The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor

Lecture hall full of WGSS students

Western Washington University's Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program draws on interdisciplinary research and teaching to analyze the formation of sex, gender, and sexuality as they intersect with race, class, ethnicity, nationality, religion, age, and ability.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is committed to the project of social justice. We examine and challenge systems of oppression, inequality, and privilege from a variety of perspectives. Our program encourages theory and praxis that critically considers global and local communities in efforts to revise, re-envision, and reimagine social change.

The curriculum provides students with skills to critically and actively engage with the world around them. Many of our courses connect academia to the material world by investigating the relationship between theory and practice - a central commitment of much feminist, gender, and queer scholarship. Our courses are characterized by rigorous and sustained critical thinking, inquiry, and analysis: skills central to the task of pursuing equality and justice.

Why Consider a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor?

Drawing on the rich pool of academic expertise at Western, the program emphasizes theories and practices derived from feminist, queer, postcolonial, multiracial, and multicultural contexts. Our curriculum emphasizes scholarly engagement with a wide range of disciplines, including: history, fine and performing art, literature, creative writing, political science, communication studies, health and human development, language and linguistics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, environmental studies, visual culture, journalism, education, and science.

The Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor enhances any major and adds a valuable aspect to one's training for the professional world. Our graduates go on to careers in both traditional and non-traditional career fields. Recent graduates have gone on to law school, graduate school in many fields, public service and private sector careers, medicine, business, political leadership positions, community organizing, and teaching in both K-12 and higher education.

Students enjoy small class sizes and close faculty interaction. Our community is intellectually challenging, supportive, and creative. Our diverse faculty encourages scholarship that is interdisciplinary and intersectional.


25 credits

Choose two courses from:

  • WGSS 211 Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • WGSS 212 Feminist Theory and Expression
  • WGSS 213 Introduction to Queer and Sexuality Studies


  • WGSS 350 Feminist and Queer Methodologies

or a comparable methods course in another program under advisement

10 credits of 300­ or 400­ level coursework in WGSS program (electives from other programs may be substituted with advisement)

Additional Information

Each academic year, the WGSS office will compile an advisory list of all courses with a women, gender, and sexuality studies focus. Please email for more information.

If you signed up for the WGSS minor before 2018, the WGSS 411 requirement can now be fulfilled with WGSS 450: Capstone Seminar

How to Declare

Students, if you would like to declare the WGSS minor, please use the following e-form and submit to the WGSS dept email ( minor declaration form   If you have questions about the minor (or major), please contact:

WGSS Interim Director & Professor Joshua  OR 

WGSS Program Coordinator Angela, 360-650-3918

Student Learning Objectives

In order to achieve its educational objectives, the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program has organized its curriculum to emphasize the following student learning outcomes:

• (SLO1) Analyze and communicate ideas effectively in oral, written, and visual forms

• (SLO2) Read, understand, and evaluate scholarship and theories in feminist, gender, and sexuality studies.

• (SLO3) Demonstrate skills in listening, speaking, and writing effectively, performing critical thinking and analysis, incorporating feminist theoretical perspectives in problem solving and research methodologies

• (SLO4) Recognize the intersections between sex, gender, sexuality, and other social and cultural identities, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, class, religion, and ability.

• (SLO5) Apply critical sex, gender, and sexuality perspectives across various disciplines
• (SLO6) Understand Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as an academic field of study, be familiar with its major concepts, history, assumptions, and theories/theorists, and recognize its epistemological and methodological diversity and character.