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First-Year Focus

Welcome, class of 2028!

GSS Virtual Academic Directions Fair - Q&A
(2024 date and time to be announced soon)

An informal chat and Q&A about our program, course offerings, and what you can do with gender and sexuality studies frameworks!

What is Gender & Sexuality Studies?

In GSS, we ask questions about gender and sexuality in the U.S., transnationally, and in history, and answer them using research tools from across the humanities and social sciences, as well as from feminist, masculinity, LGBT and queer studies. Read more about our frameworks and topics of inquiry. 

Students majoring or minoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies have gone onto rewarding careers in law, medicine, education, journalism, business, advocacy work, and the arts. Many of our students have won prestigious Coro Fellowships in Public Affairs, secured teaching placements through the Teach for America program, or gone onto graduate school, law school, or medical school upon completing their B.A. at Northwestern. 

First-Year Advising in the Gender & Sexuality Studies Program

If you are interested in issues of gender and sexuality, want to know about our course offerings, or are interested in the major or minor, the information below should be of use to you. If you want to know more, please feel free to get in touch or make an appointment with our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Tessie Liu.

Good Classes for First-Years

Courses offered through the Gender & Sexuality Studies Program are open to all undergraduates at Northwestern (regardless of whether you've declared a major/minor or not), and we offer several introductory courses intended for first-years each year. Each of these courses will introduce you to key terms, issues, and approaches to the study of gender and sexuality in the humanities and social sciences. 

All of our 200-level courses are suited to first-year students and sophomores and each fulfills one or more of the Weinberg College degree requirements. For example, GNDR ST 220 “Sexual Subjects” and GNDR ST 230 “Traditions in Feminist Thought” both count as Foundational Discipline in Historical Studies classes.  They also both satisfy the requirement for a class offering U.S. Perspectives on Power, Justice, and Equality, as does GNDR ST 235 “Beyond the Binary: Transgender and Race.”

Almost all of our 300-level seminar courses are also open to first-years, but we encourage first-year students to begin by taking one or more of our 200-level introductory courses. 

Fall 2024 Winter 2025 Spring 2025
Love as a Lens for Social Justice: How and Why We Care (GNDR_ST 101)

Millennial Gender (GNDR_ST 101)

Coalition Politics From Chicago and Beyond (GNDR_ST 101)

Sexual Subjects: Intro to Sexuality Studies (GNDR_ST 220) Traditions in Feminist Thought (GNDR_ST 230) Beyond Porn: Sexuality, Health and Pleasure (GNDR_ST 221)
Sinophone Feminisms (GNDR_ST 231)

Fashion Matters (GNDR_ST 231)

Contemporary Women Authors of South Korea and Feminist Criticism (GNDR_ST 231)

Masculinities and Society (GNDR_ST 232) Language and Gender (GNDR_ST 234) Sociology of Gender (TBD)
Black Feminist Theory (GNDR_ST 235) Gender, Sexuality and Society (GNDR_ST 232)
Critical Fat Studies (GNDR_ST 231)