Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization

Program offerings and requirements are detailed in the official OSU Sexuality Studies GIS program description [pdf]. If you need to access this form via alternative methods, please contact the Sexuality Studies program.

The Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization (GIS) in Sexuality Studies enables graduate students enrolled in graduate programs at Ohio State to enhance their regular course of study with 12 credit hours of course work in the field of Sexuality Studies.

The subject of human sexuality has increasingly become the focus of academic research and scholarship from a wide range of perspectives, including the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and many professions.  The field looks at how sexual practices, expressions, and representations are shaped by social, educational, religious, historical, psychological, literary, legal, and political contexts.  It pays particular attention to the tension between non-normative sexualities and genders, and the concept of heterosexuality against which they are typically defined.  Sexuality Studies also investigates the ways that sexuality is shaped by social differences, such as race, gender, (dis)ability, nationality, and social class.

The benefits of pursuing a GIS in Sexuality Studies are several.  For one, it provides graduate students with expertise in an interdisciplinary field that is transforming academic work in many different disciplines as well as across disciplines.  It can thus inform the work that students do for their master’s theses and dissertations, and consequently, position them to compete on the academic job market or, alternatively, in professional fields where such training is vital (e.g., health services, law, social work, education).  More generally, the GIS in Sexuality Studies helps students improve their understanding of sexuality in cross-cultural, transnational, and historical contexts.

At least four courses must be part of the 12 hours for the GIS in Sexuality Studies, with at least 9 of those hours taken outside a student’s home graduate program (including cross-listed courses so long as the student enrolls in a department other than his/her own).  All coursework must be at the 5000-level or above. Students may also count up to 3 hours of directed study toward the GIS: Sexuality Studies 5191 (Internship), 5193 (Individual Study), 5194 (Group Study), and/or 5700 (Workshop).  Students and faculty may petition the Director to count courses other than those listed here to fulfill the requirements of the GIS.

GIS Program Form

A plan of study for the GIS should first be worked out with the Sexuality Studies Director. Once the Director has confirmed the plan, the student will submit the form through the Graduate School's web site.

The Graduate School has moved to an electronic forms processing system called GRADFORMS.OSU.EDU.  Presently, applications to graduate and all degree examination forms are being handled by this system, as well as the Minor and Interdisciplinary Specialization forms. After logging into GRADFORMS, click "Graduation and Examination Forms," and then scroll down to "Minors and Interdisciplinary Specializations." The GIS form is located here.

According to the new system, the student fills out the form for the GIS, and then it is sent to the Director for review.  Then, the Director approves the form, and it goes to the Graduate School for their review. Please let the Director now if you have submitted a form because the Graduate School only informs the Director "as a courtesy," which means the Director might not actually get a notification. The same applies to changes in your graduate program.  Also, please let the Director know if you submit a request for changes so they may be approved. 

General questions about Graduate School degree options and specializations may be directed to Tim Watson, director of Graduation Services, at (614) 247-7292. Questions regarding the GradForms system may be directed to Judith Dunham Borst at

Approved Courses for the Specialization

Art Education
5835 Visual Representations of LGBT Subjects (3)

Comparative Studies
4845 Gender, Sexuality, and Science (cross-listed as WGSST 4845) (3)
4875 Gender, Sexuality, and Religion (3)

Education: Teaching and Learning
4015 Sexualities and Education (cross-listed with ESCFE 4215) (3)
7000 Sexuality in Education (cross-listed with KNSISM 7744) (3)

Educational Studies: Counselor Education
4270 Love, Sex, and Relationships (3)

4580 Special Topics in GLBTQ Literatures and Cultures (3)

7630 Studies in the History of Sexuality (1-6)

Human Development and Family Science
5440 Human Sexuality in Context (3)

Kinesiology: Sport Industry, Sport Management
5614 Sport and Sexuality (3)

Sexuality Studies
5620 Sexuality and Violence (3)
7100 Introduction to Graduate Study in Sexuality Studies (3)

Social Work
5002 AIDS Survey: Facts and Issues (3)
5006 Sexualities, Diversity & Social Work (3)
5016 Affirmative Social Work Practice with LGBTQ Individuals, Couples, and Families (3)

4635 Men and Women in Society (3)
5605 Sociology of Sexuality (3)

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
7710 Theorizing Race, Sexualities and Social Justice (3)
8810 Topics in Race, Sexualities and Social Justice (3)

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