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Gender and Sexuality Studies

Gender and Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary concentration that examines the construction of gender and sexuality in social, cultural, political, economic, and scientific contexts.

Each Gender and Sexuality Studies (GNSS) concentrator develops a well-defined topic or question and works closely with an advisor to design a program that rigorously investigates their focus area and supplements it with foundational courses in the relevant disciplines. 

Graduates of GNSS have focused on topics such as intersex healthcare, trans memoir, queer archival practice, incest in the postbellum South, racial disparities in reproductive healthcare, sex positivity in the #MeToo era, comparative models of sex education, garment workers and environmental justice, and LGBTQ+ migration. Introductory and methodology courses in the discipline appropriate to the concentrator's research area provide knowledge of the principles grounding their research methods in order to deploy disciplinary tools or challenge disciplinary boundaries with intentionality.

More information is available on the Gender and Sexuality Studies website.


The concentration requires 10 courses, 12 for honors concentrators.  No more than two courses may count for multiple concentrations.

  1. GNSS 0120. Introductory course on gender and sexuality across the disciplines
  2. Four–course focus on some thematic, theoretical, or historical aspect of gender and sexuality
  3. Two introductory or methodology courses in disciplines pertinent to the focus
  4. One course in gender history, women's history, or history of sexuality
  5. One course in feminist theory or theory of sexuality
  6. GNSS 1990.  A senior seminar which counts as your capstone course. Senior seminar participants are expected to write a research essay.  The senior seminar fulfills the second half of Brown's writing requirement.
  7. Prior to Commencement, all graduating senior concentrators are required to give a short presentation of either their senior essay or thesis project.


Candidates for honors must apply to the program's director at the beginning of their seventh semester. Honors concentrators fulfill the regular requirements plus completing a two–semester thesis as their capstone project.

For more information, please consult the GNSS concentration webpage at