Gender Studies

The Department of Gender Studies at Queen’s offers an interdisciplinary approach to studies of gender. We draw on human experiences, feminisms, histories, cultures, economies, and politics to analyze power, knowledge, difference, and inequalities. You can even spend a term in Norway at the University of Oslo on a Gender Studies exchange or take a community-based practicum course.

What can I learn studying Gender Studies at Queen’s?

  • Understanding of difference and of the intersections between forms of oppression.
  • Analytical skills – form and defend positions with clarity and accuracy in a range of formats.
  • Ability to analyze the connections between gender, race, nation, ability, with the aim of understanding structural building blocks in society.
  • Critical thinking – analyze assumptions underlying arguments.
  • Ability to develop active rather than passive responses to popular culture, exploring resistance as well as consumption.
  • Comparison and combination of methodologies from the arts, social sciences, and health sciences.
  • Oral and written communication – write research papers, make presentations individually and in groups.

Open to all Queen’s students, the Gender Studies Department administers a Certificate in Sexual and Gender Diversity (SXGD) that can be an addition to most degree plans.

See our Major Map to learn more

Mackintosh-Corry Hall
Room number: 
Department Head: 
Samantha King
Acting Undergraduate Chair: 
Melissa Houghtaling
Graduate Director: 
Scott Morgensen
Administrative/Graduate Assistant: 
T. Easter Sheen

Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Major in Gender Studies
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Medial in Gender Studies
A dual course of study in Gender Studies and any other Arts discipline.

Minor in Gender Studies
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

Internship option available

For a full list of Degree Plans, see the Academic Calendar

Graduate Degree Options

Gender Studies - MA

Job and Career Opportunities for Gender Studies Grads

Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary program combining the arts and social sciences and working with both historical and contemporary materials. The field is attentive to the sex-gender spectrum, to anti-racism, and to decolonization, as well as to critical thinking, and to creative and professional self-expression. Our job placement is outstanding and our graduates work in some of the following areas:

Where could Genders students go after graduation?

  • Activism (including anti-racist, trans-inclusive and feminist)
  • Advertising
  • Arts administration
  • Arts and theatre
  • Communications and media
  • Community organizing
  • Counselling 
  • Cultural affairs
  • Editing
  • Education
  • Ethics
  • Events and festival management
  • Health and medicine
  • Human resources
  • Human rights
  • Immigration services
  • International development
  • Labour and industrial relations
  • Law
  • Marketing and promotions
  • Media and film
  • Museum studies and curation
  • NGOs
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Planning
  • Politics
  • Public health
  • Public relations
  • Public service and public policy
  • Social work
  • Student affairs

Note: Some of these careers may require additional training.

Certificate in Sexual and Gender Diversity

This program is taken in conjunction with any concentration. It addresses academic and societal developments in the area of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ideas, movements, activism and histories. Students electing to pursue this program will be better equipped to work within areas in which queer issues may be found; the program may address their own personal desire to study aspects of their (and other's) identities; and they may want to further their scholarship in the study of sexualities, gender, race, class, (dis)ability, etc.

More information

Exchange Opportunity to Oslo

Would you like to be a GNDS exchange student and go to the Centre for Gender Research at the University of Oslo in Norway for one term?

Oslo exchange for Gender Studies at Queen's University

More information on the Exchange to Oslo >

Alumni Profile

“Looking back on my Queen’s experience, my immediate memories are not of moving day, football games in tricolour, or of the sunny afternoons spent by Lake Ontario. When I think of my time at Queen’s what I remember most is feeling a sense of acceptance and belonging in my first Gender Studies class. Taking a few Gender Studies courses in my first two years at Queen’s introduced me to a discipline that combined academics with activism, passion with purpose, and took an intersectional approach to discussing axis of identity and oppression. I had found my space; I felt at home.”
Laura Hughes: Gender Studies ’13

Undergraduate Course Highlights

Niqab Bans, #blacklivesmatter, GamerGate—what are the realitites behind the hashtags and headlines? Gender, Race and Popular Culture explores what’s happening right now. Histories matter too, examined from many angles. Study LGBTQ+ representation and politics in Introductory or Advanced SXGD courses. Discover how we wear our histories in Gender, Dress and Fashion, and Racism, Colonialism and Resistance.

Undergraduate Admission to Gender Studies

Students apply to Queen’s Arts (QA) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities Application Centre) website ( Secondary School prerequisites include six 4U and 4M courses, including a minimum of three 4U courses, one of which must be ENG4U. Applicants outside of Ontario may have additional requirements. Visit for additional information regarding requirements and admission to Queen's.

Graduate Studies

In keeping with the Queen’s commitment to global engagement, the MA in Gender Studies emphasizes the ways in which women, gender and politics are informed by questions of racism, colonialism, and globalization. Key areas focus on the intersections of: gender, sexualities and feminist politics; migratory and (post)colonial cultures (indigenous, global and diasporic); labour, class, and location; and, cultural representation. The program is both cutting-edge and attendant to the traditional scholarly strengths of gender studies and women’s studies. Courses, research queries and discussions encourage interdisciplinarity, and support new ways of looking at issues of sex/gender.

Future students looking to do intense scholarly research related to the areas mentioned above will excel in the MA. Research-oriented coursework and thesis will provide a foundation for work at the doctoral level or in social services, business or government. The MA program meets current societal needs, complements extant programs in Ontario, and fits well within the context of graduate studies at Queen’s. The resources of the Department and the University will support incoming MA candidates.

The Graduate Program in Gender Studies offers a one-year MA option. Keeping with our commitment to engaging theoretically rigorous and activist-minded studies of gender, the one-year MA will involve intense course work and a major research paper (as well as practicum option for interested students). In order to facilitate this transition smoothly, all incoming students—including those applying for Fall 2015 admission—will be applying for the one-year MA option. Students who wish to consider a two-year thesis option must apply for this in December of their first year of candidacy.  Learn more

For queries regarding the Graduate Program, please contact our Graduate Assistant, Terrie Easter Sheen or 613-533-6000 ext 75397.