Minor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Study the impacts of societal understandings of gender and sexuality

If you enjoy crossing academic boundaries and admire those who dare to cross societal ones, this program just might be for you. Look through the lens of this multi-dimensional academic discipline to see the profound impacts of societal understandings of gender and sexuality on our lives. The minor combines the fields of gender, women’s, sexuality, and queer studies to explore the social construction of gender and sexuality in a variety of cultural contexts, introducing you to the theories, methods, and issues in these intersecting disciplines. You’ll come away with a deeper regard for gendered individuals of all backgrounds, a more accurate and equitable account of the human experience, and much sought-after skills in communication and critical, flexible thinking.

Students walking for the Women's March
Students walking during the Women's March


You may be drawn to UNE’s Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies minor because it promises to infuse your class schedule with variety, beckoning you toward a completely different path from your major course of study. Or, you may find that, given the diversity of courses offered in the minor, you can craft an impactful niche extension to your major that enables you to examine gender and sex roles from a particular disciplinary perspective — be it one grounded in the social and behavioral sciences, the humanities, the arts, or the health professions. Moreover, as a Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies minor, you can customize your Core curriculum by strategically selecting courses that satisfy the minor requirements and the Core requirements simultaneously.

These classes became more than a minor; they taught me a new way of viewing the world, of criticizing the world, and of living in the world. They have made me a better law student and will make me a better lawyer.” — Emily Mott, B.A., Class of ’20, Psychology major; Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, Mental Health Rehabilitation, Political Science triple minor


Experiential Learning

We believe that hands-on learning is integral to the UNE educational experience. Through engaging classroom activities as well as optional internships and research, this minor will take you beyond the classroom and into the realm of real-life experience.

Classroom Activities

As a Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies minor, you won’t just be learning — you’ll be doing. The following are just some of the hands-on activities in which you may participate:

  • Examining a local woman’s diary kept during the Great Depression
  • Engaging in service learning projects, (e.g. promoting female participation in sports)
  • Creating personal narratives on gender and health through hand-made books
  • Activism projects related to women’s, gender, or sexuality issues
  • Conducting generational interviews to gauge how perceptions have changed over time


Many of our students have used an internship at a local agency or organization of interest as their capstone project, completion of which is just one way of meeting one of the minor’s requirements. Past internship sites have included:

  • Maine Women Writers Collection
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Caring Unlimited (domestic violence support)
  • Maine senator’s office
  • Portland Outright (LGBTQ+ youth support)


Because the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies minor is such a perfect complement to so many different UNE majors, students are often eager to work under the supervision of a faculty member to conduct a research project that ties their interests in the minor to their interest in their major area of study. Examples include:

  • Native American Women and Historical Invisibility
  • Women, Novels, and Captivity Narratives
  • History of Title IX
  • Women, Education, and Mathematics
  • Neurological Perspectives on Sexual Violence

Examples of Available Courses

Drawing from a broad array of academic fields, the curriculum offered by UNE’s Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies minor covers a wide variety of topics, including courses such as:

  • Writing and Women’s Health
  • Growing Up Female: A History of American Girls
  • Women and the Environment
  • Sex and the City
  • Psychology of Gender
  • Women and the Law in Victorian England


Eighteen (18) credits as indicated below will satisfy the minor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies.

Program Required CoursesCredits
GWS 200 – Introduction to Women's Studies3
GWS 400 – Capstone in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies or one (1) 300- or 400-level Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Elective3
Four (4) Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Electives12
Minimum Total Required Credits18

Program-Specific Electives

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Elective OptionsCredits
ANT 228 – The Anthropology of Gender3
ANT 312 – Human Trafficking3
ART 199 – Forensics of Fashion3
BIO/GWS 340 – The Biology of Sex and Gender3
CMM 340 – Women and Film3
ENG 310 – Writing and Women's Health3
ENG 327 – Women Writers of the World3
ENV 331 – Women and the Environment3
GWS 276 – Women in the Ancient World3
GWS 278 – Women in the Modern World3
HIS 204 – Growing up Female3
HIS 250 – American Women's History I3
HIS 251 – American Women's History II3
HIS 337 – Topics in Women's History3
HIS 349 – Hist of Gender/Sexuality in LA3
HIS 353 – Sex and the City3
PSC 312 – The Family and Politics3
PSC 450 – Contemporary Feminist Theories3
PSY 215 – Psychology of Gender3
SOC 240 – Race, Class & Gender3
SOC 350 – Deviance3
SLM 290 – Latin American Sport and Gender (formerly SRM 290)3
SSW 325 – Interpersonal and Community Violence3

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies elective credit may be given for the following topics courses. Examples of special sections for which credit will be given are listed in parentheses.

Topics CoursesCredits
ENG 216 – Criminals, Idiots & Minors3
ENG 234 – Topics in British Literature after 1800 (Fallen Angels: New Woman Fiction in England and America)3
ENG 235 – Topics in US Literature to 1865 (Women’s YA Dystopian Fiction)3
ENG 235 or ENG 435 – Topics in US Literature to 1865 (Women of the West)3
ENG 326 – Topics in Literature & Health (Madness in Literature)3
ENG 326 – Topics in Literature & Health (Patient Narratives)3
HIS 276 – History Human Trad I (Women in the Ancient World)3
HIS 278 – History Human Trad II (Women in the Modern World)3
HIS 290 – History Hands On: Topics (Sex and Power: Women in the Americas)3
HIS 395 – What Actually Happened?3
HIS 399 – Topics in History (Gender and Sexuality in Latin American History)3
PSY 405 – Special Topics Seminar (Psychology of Sexual Orientation)3

Elective credit may be available through internships or directed studies when approved by the program director for Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. This elective credit must have content that is women, sexuality, and/or gender-focused.

To learn more about the program visit the Academic Catalog.

Find your Career

The interdisciplinary nature of this program, encompassing English, political science, psychology, environmental studies, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology, translates to a broad application in the job market — as do the highly developed written and oral communication skills and out-of-the-box thinking that you will develop. Whether your major is in the College of Arts and Sciences or the Westbrook College of Health Professions, the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies minor can enrich your understanding of your chosen field and, in turn, enhance your career prospects. UNE’s Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies minors have gone on to pursue advanced degrees and careers in a variety of fields, including: 

  • Law 
  • Business 
  • Public History/Museum Studies 
  • Education 
  • Publishing 
  • Journalism 
  • Arts 
  • Health Professions 
  • Mental Health and Social Services 
  • Government and Public Policy


Undergraduate Admissions

Contact Undergraduate Admissions at (800) 477-4863 or email admissions@une.edu. You can also stop by our office on the Biddeford Campus Monday–Friday from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.