The mission of the Sexuality and Gender Studies Program is to educate students regarding cultural, historical, and societal issues in the LGBTQ+ community, with particular attention to issues impacting the intersectional identity of deaf and hard of hearing LGBTQ+ people, and to prepare graduates to be inclusive, socially responsible, global community members and leaders.

Admissions Requirements

Any undergraduate student in good standing in the University may enroll in the Sexuality and Gender Studies Certificate Program by declaring their intention to the SGS Coordinator. In consultation with an advisor, the candidate for the certificate will design a program that complements their major field of study. No undergraduate course earned with a grade below “C-“.  Undergraduate students must earn a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for all courses in the certificate program.

Requirements for all applicants:

– ASL Essay/Vlog (5-10 minutes) explaining background and reasons why student wants to study in the SGS program.

– One letter of recommendation

– For undergraduate students, 3.0 GPA, although students with a GPA below 3.0 will still be given consideration for possible admission.

– Self-reported ASL proficiency level in order to express and receive academic information in ASL.

Courses & Requirements

Summary of Requirements

Required Core Courses 9 credits

This 3 credit course will provide an introduction into Sexuality and Gender Studies. This course will use texts, articles, speakers, literature, and film to bring students to a deeper understanding of LGBTQ+ cultures and communities. This course will educate students on the central concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity within historical, political, and societal frameworks. Throughout this course, students will work towards an understanding of the intersectional dynamics of privilege and oppression as they relate to LGBTQ+ individuals and culture by exploring the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals and their partners/families. Special attention will be given to each Unit on LGBTQ+ issues within the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities.

Credits: 3

The Internship in Sexuality and Gender Studies is an unpaid, supervised work-and-learning experience of approximately 112 'in-agency' hours and fulfills a core requirement for the Sexuality and Gender Studies Certificate Program. The internship is designed around the unique needs of both the student intern and the internship site. The principal objective of this course is to reinforce career/scholarship goals in fields where knowledge of sexuality and gender studies experiences is pertinent. Course topics will vary with internship placement so the biweekly online seminar helps to frame student experiences within queer and/or feminist theory and practice.

Credits: 3

In this interdisciplinary course, students will be introduced to key theories and theoretical frameworks for Sexuality and Gender Theory including queer theory and feminist theory. These theories are themselves already quite interdisciplinary, so students will spend time learning how these theories can work across different disciplines and can be used for both practical and academic purposes. Students will learn how to apply theoretical concepts to: the history of sexuality and gender, terminology that helps describe experiences and oppression including heterosexism, homophobia, and transphobia, queer activism, diverse experiences of sexuality and gender, and representations in literature, art, and popular media. We will also take an intersectional lens for our discussion and will discuss how sexual identities intersect with and shape other categories of identity, including gender, race, ethnicity, class, ability status, culture, and nationality.

Credits: 3

Elective Courses 9 credits

This 3-credit course focuses on how sexuality, gender, and culture impact the process of developing and maintaining human intimate relationships of friendship and love. Students will understand how various dynamics impact relationships such as attraction, communication, interdependency, power, stress, and conflict. Students will be able to apply knowledge to better understand and assess clients in the human services field and also be able to apply knowledge and skills to their own lives in developing their identity in their own relationships.

Credits: 3

The purpose of the course is to increase students¿ understanding of life span theories, human behavior theories, and intervention models and techniques when working with people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or additional identities (LGBTQ+). Although the emphasis will be on a social work perspective, students from various majors will benefit from this knowledge if they plan to work with LGBTQ+ people or if they would like this knowledge for their personal benefit. Important issues covered include sexual-minority identity formation; internalized homophobia; transference and countertransference issues; theories of assessment and intervention; and, cultural competence.

Credits: 3
Distribution: Certificate, Graduate

This 1-credit course will focus on foundational knowledge needed to develop a final project in the Sexuality and Gender Certificate Program. They will be exposed to current issues in both the hearing and deaf LGBTQ+ communities through networking and securing campus speakers, attending the speaker events, and then having round table discussions with fellow classmates and/or the student body. They will also stay current on contemporary events in the LGBTQ+ communities and critically analyze the implications of these contemporary events.

Credits: 1

This 1-credit course will prepare students for conducting their final certificate program project. Students learn about specific research concerns when working with LGBTQ+ populations. At the end of the course, students will have produced a written literature review on a sexuality and gender topic.

Credits: 1

This is a 1-3 credit course, depending on the projected scope of the student project. Creative Work Project is an inquiry, investigation, or creation produced by a student that makes an original contribution to the field of sexuality and gender studies and reaches beyond the traditional curriculum. This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop and practice advanced discipline-specific projects in collaboration with faculty members. In the first week of the course, a specific list of responsibilities must be developed prior to approval. Credit is variable, and depends on the quantity and depth of work.

Credits: 1-3

This course examines theories of cultural and ethnic identity, literature related to the cultures of women, deaf and hard of hearing people, gay and lesbian people, ethnic minorities of color, and people with disabilities. Because of the complexity of culturally competent social work practice, students are required to examine personal prejudices, stereotypes, and belief systems that negatively affect the provision of services to diverse populations. Readings on oppression, identity, and minority cultures are supplemented with presentations by experts from the community and dialogue with them. The course uses classroom exercises, written assignments, and objective measurements to increase self-awareness in the context of the student's personal identity and attitudes about difference based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and disability.

Credits: 3
Distribution: Graduate
LGBTQ+ Theory and Therapeutic Interventions


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