About This Program

What are power, privilege, and oppression? In what ways do these impact individuals and communities?  Where do they influence access and opportunity? And what can we do personally and professionally to ensure more equitable and inclusive homes, communities, and societies?

GWS invites you to investigate your own experiences and environments through a critical feminist and queer lens to gain a stronger perspective on the importance of gender equity and social justice.

Gender, Women, and Sexualities studies is an excellent field of study for those interested in learning about how to become active in their own work toward social justice.  Through analytical and reflective course work, students gain valuable skills and knowledge that will help them in their everyday lives and careers.  Some of these skills include: written and oral communication, critical analysis, strategic thinking, problem solving, and research.

The Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies major must be planned in consultation with a faculty member in GWS. A grade of “C-” or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the Bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required.

Required Courses (Catalog year 2023 or after)

The recommended sequence for courses are as follows: 1000-level introductory courses, 2000-level courses, core and interdisciplinary electives, 3000-level theory course followed by a 4000-level senior experience.

Catalog year 2023 or after

Catalog year 2017-2022

If you would like to learn more about a specific course, please check out the academic catalog HERE.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

MSU Denver emphasizes academic and experiential learning. As a Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies major you can take advantage of the following:

Focus Area: Develop a focus area in Transnational and Cultural Diversity, Social Justice and Activism, or Bodies and Sexualities.  Gain knowledge about the histories and experiences of oppressed and underrepresented gender, sexual and racial/ethnic groups. Apply this knowledge to pursue careers within a wide variety of social justice and equity-based organizations.

Experiential Opportunities: Complete a service-learning course, which involves 30 hours of volunteer work, and complete an internship or teaching assistantship—all of which will give you relevant career experience.

Student Services: Take advantage of the services offered by the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy, which houses the Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies Program. Services include wellness/lactation rooms, student advising and advocacy, scholarship support, a snack stop, and community space.

Feminist First Mondays: Get to know the diverse community of feminist scholars on campus through monthly forums that present research and creative work related to feminism, women and gender issues, critical race questions and social justice.

Bridge Speaker: Attend the annual Bridge Speaker series. The event serves as a bridge between Black History Month in February and Women’s History in March.  GITA brings noted speakers to campus to discuss educational issues and shed light on the lives and contributions of African American women.

Triple F Film Series: Take part in monthly film screenings featuring work by and for people of color focusing on social justice and feminism.

Student activities: Develop leadership skills through involvement in the Iota Iota Iota Women’s and Gender Honor Society and Feminist Alliance at MSU Denver.

Facilities and Resources

MSU Denver’s Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy is located in Boulder Creek, just north of the Colfax light rail station. The Institute serves as a feminist campus resource that provides programming and advocacy related to gender inclusion and social equity.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

Gender Women and Sexualities Studies Careers

MSU Denver Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies program graduates have pursued a range of careers such as:

  • Community organizer
  • Professor
  • Grant manager
  • Academic advisor
  • Business development representative
  • Volunteer advisor
  • Patient safety officer
  • Visitor services manager
  • Physician’s services coordinator
  • Freelance writer

Featured Faculty

Anahi Russo GarridoAnahi Russo Garrido

Associate Professor Anahi Russo Garrido is currently investigating intimacy in Mexico City in the lives of three generations of women participating in queer spaces and is the co-editor of Building Feminist Movements and Organizations. Her research and teaching interests include transnational gender and sexualities, global women’s movements, LGBT and transgender studies and queer and feminist anthropology.

Sonny Dhoot

Sonny Dhoot

Associate Professor Sonny Dhoot’s current research explores how the configurations of race, capital, gender, sexuality and normalcy shape the erotic lives of queers of colour. His current research and teaching interests include, queer/trans of color critique, decolonial/critical race feminisms, transnational and women of color feminisms, and queer erotics and sexuality studies. Sonny is also interested in anti-carceral community projects.

Sandra Mizumoto Posey

Professor Sandra Mizumoto Posey was trained as a folklorist at UCLA where she received her M.A and Ph.D., but she has pursued a career that is truly interdisciplinary. Here at MSU Denver, she’s taught courses both for the major and five of our nine general studies categories plus the multicultural graduation requirement. Her publications have spanned ethnography, pedagogy, poetry and creative nonfiction. Her current writing focuses on memoir.

Arlene Sgoutas

Arlene Sgoutas

Professor Arlene Sgoutas is the co-editor of “Mothers Under Fire: Mothering in Conflict Areas”. Her research and teaching interests include feminist interventions in global politics, international women’s resistance movements and motherhood studies. She was the recipient of the MSU Denver President’s Distinguished Service Award for faculty in 2014.

Zaynab Shahar

Assistant Professor zaynab (they/themme) is a philosopher and scholar of religion and gender. zaynab holds a doctorate in Comparative Religion (Jewish and Islamic law) and an M.A in Religious Studies (Jewish Studies, Islamic Studies, Philosophy of Religion) from Chicago Theological Seminary. zaynab received their B.A from Hampshire College in Jewish Studies (Historical Antisemitism and Jewish Gender Studies). Harnessing the insights of critical phenomenology, left-feminist thought, and queer-of-color critique; zaynab’s research examines the rhetorical relationship between gender, ritual obligation, and public religious space in Jewish and Islamic law.

Judy Strathearn

Full-time Lecturer Dr. Judy Strathearn has been with MSU Denver since 2016 in the Department of Africana Studies and as Interim Coordinator for Supplemental Instruction. She is now a full-time lecturer at GITA. She earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2017 where her dissertation investigated Gullah history and culture through the lens of gender and literature. Her research interests include Gullah Studies, Gullah Womanism and Black Feminism, and narrative strategies of Black women writers of the Diaspora. Her teaching philosophy is rooted in experiential education as a methodology to increase African Diaspora cultural knowledge and community contributions.

Alumni at Work

Graduates from MSU Denver’s Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies program have gone on to work at places such as:

  • American Water Works Association
  • Buck Family Foundation
  • Colorado Department of Education
  • MSU Denver
  • Northern Arizona University
  • PeaceJam Foundation
  • Pinterest
  • SCL Health
  • Sounds True
  • State of Colorado
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Women’s Bean Project

Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies alumni have been accepted for graduate study at the following schools:

  • Clark University
  • Colorado State University
  • Binghamton University
  • Regis University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Denver

Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Department

Contact the GWS Department

Hosted by the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy

Main Line: 303-615-2052

Email: [email protected]

Mailing Address:
Campus Box 36
PO Box 173362
Denver, CO 80217

Campus Location:
Boulder Creek, Room 132
950 10th Street Plaza
Denver, CO 80204