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State approves Bachelor of Arts in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Enrolled students can convert WGGS minors into majors to graduate with the new BA degree

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved in January the creation of a new Bachelor of Arts in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies major at the University of Houston.

In November, the UH Board of Regents approved the new major and forwarded its request to the state for approval.

The BA is an interdisciplinary major that integrates aspects of history, politics, sociology and cultural studies to explore and analyze women’s presence and influence in global affairs and development. The historical and cultural roles of gender and sexuality are examined on their own and in their intersections with other cultural markers, such as race, class, age and disability.

The new BA provides a degree-completion option for students currently enrolled in the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program as minor concentrators in Women’s Studies and LGBT Studies.

The curriculum will be built around the core courses offered through the WGSS Program and cross-listed courses on women, gender and sexuality topics offered in disciplines across the university.

By establishing the WGSS bachelor’s degree, the UH Regents have brought the university’s majors offerings in alignment with similar majors at its Texas-based, Tier One comparative institutions – Rice University, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas.

Within the UH System, the UH – Clear Lake offers a women’s studies major that does not include gender and sexuality studies and UH-Downtown offers a gender studies minor.

“As gender roles shift quickly in all professions and realms of private and public life, and the contributions of women and people of diverse sexualities are increasingly recognized and valued, a major that prepares graduates to ably negotiate these changes provides an important groundwork for success, for both students and the community,” said Elizabeth Gregory, director of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and professor of English.

The first cohort of students earning the Bachelor of Arts in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies are expected to graduate in spring 2018.