LGBTQ Studies Minor

Minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Queer (LGBTQ) Studies
Faculty Advisor: Director of Women’s & Gender Studies


The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies minor looks at the lives, experiences, and representations of LGBTQ people, using historical, contemporary, and theoretical contexts to analyze their communities, institutions, languages, art, literature, and relationships to heterosexual norms. LGBTQ Studies also provides a scholarly venue for investigating the intervention of queer theory, an analytic approach which has crosses numerous disciplines, including English, gender studies, history, psychology, sociology, political science, economics, and biology. This approach prioritizes both queer sexualities and heteronormativity; that is, the numerous social institutions and structures that privilege heterosexuality (from tax codes to tacit definitions of acceptable versus obscene sexual representations). It includes an analysis of the ideologies that define a “normal” (meaning heterosexual and reproductive) definition of family. As part of this analytic project, LGBTQ Studies teaches students how to make explicit the connections between sexuality and systems of power cohering around race, gender, political economy, forms of governance, and prominent social institutions, including nationality, citizenship, and religion.

An LGBTQ Studies minor will be appropriate for students who hope to pursue graduate study in an interdisciplinary field such as American Studies, Gender Studies, LGBTQ Studies, African-American Studies, or Women's Studies. It will also be useful for students who plan to go into a professional program such as counseling and psychology, education, law, or public health. It will be of use for those hoping to find employment in businesses that need managers who can work with a diverse array of people, including LGBTQ people. Finally, it will be useful for students considering a career in the non-profit arena, including public policy, advocacy, and community service. Students from many of the professional schools at Rutgers-Newark should find the minor to be useful (including students of Law, Nursing, Criminal Justice, Social Work, and UMDMJ).


Students must take 18 credits (6 courses) for the minor. One must be “Introduction to LGBTQ Studies.” The rest can be chosen out of relevant courses in consultation with the LGBTQ Studies Faculty Advisor. Some can be general Women’s and Gender Studies courses, such as Feminist Theory or Politics of Sexuality.

Course Syllabus, Introduction to LGBTQ Studies

Other relevant courses are included in the curriculum outlines below:

Curriculum Outlines of some typical courses of study:

A) For students interested in public policy/law:

  • WGS: “Introduction to LGBTQ Studies”
  • History: “Sexuality, Gender, and Law in U.S. History”
  • WGS: “ Politics of Sexuality”
  • Political Science: “LGBT Politics”
  • Political Science: “Sex, Law, and Public Policy”
  • Criminal Justice: “Gender, Crime and Justice”

B) For undergraduates interested in future interdisciplinary graduate study:

  • WGS: “Introduction to LGBTQ Studies”
  • History: “LGBT History”
  • WGS: “Politics of Sexuality”
  • WGS: “Feminist Theory”
  • English: “Urban Sexualities in U.S. History”
  • English/WGS: Special Topics in American Literature: Crossroads of Race and Sexuality

C) For students interested in counseling/ public health/ diversity issues:

  • WGS: “Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Studies”
  • History: “LGBT History”
  • Psychology: “The Psychology of Sexual Orientation”
  • WGS: “Politics of Sexuality”
  • African and African-American Studies: “Black Women in the U.S.”

D) For students interested in race, culture and representation:

  • WGS: “Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Studies”
  • History: “LGBT History”
  • History: “Race and Sexual Politics in the Modern United States”
  • WGS/ History: “Queer Cinema History”
  • WGS/History: “The Politics of Obscenity and Pornography in the United States”
  • English/WGS: Special Topics in American Literature: Crossroads of Race and Sexuality
  • AAAS: “Race, Gender and American Film”