Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies offers an innovative interdisciplinary undergraduate minor program in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Studies. LGBT Studies works to establish sexuality as a crucial category of analysis in the humanities and social sciences. It draws on disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, history, literature, and cultural studies in order to document the extent to which sexuality itself is a complex cultural and historical phenomenon that bears careful examination. Just as Women's Studies, for instance, is not only by, about, and for women, LGBT Studies is not only by, about, or for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people — it includes all humanity in its purview.

A large portion of the energy spent developing this field has been devoted to discovering (and recovering) the history, dynamics, and complexities of same-sex relationships. Both those relationships and their study have had to combat a variety of delegitimizing forces originating from numerous social locations. The study of same-sex relationships within LGBT Studies has intended to provide legitimacy to those kinds of relationships, to the communities of people organized around and involved in those relationships, and to the history of those people and those communities. In working toward this end, the field of LGBT Studies has necessarily worked to theorize the concept, practice, and history of sexuality itself. It has learned to examine the various ways intimacies and sexual experiences are constructed and perceived in different periods, cultures, and social classes. The field of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies both addresses the particularities of the modern forms of sexuality we call lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (forms of sexuality that have only recently been able to claim for themselves the right to serious academic study) and further addresses the phenomenon of sexuality itself in all its historical and cross-cultural diversity.

There is currently no major program in LGBT Studies. Students interested in pursuing studies in this field at the major level should consider the major in Gender and Women's Studies.

Declaring the Minor

All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT).  To declare the minor, students must complete the LGBT Minor Worksheet once they have decided to minor in the program. After fulfilling all course requirements, students must complete a Completion of L & S Minor form and submit it to the GWS undergraduate adviser at 608 Social Sciences Building. 

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Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but they are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process.
  2. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  3. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  4. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  5. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  6. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  7. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. If students cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, they should see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
  8. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)


Lower Division
LGBT 20ACSexual Politics and Queer Organzing in the US 14
Upper Division
LGBT 145Interpreting the Queer Past: Methods and Problems in the History of Sexuality4
Select one of the following:4
Cultural Representations of Sexuality [4]
Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Literary Culture [4]
Cultural Representations of Sexualities: Queer Visual Culture [4]
Select one of the following:4
Sexuality, Culture, and Colonialism [4]
Sexuality, Culture, and Colonialism
Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality [4]
Select two courses from the LGBT/GWS semester course listings or from the following:
Gender, Sexuality, and Culture in the Ancient World [4]
The Biblical Tradition in Western Literature [4]
Literature and Sexual Identity [4]
Government and the Family [4]
Sex, Reproduction and the Law [4]
Archaeology of Sex and Gender [4]
Language and Gender [3]
Special Topics in Psychology [3]
Sexual Cultures [4]

SOCIOL 135 can be substituted, but only when LGBT 20AC is not offered.


The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies Undergraduate Advising office provides students with the following assistance to help guide them through the academic bureaucracy and hopefully ensure that they have a successful undergraduate experience at Berkeley:

  • Counseling regarding their education and GWS courses.
  • Declaring the major.
  • Assessing their progress in the major.
  • Administrative concerns (i.e., course enrollment, Add/Drops, L&S policy).
  • Graduation.
  • Major information, courses, independent studies, honors program, GWS student group.
  • Graduate programs and career information and referrals.

The department strives to and is committed to providing a safe, inclusive environment for all students. Students are welcome, feel supported, respected, and valued, and receive the ultimate advising experience to ensure academic advancement through the program.

The undergraduate advisor (UA), Althea Grannum Cummings, is located in 608 Social Sciences Building and her email address is cummings@berkeley.edu. Her regular office hours are Monday through Friday 9 to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Students should not hesitate to contact her if they need some assistance.


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

Faculty and Instructors


Paola Bacchetta, Professor. Ethnicity, postcolonial theory, transnational feminist and queer of color theories, theories of the inseparability of gender, theories of the inseparability of sexuality, theories of the inseparability of, theories of the inseparability of class, theories of the inseparability of nation, theories of the inseparability of religion, global political and religious conflict (especially Hindu nationalism and racializations of Muslims and Islam), theories of resistance and transgression, right-wing movements, geographic areas of specialization outside the U S- India and France.
Research Profile

Mel Y. Chen, Associate Professor. Queer and feminist theory, Disability theory, Critical animal studies, Materiality studies, Cultural politics of race, sexuality, ability, and immigration, Critical linguistics, Paradigms of inter- and transdisciplinarity.
Research Profile

Minoo Moallem, Professor. Transnational and Postcolonial Feminist Studies, cultural studies, Visual and Material Cultures of Religion, Immigration and Diaspora Studies, Middle East Studies, and Iranian Studies.
Research Profile

Courtney Desiree Morris, Assistant Professor. Black women’s social movements; state violence and authoritarianism; racial formations in Latin America, the Caribbean and the US; Critical race theory; Feminist and queer theory; environmental ethics; black visual culture and aesthetics.
Research Profile

Laura C. Nelson, Associate Professor. Gender, medicine, and politics, Cultural, political, and experiential aspects of breast cancer in South Korea, How, why, and to what effect constructions of gender, class, and race are mobilized and manipulated in South Korea, Structures of cultural temporality (future, present, or past orientation) and anti-poverty policies (US and South Korea).
Research Profile

Leslie Salzinger, Associate Professor. Political economy, feminist theory, finance, sociology of gender, Gender and Work, gendering of transnational processes.
Research Profile

Eric Stanley, Assistant Professor. Critical prison studies; Queer/trans social movements; Anti-colonial feminism.
Research Profile


Barbara A. Barnes, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Professor Emeritus. Labor, citizenship, undocumented students, caring work, settler colonialism, skin color bias.
Research Profile

Barrie Thorne, Professor Emeritus. Feminist theory, gender theory, ethnography, qualitative methods, sociology, women, sociology of gender, sociology of age relations.
Research Profile

Irene Tinker, Professor Emeritus. International development and women, Electoral quotas in legislatures for women.

Minh-Ha Trinh, Professor Emeritus. Gender and sexuality, womens studies, rhetoric, feminist postcolonial theory, film theory and production, music composition, ethnomusicology, contemporary critical theory and the arts.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Gender and Women's Studies

680 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-2767

Fax: 510-642-0246

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Department Chair

Laura C. Nelson, PhD

618 Social Sciences Building


Vice Chair for Research

Courtney Morris, PhD

622 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-2767


Vice Chair for Pedagogy

Eric Stanley, PhD

620 Social Sciences Building


Student Services Advisor

Althea Grannum-Cummings

608 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-8513

Fax: 510-642-0246


Department Manager

Sandra Richmond

660 Social Science Building

Phone: 510-642-7084


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