Queer and Trans Studies Minor

The Queer and Trans Studies Minor reflects Wheaton’s commitment to provide a diverse, equitable and transformative liberal arts education. Through this interdisciplinary minor, students will analyze the mechanisms through which specific forms and expressions of sexuality and gender are legitimized and others stigmatized. They also will engage in philosophical and political examinations of the concepts of “queer” and “trans” and explore potentially productive forms of resistance against prevailing structures of power. To achieve this objective, the minor offers a comprehensive and culturally diverse approach that delves into issues related to sex, sexuality, and gender, along with their intersections with race, borders, immigration, age, ability and geography.

Putting Theory into Practice

The minor empowers students from all disciplines to view academic, social and societal experiences through a queer and trans lens. Historically, much of the critical work around gender and sexuality has come from the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Today, there’s a growing need for people working in all fields – including law, marketing, education, medical research, and physical and mental health services – to learn about gender inequities and biases that may impact their work. This course of study will help students navigate complex social structures and create more inclusive and equitable communities wherever they work or live.



This five-course minor consists of two required courses and three electives, at least one of which must be at the 300 level.

Intro to Queer and Trans Studies

Intro to Queer and Trans Studies (WGS 198) is a foundational course that provides a transcultural approach to Queer and Trans Studies that extends beyond boundaries and borders. Students explore how the term “queer” has evolved from its early definition and conventional LGBTQ+ identities to a more progressive philosophical mode of inquiry that includes non-normative knowledge, cultural practices and activism. The course includes an experiential component where students explore how the queer methods and modes of inquiry can influence other academic disciplines and professional fields.

Intro to LGBTQ+ Studies

The Intro to LGBTQ+ Studies course (SOC/WGS 102) examines histories of same-sex intimacies and gender non-normativity. It asks how, and in what contexts, such experiences have become constitutive of identities or communities. It also explores when people have pushed for social change on the basis of those shared experiences.


Select three courses from the following list. At least one of the courses must be at the 300 level. Other courses, including experimental offerings and transfer and study abroad credits, may be selected in consultation with—and with permission from—the minor advisor.

  • WGS 101 Introduction to Women’s Studies
  • WGS 317 Queer Theory
  • ENG 214 Slave Narratives
  • ENG 240/WGS 240 Identity, Genre and Poetry
  • ENG 386  Young Adult Literature
  • FNMS 242 Horror Film and the Unruly Body
  • FNMS 345 – Queer Cinema
  • GER/WGS 274/374 Black in Berlin
  • GER 241/341 Kafka and the Kafkaesque
  • HISP 325/WGS 326 Queer Politics and Hispanisms
  • HISP 320/WGS 325 Early Modern Feminism: Spain and the New World
  • HIST 341/WGS 341 Sex and Culture in the 19th Century U.S.
  • PSY 298 Queer and Trans Psychology and Health
  • REL 142 Religion and Sexuality
  • REL/WGS 219 Gender and Violence in the Bible
  • SOC 260 Gender Inequality
  • SOC 275 Disability and Difference
  • SOC 320 Race, Gender and Poverty
  • SOC 290 Sociology of Sexualities
  • PSY 235 Human Sexuality
  • THEA 215 Theatre and Social Change

The Wheaton Pride Scholarship

Wheaton provides an inclusive and supportive community for LGBTQ+ students through academic offerings, social networks, housing options and more. In addition, students of all majors and identities can apply for financial assistance through The Wheaton Pride Scholarship. This provides two needs-based awards to students with proven leadership or service to the LGBTQ+ community.

Campus Connections

The best way to apply the topics discussed in the Queer and Trans Studies Minor is to engage in campus programs that promote and celebrate LGBTQ+ students. Wheaton encourages students to participate in Safe Zone training, clubs and organizations to promote inclusion and advocacy. Wheaton also hosts a Lavender Graduation to celebrate LGBTQ+ students and recognize their achievements and contributions to the Wheaton community.