Memorial Union flies a Pride Flag, June 2019

Certificate in LGBTQ+ Studies

The LGBTQ+ Studies Certificate Program, housed in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, is open to students in any major. The program is interdisciplinary; certificate courses come from art history, counseling psychology, literature, history, sociology, medical history, as well as from gender and women’s studies.

The program requires 15 credits in LGBTQ+ Studies. Learn more about the requirements for the undergraduate certificate in LGBTQ+ Studies.

Declare LGBTQ+ Studies Certificate

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Review the Program Requirements

In Guide, find more information about the course requirements for the LGBTQ+ Studies program before scheduling an advising appointment.

Meet with the LGBTQ+ Studies advisor (in Microsoft Teams)

Meet with the undergraduate advisor in LGBTQ+ Studies to plan courses, discuss study abroad options, and discover involvement opportunities on campus and in the community. Please use Starfish to schedule an advising appointment. You will receive an invitation to meet in Microsoft Teams just before your appointment. Send a quick email to Susan Nelson at if you have questions about how to do any of this.

Declare the LGBTQ+ Studies certificate (online)

Complete this quick survey to declare the LGBTQ+ Studies certificate. Please contact the undergraduate advisor with questions about course planning.

Spring 2021 Preview

Spring 2021 LGBTQ+ Studies course preview

Questions about new courses?

Found a course that should count toward the LGBTQ+ Studies certificate? Please contact the Undergraduate Advisor; the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies will evaluate the syllabus to determine whether it meets the program criteria.

GWS 642: Capstone Seminar

Sign up for Gen&WS 642

Gen&WS 642 is the capstone for the LGBTQ+ Studies certificate. In spring 2021, Gen&WS 642 will ‘meet with’ Gen&WS 449: Queer Theory and Visual Culture. Please complete the authorization form if you plan to take 642 in spring.

Note: you cannot enroll in both Gen&WS 449 and Gen&WS 642 in spring 2021.

Fall 2020 Topics Courses

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Asian American Studies 240 - Feelings: Queer and Asian

This course is an opportunity for students to study the specific qualities of queer and Asian emotional life in the United States. It asks questions like, How do those held by the categories of queerness and/or Asianness feel about themselves and the world, and how do others in the world feel about them in turn? Why do all of these people feel this way? And what historical, political, economic, and social circumstances have given rise to those feelings? Over the course of the past few decades affect theory —basically, the study of feelings, their ontology, their causes, and their effects—has emerged as a key explanatory framework for understanding what it is to affect and to be affected, to move and to be moved, to feel and to be felt. Students will spend the semester engaging with this body of scholarship—especially those works which focuses on race, gender, and sexuality—through close readings, conversations, and critical writings. Key theorists covered in the course include Sara Ahmed, Lauren Berlant, Eve Sedgwick, José Esteban Muñoz, Karen Shimakawa, David Eng, and Melanie Klein. Taking seriously the political stakes of studying affect and emotion, the ultimate aim of this course is to provide students with the tools to discuss how people feel, why they feel that way, whether they should feel otherwise, and how to do so.

Art History 431 - Crip Tactics

To grapple with the implications of the nearness of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 2020 and the 30th anniversary of Day (With)Out Art on December 1, 2019 (an international day of action and awareness in response to the ongoing AIDS crisis), Crip Tactics offers a new honors-only version of “Topics in Theory” that introduces the key animating concepts and perspective-altering analytics in what has come to be known as “crip theory.” We experiment with creative tactics for exercising the powers of not just trenchant critique but also those of worldmaking praxis. We explore crip theory across speculative and critical writing, art, activism, and visual culture that challenge compulsory able-bodied and able-minded heteronormativity and the not merely discriminatory but often lethal gendered, sexual, and racializing terms regulating what constitutes corporeal, material and mental fitness and, thus, livable planetary life. We dig into signal work in crip theory as a more than text-based or academic mode of analysis by considering centrally how its activist, performance and art-based origins also drive its futures in praxis. We pursue its interanimating dialogue with critical disability theory, queer theory and queer-of-color critique, trans theory, critical race theory, feminist theory, new materialism and ecocriticism alongside consideration of its relations to, among others, Marxist social theory, Foucauldian genealogy and discourse analysis, psychoanalysis, phenomenology, the black radical tradition, and lesbian-feminism. No prior familiarity with art history, crip theory or the study of visual culture is required. In place of tests, you will produce three theory-in-practice projects that consist of two short exercises and a final project that experiment with crip tactics.


Undergraduate certificates are automatically posted to your transcript upon graduation by the Office of the Registrar based on completion in DARS.

Please confirm that your certificate is complete (all ‘green text’) in DARS after you enroll for your final semester.


Winter commencement is Sunday, December 13. See the Department’s celebration of winter graduates. Plans for May 2021 are still in the works.