Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies

Undergraduate Program

Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies

group of PSU women's studies students in a outdoor class

Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies Bachelor's Degree or Minor Overview

Sexuality, gender, and queer studies is an unique program, exclusive to Portland State University. PSU is the only school in the state to combine women’s studies, sociology, biology, psychology, literature and cultural studies to examine the issues connected to sexuality, gender, and queer politics in this country and around the world.

Students in the Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies major experience a unique blend of theory, critical analysis, interdisciplinary coursework, and relevant real-world experience.

The program emphasizes leadership and activism for LGBTQ+ and other marginalized populations.

We prepare graduates in the program to be leaders in academia, business and industry, and nonprofit organizations.

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
Online:
100% online
Flexible:
Combination of online and on campus
  • BA
    Bachelor of Arts
    Locations
    On campus
    Total Credits
    180
    Start Term
    Any
  • BS
    Bachelor of Science
    Locations
    On campus
    Total Credits
    180
    Start Term
    Any
  • m
    Minor
    Locations
    Flexible
    Total Credits
    28
    Start Term
    Any

Sexuality, Gender and Queer Studies Bachelor's Degree or Minor: Why PSU?

This program provides a complete and nuanced education in Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Studies. This gives the opportunity to study different academic areas alongside one another. The major provides students with a holistic view of the discipline. It encourages students to integrate courses from other departments into the major electives. Students can enhance their degree with diverse electives from such departments as:

  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Black Studies
  • History
  • Chicano/Latino Studies
  • Indigenous Nations and Native American Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Public Health

Our students have close connections with their professors and department faculty. Our faculty are active scholars, thus, their classes are relevant and applicable to the professional world. Their scholarship covers a wide variety of academic topics such as:

Faculty designed this degree to best fit student needs and interests. The program enhances student interactions with the broader Portland LGBTQ+ community.

Sexuality, gender, and queer studies majors are active in the community. Our students volunteer at the Women's Resource Center or Queer Resource Center on campus. And, they intern at at local nonprofits throughout Portland, Oregon. Our students also organize educational and social events on campus. Students majoring in Women's Studies gain real-world experience through their connections with community.

One of the requirements of the program is through the practicum. Students connect with the community and campus to illuminate the relationship between feminist theory and practice.

The practicum allows students to get professional training and experience as an undergraduate. The practicum allows you to gain meaningful on-the-job experience to build a strong resume and professional set of job skills for when you graduate.

Many practicum placements take place at campus resource centers and local nonprofit organizations. Some focus on advocacy for LGBTQ+ and other disenfranchised populations. Other placements allow students to contribute ideas and knowledge to other organizations. Students can explore internships with a variety of local Portland organizations, including:

The practicum program provides students with professional experience as undergraduates. Through their practicum experiences, students work in a variety of roles:

  • providing direct services to clients
  • designing and executing media campaigns
  • maintaining databases, donor lists, and other organizational tasks
  • developing outreach campaigns
  • offering mentorship and academic support to other students
  • organizing social justice outreach events

We offer two types of practicum experiences:

  1. Work with an off-campus organization
  2. Work on-campus with a program, and/or choose to serve as a teaching assistant/mentor for course within the department

The Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department has established relationships with practicum sites across Portland. Students also have the opportunity to develop a practicum with an organization of their choice, in consultation with an advisor or with the department practicum coordinator.

What can I do with a bachelor's degree or minor in Sexuality, Gender and Queer Studies?

The sexuality, gender and queer studies major provides a blend of coursework, community involvement, and close connections with faculty. This means students graduate ready to fill a wide variety of roles. Our alumni have gone on to careers in:

  • Community Activism and Government: Our students land jobs with organizations like Multnomah County, Portland Public Schools, and regional public health organizations.
  • Youth Programs: Graduates of our program work for nonprofit organizations that work with LGBTQ+ youth and other marginalized young people.
  • Social Justice and Law: Sexuality, gender and queers studies major get jobs doing research or the law. They work to support the rights and liberties of LGBTQ+ and other marginalized communities.
  • Social Work: Our graduates sometimes pursue careers at organizations that provide resources and support to at-risk populations.

We encourage students to pursue graduate studies to expand their understanding in the field. Our students have gone on to graduate school at the following institutions:

  • San Francisco State University
  • University of Washington
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of Vermont
  • Ohio State University
  • University of South Florida

Featured Courses

  • UNST 231 Gender and Sexualities
  • WS 332U Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality in the US
  • WS 360U Intro to Queer Studies
  • WS 370U Histories of Sexualities
  • WS 381 Queer of Color Theorizing and Perspectives
  • WS 482 Topics in Transnational Sexulaity Studies
  • WS 412/512 Feminist Theory & Methodology
  • WS 415 Senior Seminar
  • WS 409 Practicum
  • WS 411 Experiential Learning Seminar

Electives

  • WS 308U Lesbian Literature
  • WS 308U Masculinities
  • WS 372U Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Literature
  • WS 375U Queer Feelings
  • WS 375U Queer Ecologies
  • WS 375U Divas, Icons, and Revolutionaries
  • WS 382U Transgender Studies
  • CFS 340U Queer Families
  • CFS 390U Sex and the Family
  • PHE 335U Human Sexuality
  • PHL 369U Philosophy of Sex and Love
  • SOC 344U Gender and Sexualities

Accreditation

Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).