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Gender and Sexuality Studies Concentration

Legal issues relating to gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity are at the forefront of many areas of law, including civil rights, family law, and employment discrimination. In this concentration, students complete studies focusing on individual rights and social justice movements as well as problems of theory. Course offerings in the concentration range widely from Domestic Violence, to Gender Identity & the Law, to Sports, Law & Culture. 

Required Courses

Students are required to take one of the two foundational courses listed below or an equivalent approved by the Concentration Advisor. If a student takes both foundation courses, one will be credited as an elective (see elective courses below).

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & the Law
Gender & the Law


In addition to completing the foundational course, students are required to take additional coursework sufficient to fulfill the balance of the 18 credits required for the concentration. Equivalent courses may be approved by the Concentration Advisor:

Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Civil Rights
Comparative Constitutional Law
Critical Race Theory
Domestic Violence
Employment Discrimination
Family Law
Gender & the Law
Genetics & the Law
Law & Social Change
Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & the Law
Title IX: Sex Discrimination & Education

Practical Skills Courses

In addition to the required foundational and elective coursework, students are required to complete a practical skills course in one of the following:

  • International Human Rights Clinic
  • Legal Services Clinic
  • Williams Moot Court 
  • Externship approved by the Concentration Advisor. Examples of appropriate organizations with which to seek an externship include the Mass Trans Political Coalition, GLAD, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the Massachusetts Human Rights Commission, or the Connecticut Office of the Victim Advocate. (These organizations are listed as examples only and have not necessarily agreed to accept externs for any given semester).

Writing Requirement

Students are required to complete one significant piece of writing in the concentration area. The writing requirement does not require that students earn any credits beyond the required and elective credits described above. However, the topic and the arrangement for fulfilling the writing requirement must be approved in advance by the Concentration Advisor. The paper could be written to fulfill the requirements of a course, an independent study, or a law review note. It may also be possible to fulfill this requirement by completing a substantial piece of writing in conjunction with an externship, such as a draft legal brief, significant legal memorandum, human rights report, or by writing a paper independently, such as a submission to a writing competition or an article for publication. In all of these arrangements, the prior approval of the Concentration Advisor is required.

Gender and Sexuality Studies Concentration Requirement Form

Please go to course descriptions to view all course descriptions and offerings.

Note: In the case of extraordinary circumstances and undue hardship, the Associate Dean, in consultation with the Concentration Advisor may propose an alternative means of satisfying the Practice Component

*Note: Some courses will not be offered every Academic Year.