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This certificate program is a undergraduate or graduate level online program that will focus on issues salient to the complex communities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, ally, asexual, and other identities that revolve around sexuality and gender. Some major topics will be: understanding historical contexts, homophobia, transphobia, internalized phobias, political and legal perspectives, international contexts, communication and linguistic contexts, psychological and sociological perspectives, and mental and physical health concerns. The Sexuality and Gender Studies program will offer students an academic understanding of the issues that they can then bring back to society and the greater Deaf community as working professionals. Lastly, the certificate program will serve as an incubator of research activities to increase scholarship topics salient to the LGBTQ+ Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities. Online presentations will be available through American Sign Language and spoken English or English captions.

Students admitted into the graduate level of the Sexuality and Gender Studies Certificate Program will register for courses with the PSG destination and would be expected to apply advanced critical thinking skills, take greater leadership roles within the class and in internship, and conduct more thorough literature searches for all papers than undergraduates. Graduate students will have additional expectations on general assignments and possible extra assignments tailored to their graduate level needs.The program of study is below.

Program of Study (24 Credits)

12 Credits Required Core Courses for both Undergraduates and Graduates:

SGS 501/PSG 760/PST 380 - Intro to Sexuality and Gender Studies (online, 3 Credits)

Course Description

This 3-credit course will provide an introduction into Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ (LGBTQ+) Studies. This course will use texts, articles, speakers, literature, and film to bring students to a deeper understanding of LGBTQ+ cultures and communities. This course will educate students on the central concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity within historical, political, and societal frameworks. Throughout this course, students will work towards an understanding of the intersectional dynamics of privilege and oppression as they relate to LGBTQ+ individuals and culture by exploring the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals and their partners/families. Special attention will be given to each Unit on LGBTQ+ issues within the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities.

SGS 504/PSG 761/PST 381 Intimate Relationships: Sexuality, Gender, Culture, Love, & Friendship (online, 3 credits)

Course Description

This 3-credit elective course focuses on how sexuality, gender, and culture impact the process of developing and maintaining human intimate relationships of friendship and love. Students will understand how various dynamics impact relationships such as attraction, communication, interdependency, power, stress, and conflict. Students will be able to apply knowledge to better understand and assess clients in the human services field and also be able to apply knowledge and skills to their own lives in developing their identity in their own relationships.

SGS 511/PSG 762/PST 382 Seminar I: Foundations in Sex and Gender (online, 1 credit)

Course Description

This 1-credit course will focus on foundational knowledge needed to develop a final project in the Sexuality and Gender Certificate Program. They will be exposed to current issues in both the hearing and deaf LGBTQ+ communities through networking and securing campus speakers, attending the speaker events, and then having round table discussions with fellow classmates and/or the student body. They will also stay current on contemporary events in the LGBTQ+ communities and critically analyze the implications of these contemporary events.

SGS 512/PSG 763/PST 383 Seminar II: Project Development (online, 1 credit)

Course Description

This 1-credit course will prepare students for conducting their final certificate program project. Students learn about specific research concerns when working with LGBTQ+ populations. At the end of the course, students will have produced a written literature review on a sexuality and gender topic.

SGS 513/PSG 764, PST 384 Seminar III: Creative Work Project (online, 1-3 credits)

Course Description

This is a 1-3 credit course, depending on the projected scope of the student project. Creative Work Project is an inquiry, investigation, or creation produced by a student that makes an original contribution to the field of sexuality and gender studies and reaches beyond the traditional curriculum. This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop and practice advanced discipline-specific projects in collaboration with faculty members. In the first week of the course, a specific list of responsibilities must be developed prior to approval. Credit is variable, and depends on the quantity and depth of work.

SGS 520/PSG 765, PST 385 Internship in Sexuality and Gender Studies (online, 3 credits)

Course Description

The Internship in Sexuality and Gender Studies is an unpaid, supervised work-and-learning experience of approximately 112 ‘in-agency’ hours and fulfills a core requirement for the Sexuality and Gender Studies Certificate Program. The internship is designed around the unique needs of both the student intern and the internship site. The principal objective of this course is to reinforce career/scholarship goals in fields where knowledge of sexuality and gender studies experiences is pertinent. Course topics will vary with internship placement so the biweekly online seminar helps to frame student experiences within queer and/or feminist theory and practice.

