have been in the forefront of many important national and international discussions. In academia, LGBT Studies is now a significant and established area of academic study, with majors, minors and certificate programs offered at public and private, large and small universities. The field has numerous peer-reviewed scholarly journals, and there are multiple conferences and book-length publications in the field every year.

Students will benefit from the multidisciplinary study of the historical, cultural, political,and theoretical issues relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, communities and their allies. The minor is desirable for students planning graduate studies in an interdisciplinary field, such as American Studies, Gender Studies, LGBT Studies or Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies; traditional fields such as English, Social Work, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Marketing, Art, Communications, Psychology - any discipline in which questions of gender and sexuality have transformed traditional inquiry within that discipline.

2023-24 Undergraduate Bulletin: LGBT Studies Minor

Honors in GWS

Honors in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies

The Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies (GWS) program has an honors program to provide students in the major with opportunities for advanced research in GWS. The purpose of the honors program is to promote academic excellence among undergraduate students in the interdisciplinary field of GWS.

To be considered for the honors program, GWS majors must have an overall GPA of 3.45 or higher. To graduate with honors in GWS, a student must be a major in GWS and have completed at least nine semester hours of work in GWS honors courses and have a GPA of 3.45 or higher. The nine semester hours will include six credits of GWS prefixed courses at the 2000 level of higher that are designated as honors sections or completed by honors contract in consultation with the GWS faculty member teaching the course, and an honors thesis/project chaired by a GWS faculty member (GWS 4510) for a total of 3 credit hours.

GWS Honors students must earn a minimum grade of “B” (3.0) in honors courses to receive honors credit.

For more information contact Dr. Dylan Blackston, Assistant Professor of GWS, at

Graduate Certificate & Graduate Minor

Why Get a Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies Graduate Certificate or Graduate Minor?

  • Be part of an intellectual community of interdisciplinary GWS scholars at App State.
  • Learn the epistemological and pedagogical bases for studies that take gender, sexuality, power, race, inequality and other axes of difference as centrally constitutive analytic categories.
  • Be recognized for the graduate training in GWS you've sought.
  • Gain valuable experience preparing to teach, designing an outreach project and collaborating in an interdisciplinary environment.


All students complete:

The two core graduate seminars foreground the epistemological and pedagogical bases for studies that take gender, sexuality, and inequality as centrally constitutive analytic categories, and offer students the opportunity to learn from one another in an interdisciplinary environment.

An additional 3 hours of approved graduate coursework is required for the minor; an additional 6 hours of approved graduate coursework is required for the certificate. Courses may only count toward the GWS graduate minor or graduate certificate when the topic is gender, women or sexuality and when they are taught by GWS faculty.

Enrollment in the Certificate Program

  • Those interested in the Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies are welcome to confer with the Director of the GWS program prior to submitting an application to the Graduate School. A Certificate-only student must be an N.C. resident, hold a bachelor's degree, and be pursuing, or planning to pursue, work related to women's issues or gender.
  • Those seeking admission must write a brief essay outlining their interests and work goals, explaining how the GWS Graduate Certificate will help them meet these goals.
  • Those seeking the certification can enroll year-round. Eligibility for certification will be considered by a committee of the GWS faculty.
  • For those already enrolled in a graduate program at Appalachian, you start the admission process by submitting a "Change of Major - Add Certificate Request Form" which can be found on the Graduate School forms page under the Program Materials section at