Skip to main content Skip to main content

Systems of power. What are they? Who has this power? Who doesn’t? Where do they influence access and opportunity? And what can be done to ensure a more equitable balance across borders, races, class, gender and sexualities in all areas of our lives?

These are some of the questions you will explore as an MSU Denver major in Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies.

Formerly called Women’s Studies, Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies is an interdisciplinary degree program that looks at power and privilege with regards to gender, sexuality, race, class and other factors of identity. Through course work, self reflection, an individualized focus area, research and experiential learning opportunities such as internships, service learning and teaching assistantships, you will not only develop the critical thinking and communication skills employers value but also the self-efficacy and confidence to become an agent of change in your workplace and beyond.

The Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies bachelor degree program prepares you to begin a career in a variety of fields including government, business, nonprofits, health care and media. Other Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies majors go on to obtain graduate degrees in law, women’s and gender studies, other social sciences and humanities disciplines, psychology, international studies, public policy and additional fields.

Learn about Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies scholarships.

Program Options

As an MSU Denver Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies student, you can choose from the following programs:

B.A. in Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies

Minor in Gender Studies

Minor in Sexualities Studies

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 and Bodies and Sexualities.

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.

Women’s Services: Take advantage of the services offered by Institute for Women’s Studies and Services, which houses the Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies Program. Services include lactation spaces, sexual harassment and conflict resolution services and sexual assault/domestic violence assistance.

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, race questions and social justice.

Bridge Speaker: Attend the annual Bridge Speaker lecture. The event brings noted African American women to campus to speak on 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 Honor Society, the Feminist Alliance and the American Association of University Women at MSU Denver.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

four images a professor interacting with students, data displayed on a laptop, students sitting on grass at the park, close up of someone's hands as they write on a paper

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


Arlene Sgoutas

Professor and Director of the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy 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.



AnnJanette Alejano-Steele_Social WorkAnnJanette Alejano-Steele

Professor and Interim Chair of Social Work AnnJanette Alejano-Steele’s scholarship focuses on data-driven community response to human trafficking and multidisciplinary and multi-sector collaborations that operate from a trauma-informed survivor-led perspective. In addition to serving as board member/co-founder of the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, she serves on the data and research task force of the Colorado Governor’s Council on Human Trafficking. She has served on several national anti-trafficking working groups including the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Psychological Association.


Sandra Mizumoto Posey

Associate 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. 


Katherine Martinez

Assistant Professor Katherine Martinez wrote her dissertation on bodies and embodiment, relating specifically to self-objectification for consensual bondage, discipline, dominance/submission, sadomasochism (BDSM) participants. Her more recent research focuses on sibling-to-sibling violence. She was a first-generation college student.



Anahi Russo Garrido

Assistant 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.


Learn more about Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies faculty.

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
  • Baker College
  • University of Denver

Sample Classes

closeup of professorKATHERINE MARTINEZ instructing a class

The MSU Denver Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies program offers a diverse range of courses that examine the experience of people whose lives have been affected and informed by their diverse identities. Here are some courses you might take as a Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies student:

Beauty Cultures
Bodies and Embodiment
Gender and Global Politics
Gender, Social Justice and the Personal Narrative
Human Trafficking 
Introduction to Transgender Studies
Multicultural Study of Sexualities and Genders
Queer Sexualities
Queer Theory
Social Justice, Self, and Citizenship
Theories of Love and Sex
Transnational Genders and Sexualities
Women of Color
Women’s Folklore
Women and the Law
Women in the Developing World

Facilities and Resources

MSU Denver’s Institute for Women’s Studies and Services is located in its own historic building on the Auraria Campus. The institute not only serves as a feminist campus resource that provides programming and advocacy related to gender inclusion and social equity.

Edit this page