School for Cultural and Social Transformation


Gender Studies

B.A. in Gender Studies

Program Purpose

The Gender Studies Program at the University of Utah offers a B.S. or B.A. undergraduate major, as well as a minor, through the College of Social and Behavioral Science. The overall mission of the Program is to provide a quality undergraduate education in gender scholarship, to promote an integration of this scholarship and research into the university curriculum, to encourage new pedagogies, and to foster the growth of an interdisciplinary community of scholars who are interested in gender as a category of analysis. More specifically, the Program provides students with the tools of academic analysis so that they may explore the significance of gender as a crucial component in the organization of personal lives and social institutions. To this end, the courses offered by the Gender Studies Program re-evaluate the assumptions at work in traditional disciplines as they study individuals, cultures, social institutions, policy and other areas of scholarly inquiry. Recognizing that the field of gender studies was shaped in large part by women's and men's commitments to forms of community activism, consciousness-raising, and local politics, we have integrated service learning throughout our program and also offer internship placements that provide our students exposure to career opportunities. In these ways, the Program prepares students for graduate work and professional studies (e.g. Law or Medical School) and for employment in professional and community organizations. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the gender studies field, Gender Studies professors are jointly appointed in our Program and a tenuring department. While each professor's research is based in his or her respective discipline, our professors' research projects broadly share a focus on the complex interaction of gender and sexuality with other facets of identity and culture such as, but not limited to, race, class, sexual orientation, sexual subjectivity, disability, and nationality. Currently (2014-2015), our professors span four colleges and seven tenuring departments: College of Humanities (History and English), College of Social and Behavioral Science (Psychology, Political Science, Sociology), College of Education Education (Education, Culture, and Society), and College of Fine Arts (Film Studies). Accordingly, we have designed our Assessment Plan to take account of and respect the variation among the methodologies and achievement criteria specific to each discipline.

Learning Outcomes

  • Overall:

    Effectively communicate gender-related understanding, analyses, and arguments in written and oral format.

  • GNDR 3100 (Medusas and Manifestos):

    Demonstrate an understanding of gender in relation to the history of social movements and the search for social justice over the last 150 years in the United States, i.e., comprehend, apply, and evaluate movements in women's rights, civil rights, gay rights, and labor organizing from an interlocking perspective.

  • Theory Courses:

    Be familiar with particular strands of feminist theory – for instance, political theory, queer theory, critical and post-structural theory, theories of masculinity; and with theoretical fields that intersect with feminism and gender studies, such as critical race theory.

    Have a working knowledge of the schools of thought relevant to the discipline in which the course was generated and the ways in which such theories underpin or interact with particular cultural, political, and social phenomena.

    Have the ability to articulate, engage with, question, critique, apply, and generate theoretical concepts related to gender, sexuality, race, class, and body type; and start developing their own theoretical insights.

    Demonstrate these skills in assignments particular to each course, which may include written examinations, analytical essays, summary, précis, and book review; and oral presentations (individual or group), active participation in class discussions and debates; and creative projects.

  • Disciplinary Seminar Courses:

    Conduct primary source research in a chosen discipline, including collection and interpretation of data according to disciplinary/interdisciplinary standards.

    Demonstrate the capacity to research and ascertain the current state of the field relative to the student's assigned research.

    Relate that research to traditional disciplinary methods and current scholarly literature; and, position that research within current gender studies scholarly literature.

    Understand questions of ethics in scholarly research.

    Consider the applications and/or relevance of their research interests to non-classroom settings. (For example, academic research, community-based research, community engagement, public or private sector work.)