Established in 1991, the undergraduate major comprises courses offered in the Schools of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Shepherd School of Music. Structured around two core courses - SWGS 101 "Introduction to the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality" and SWGS 201 "Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies" - the program requirements include courses in feminist theory, critical race theory, and non-Western studies. Majors have the option of completing a year-long senior honors thesis. Majors and non-majors alike can participate in the Seminar and Practicum in Engaged Research.
The SWGS major was revised in 2008 to involve students directly in the feminist effort to integrate theory and practice, both in the introductory required courses and in a Seminar and Practicum that connect research to on-site work in a public service agency or organization outside the university. Students pursuing the general course of study will take SWGS 494: PreSeminar, SWGS 496: Practicum, and SWGS 497: Seminar in the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality in junior or senior year as their required courses. SWGS 498 and SWGS 499 are now required only of students choosing the Honors track option.
We are also pleased that since the 2015-2016 academic year, CSWGS is one of two divisions at Rice piloting a Communication in the Disciplines project in conjunction with the Program in Writing and Communication. Students have the opportunity through a structured and supported curriculum to learn written, oral, and visual communication skills from poster creation and oral presentation to active listening and formal academic writing.