SGS 530/PSG 766/PST 386 - Theoretical Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender (online, 3 credits)

Course Description

In this interdisciplinary course, students will be introduced to key theories and theoretical frameworks for Sexuality and Gender Theory including queer theory and feminist theory. These theories are themselves already quite interdisciplinary, so students will spend time learning how these theories can work across different disciplines and can be used for both practical and academic purposes. Students will learn how to apply theoretical concepts to: the history of sexuality and gender, terminology that helps describe experiences and oppression including heterosexism, homophobia, and transphobia, queer activism, diverse experiences of sexuality and gender, and representations in literature, art, and popular media. We will also take an intersectional lens for our discussion and will discuss how sexual identities intersect with and shape other categories of identity, including gender, race, ethnicity, class, ability status, culture, and nationality.

6 Credits of Elective courses (pick two)

Course Description

In Person Courses (15 weeks): BIO 395 - LGBTQ Contributors in Science
DST 402 – Deaf Women’s Studies
DST 311: Dynamics of Oppression
ENG 395: Queer Literature
HIS 353 – History of Race, Gender, and Culture in Latin America
HIS 378 – U.S. Women’s History
HIS 380 – History of Sexuality
HIS 381 – Gay and Lesbian History
PSY 457 – Psychology of Human Sexuality
PSY 436 – Gender Psychology
SOC 250 Gender and Society
SOC 436 – Social Inequality: Race, Class, and Gender
SWK 201 – Social Work Practice and AIDS
SWK 333 – LGBTQ+ Community and Mental Health Practice

Online 8-week courses: SGS 504/PSG 761/PST 381 Intimate Relationships: Sexuality, Gender, Culture, Love, & Friendship (online, 3 credits)
DST 311/PST 202 - Dynamics of Oppression

* 3 credits of a Research course may be substituted as an elective if the class research project focuses on LGBTQ+ issues

6 Credits of Elective courses (pick two)

Course Description

In Person Courses (15 weeks): PSY 785: LGBTQ+ Theory & Therapeutic Interventions
SWK 717 - Cultural Competence (3)

Online 8-week courses: SWK 333/SWK 595 – LGBTQ+ Community and Mental Health Practice
SGS 504/PSG 761/PST 381 Intimate Relationships: Sexuality, Gender, Culture, Love, & Friendship (online, 3 credits)

* 3 credits of a Research course may be substituted as an elective if the class research project focuses on LGBTQ+ issues

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Sexuality and Gender Studies Certificate Program (SGS) must meet the following program requirements.

  • A completed CCOE Application Form, including payment of a $75 non-refundable application fee.
  • For the graduate certificate, a bachelors degree in a related field as evidenced by submission of an official transcript from an accredited university. (A bachelors degree is not required for the undergraduate certificate program.)
  • A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a four-point scale) in all previous undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) study. Occasionally, applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 may be admitted conditionally upon the recommendation of the SGS leadership.
  • One letter of recommendation.
  • A one-page written essay (or 5-10 minute signed video) indicating the reason for your interest in obtaining a certificate focused on Sexuality and Gender Studies.
  • Technology requirements and Computer Requirements/skills: A Mac or PC computer with access to the internet capable of running a most recent and updated web browser is necessary for participation in our online courses. The minimum operating system is Windows XP or higher for PC and MacOS 10.5 or higher for Mac. See Online Computer Requirements for more detailed information. Students are responsible for obtaining their own Internet access and are expected to have basic computer and internet literacy prior to the start of the course, including use of email, word processing programs, presentation programs (such as PowerPoint), and the internet to search for information.
If you are interested in applying for the graduate certificate program instead of the professional studies certificate program, please visit Graduate Admissions website for more information or contact

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