The gender and identity studies minor is interdisciplinary and widely covers work from a variety of academic disciplines. Elective coursework is offered in the departments of communication studies, criminal justice, English, history, political science, psychology, social justice, social work, and sociology.

Program highlights

The Gender and Identity Studies minor, in keeping with the Catholic Benedictine tradition of hospitality and respect for persons, is committed to educational endeavors that emphasize openness to others and engagement with people different from ourselves. The Gender and Identity Studies program offers a comprehensive program that provides students with a multidisciplinary body of theoretical and applied knowledge about both gender and identity. The program emphasizes work grounded in women’s studies, men and masculinities studies, queer studies, and critical identity studies.

The minor gives students information about the social construction and conceptualization of gender, gendered experiences, gender identity, and the change in gender roles throughout history. The 112 program also emphasizes the study of social identities and includes classes examining race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, (dis)ability, class, nationality, and religiosity in the social world.

Gender and identity studies students are active on campus. Their efforts include the coordination and production of several campus-wide awareness-focused events including Take Back the Night and the Clothesline Project.

Each year the students of WS 200: Introduction to Gender and Identity Studies create a Zine. Zines (short for magazine) are an important part of feminist communication dating back before the internet. Women would gather and create Zines to talk about sexism, patriarchy, sexual assault, and promote female artists who were largely ignored in their communities. Zines are particularly important in the Olympia community as part of the Riot Grrrl movement which began in Olympia in the early 90's. The GIS 200 Zines are free and are distributed to the Saint Martin's Community and can also be found at local bookstores.

A minor in gender and identity studies prepares graduates for a variety of professional opportunities including:

  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Higher education administration
  • Government relations
  • Women's advocacy
  • Legal aid

For a complete list of professional applications, visit "What Can I Do With This Major?". For additional information about how Saint Martin’s can help you find the career for you, visit our Career Center.


Gender and identity studies minor

  • 6 semester hours of required courses
  • 12 semester hours of electives (Students must choose one course in at least two different departments outside of GIS)
  • GIS200 Introduction to Gender and Identity Studies
  • GIS300 Feminist and Identity Theories

• COM201 Communication and Identity
• COM320 Media and Culture
• CRJ 395 ST: Race, Gender, and Class in Criminal Justice
• ENG350 Gender and Sexuality in Literature
• ENG382 Literary Theory and Criticism
• GIS 250 Men and Masculinities
• GIS 350 Queer Theory
• GIS 375 Gender and Pop Culture
• GIS 295/395 Special Topics in Gender and Identity Studies
• HIS 305 History of American Women
• HIS 319 American Working Class History
• PLS 360 Gender and Global Politics
• PSY 310 Psychology of Human Sexuality
• PSY375 Multicultural Psychology
• PSY 385 Psychology of Women
• SJ 110 Introduction to Social Justice
• SJ 301 Social Justice in Literature
• SJ 310 Social Justice in Film
• SOC 333 Women, Culture and Society
• SW 316 History of Women in North American Social Work