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Furman offers new major–women’s, gender and sexuality studies

Last updated May 28, 2019

By Tina Underwood

Furman University will begin offering a new major in women’s, gender and sexuality studies (WGSS). Currently available as a minor, the WGSS major will be offered to students for the first time in fall 2019.


WGSS Co-director Gretchen Braun

“We are excited not only about the intellectual and professional opportunities this major will provide Furman students, but more importantly, we look forward to its role in making our community more diverse and inclusive,” said WGSS Co-director Gretchen Braun, speaking on behalf of the WGSS co-directors and oversight committee.

The new major will include a requirement of either WGS 230 – Issues in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, or WGS 250 – Introduction to Queer Theory and Sexuality Studies; a requirement of either one of two new courses, WGS 502 – Directed Research or WGS 503 – Directed Internship; and at least another 28 credit hours (equivalent to seven additional four-credit courses) in WGSS.


WGSS Co-director Savita Nair

In addition to the relevant coursework the WGSS major provides, undergraduates have opportunities for student-designed, faculty-mentored research and for internships that help students connect their academic interest in women’s, gender and LGBT issues with their career aspirations.

The WGSS major has evolved over decades at Furman with input for the proposal from the WGSS co-directors, the WGSS oversight committee, WGSS faculty and their home departments, Visiting Associate Provost for Special Projects Heidi Bostic, current students and alumni. The WGSS co-directors and oversight committee acknowledge several generations of faculty and students who advocated for the field, which in the early 90s, was known as “Women’s Studies,” Furman’s first interdisciplinary minor.

For more information about the women’s, gender and sexuality studies major, contact WGSS Co-directors Savita Nair at 864-294-3332, and, or Gretchen Braun at 864-294-3137, and Or contact the Furman News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.

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